Peterborough Players returns with ‘Our Town’

  • Aliah Whitmore Courtesy photo—

Published: 7/22/2021 3:06:13 PM

“We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even the stars . . . everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings.” Peterborough Players returns to the stage with these words from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Our Town,” by Thornton Wilder.

In a first for the 88-year-old professional theatre, this production will be performed onsite, outdoors in downtown Peterborough.

“Our Town, downtown, in our town. We’re the only professional theatre in the world that can do this play, in this way, in this place. It’s exciting,” says Director Tom Frey, who also serves as Associate Artistic Director of the Players. “Our Town” will run from Aug. 4 to 15.

An exploration of the profound experience of everyday life, “Our Town” looks through the eyes of the citizens of Grover’s Corners, N.H., in their growing up, loving, living, and dying. Two families, Gibbs and Webb, journey through their lives as told by a character known only as the Stage Manager. Considered by some to be the greatest American play ever written, the play asks its audience to examine the bigger questions and unexpected graces of daily living. Frey notes that the Players “... Knew we needed to not only honor what we’ve been through but find a way to celebrate the joy of coming together again.”

The ownership of this Pulitzer Prize-winning American play is strongly felt by the residents of Peterborough (long rumored to be the inspiration for Grover’s Corners, whether confirmed or not…). In addition, the Players has a long and intimate connection to “Our Town”: since their first production in 1940, on which Thornton Wilder himself consulted, it has become the Players’ most produced play to date.

The production boasts a cast of notable actors, both new additions to the Players’ acting company and longtime company members. Emmy-winner (NYPD Blue) and Players’ favorite Gordon Clapp appears as the Stage Manager. Tony-nominated for Glengarry Glen Ross, Clapp’s distinguished career most recently saw him in HBO’s “Mare of Easttown.” Players’ audiences will remember him for his turn as Robert Frost in “Robert Frost: This Verse Business,” and others. He will be joined by Carbonell Award winner Tracey Conyer Lee as Mrs. Webb; Aliah Whitmore (Artistic Director of Whitmore Eclectic, Mahida’s Extra Key to Heaven at the Players) as Mrs. Gibbs; Erick Pinnick as Dr. Gibbs; Steven Michael Walters (Friday Night Lights, Born Yesterday at the Players) as Mr. Webb; K.P. Powell (creator of Quips and Wit for American Shakespeare Center) as George Gibbs; and Kate Kenney (Romeo and Juliet with Shakespeare and Company) as Emily Webb. Players’ favorites Kraig Swartz (Fully Committed and many more at the Players) and Bridget Beirne (Outside Mullingar and others at the Players) appear as Simon Stimson and Mrs. Soames, respectively.”

In 2019, the Players began “Players Gives” outreach programs which aim to lower barriers to opportunity and access to the arts, show gratitude, and give back to this wonderful community through Pay-What-You-Can tickets and the Community Partners program. This year, the Players is thrilled to announce the expansion of Pay-What-You-Can, offering 20 Pay-What-You-Can Tickets to every performance of each show in the Summer 2021 Grand Restart Lineup, including “Our Town.” The Players invites anyone who needs assistance accessing tickets to attend, with a guest, for whatever they feel they can pay. Tickets must be reserved ahead of time through the box office by calling (603) 924-7585.

“Our Town” will be performed outdoors in downtown Peterborough. The entrance to the space is off Phoenix Mill Lane in Peterborough. For those familiar with Peterborough, the show will be on what’s known as R.J. Finlay Green (70 Main St. Green), behind the Monadnock Center for History & Culture and the Town House. Performances are Wednesday through Sunday, Aug. 4 to 15. Curtain time for all performances is 5:30 p.m. Single tickets for all shows in the Peterborough Players Summer 2021 Grand Restart Lineup went on sale July 16. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at (603) 924-7585, or by visiting peterboroughplayers.org. All tickets are $47.


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