Wilder’s message is that life is a series of simple moments. When one of the characters dies and wants to revisit a moment of her life, she’s told to “choose the least important day; it’ll be important enough.” Wilder’s breakthrough in Our Town is his creation of a stage manager (Allen Schmeltz), who faces the audience and sets the visual scene by describing the town, its history and its inhabitants. There are no real sets; the actors mime props; action is stopped and started; and the past, present and future are not linear. It’s a brilliant concept, and it’s one director Anthony D’Juan pulls off with impressive results.
The cast members are students from Claudio’s acting classes, but that’s a bit misleading. Most give professional performances—the most notable being Schmeltz, as the stage manager; Brendon Barrett, as George; and Stephanie Altholz, who gives us a sweet yet wise Emily.