Emily White ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor
The Huntington Theatre Company’s production of Our Town is a stunningly modern interpretation of Thornton Wilder’s classic 1938 text. Director and actor David Cromer’s vision places the audience literally in the middle of the small New Hampshire town Grover’s Corners with a sparse, minimalist set. While the play is set in the early 1900s, the actors’ raw, honest performances in the stripped-down, up-close and personal set make the show just as relevant today. The audience is taken on a journey through growing up: from youth, to maturity, to death, within a span of three acts.
The directorial choices of the production allow each member of the ensemble to shine, creating the feeling of a living, breathing town. Because there is no fourth wall, the audience is able to not only see but, to experience the emotions of the characters through the actors. The simple set allows the focus to be on the actors and their methods of storytelling. Cromer does double-duty as not only the director of the production, but also portrays the character of the Stage Manager, one of the most integral parts used to bring this play into a contemporary context. He cleverly uses an iPhone to get the audience’s attention at the beginning of each act, a motion at once striking and strangely mesmerizing. The lights are up in the house for the entire show, forcing the audience to look at other audience members, set up across from them in the room, in a self-reflective twist.
This is one of the most cohesive productions, in set, costume, lighting, cast, and directing, that can be seen in Boston right now. The show is at once classic and ahead of its time, by making use of an aesthetic that couldn’t be more modern. It is a must-see for audiences of all-ages and theatrical experience; a show that touches the hearts of certainly everyone in the room.
For more information, showtimes and ticket prices visit http://www.huntingtontheatre.org/season/2012-2013/our-town/.