American Players Theater Presents OUR TOWN Review — A Slice Of Small Town Life

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Several actors sit on stage staring mildly off into the distance. We recognize a few of their faces. The others we may not have met, but feel their place with the small town anyway. A young woman emerges in a bright white dress from a group of mourners standing upstage. It’s her funeral day and she joins these other townsfolk in their peaceful resting places here. This moment among many others gives us a taste of the importance of relationships in Our Town.

American Players Theatre Creates “Picture This” Moments

In true Thorton Wilder direction, the set is minimal and no props are used. Sarah Day as the Stage Manager takes the stage and paints the picture of this small town for us. This aisle, she says, is Main Street. She describes the train station down a ways. She shows us the two houses next to each other pointing out exactly where the garden is. The stage has transformed into a whole town.

Now that we know whose houses we’re looking at, we also see the lives of these townsfolk laid before us. George (Ronald Román-Meléndez) sits down with Mr. Webb (Jefferson A. Russell) for a cup of coffee and as they sip and discuss important things about marriage, we forget the coffee cups aren’t truly there. 

Mrs. Webb (Tracy Michelle Arnold) and Mrs. Gibbs (Teri Brown) stand over their stoves preparing their families’ respective breakfasts. They open their imaginary cabinets and pull down spices, pouring them into pots and then stir them with their imaginary spoons. As they wipe their brows, we feel the impact of their daily physical tasks.

They all create the environment out of thin air and have us imagining this world all in our mind’s eye.

Relationships Build And Life Goes On

We also feel life’s ups and downs through the lens of a young couple’s relationship. George and Emily (Samantha Newcomb) sit side by side at a makeshift ice cream parlor counter. At first we feel the tension between them as they sit straight and look straight forward. But, as they sip on strawberry ice cream sodas and discuss their plans for the future, slowly they turn towards each other. They relax as they both realize there’s something more between them. 

It’s a small moment in their relationship. We see this one and more through snippets of conversations and interactions with all the characters. And so while we may not know everything about them, we feel we know them quite well through their lives and deaths. 

For those looking for an exciting, action-packed show, this one might not be the best fit for you. But for those that like ones that dive deep into characters and their relationships, Our Town would be a good fit for you. 


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Stage Manager Sarah Day
Dr. Gibbs James Ridge
Joe Crowell Kailey Azure Green
Howie Newsome Nate Burger
Mrs. Gibbs Teri Brown
Mrs. Webb Tracy Michelle Arnold
George Gibbs Ronald Román-Meléndez
Rebecca Gibbs Phoebe Werner
Wally Webb Susanna Van Hallgren
Emily Webb Samantha Newcomb
Professor Willard Brian Mani
Mr. Webb Jefferson A. Russell
Simon Stimson Jim DeVita
Mrs. Soames Tamara Brognano
Constable Bill Warren Jamaque Newberry
Si Crowell Trevyn Wong
Baseball Players Tim Gittings, Trevyn Wong, Joseph Green
Sam Craig Sam Luis Massaro
Joe Stoddard Brian Mani
Farmer McCarty Tim Gittings
Mr. Carter Joseph Green


Director Tim Ocel
Voice & Text Coach Santiago Manuel Sosa
Assistant Director Andrew Oppmann
Costume Design Scott A. Rött
Scenic Design Takeshi Kata
Lighting Design Dawn Chiang
Sound Design & Original Music Joe Cerqua
Assistant Costume Design Brandi Mans
Stage Management Assistant Matthew Rohan
Stage Manager Evelyn Matten


Now through September 22, 2023
Performance schedule varies; please see website for details.


The Touchstone Theater
5950 Golf Course Road
Spring Green, WI 53588



Tickets can be purchased through the American Players Theatre website

Photos by Liz Lauren


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Alexis Bugajski

About the Author: Alexis Bugajski

Alexis is a theater reviewer, travel bug, media specialist, and burger & beer enthusiast. During the day she works in the advertising business as a senior communications designer. When night falls, or when she can escape to New York, she’s hitting the theaters to see as many shows as she can. And whenever she’s not at her desk or in the audience, she’s out seeking the best burger and beer offerings in Chicago.

Editor's Note:  Click here to read more Picture this Post articles by Alexis Bugajski

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