For the third production in the "Japan Meets" series, we present Our Town by American playwright Thornton Wilder. The play premiered in 1938 and won the Pulitzer Prize that year. Ever since, Our Town has been performed all over the world, and is currently enjoying a long run in New York as of this writing in 2009.
The play is staged with little in the way of props or scenery, instead relying on the imagination of actor and audience to advance the narrative. In its style, we find the origins of contemporary theatre; Our Town had a major influence on the writers of contemporary plays that came after it.
Taking on the role of stage manager is Kosakai Kazuki, whose entertainment experience makes him a perfect fit for the job. The music will be performed live on a single Steinway by rising pianist Inamoto Hibiki. The outstanding cast includes Saito Yuki, Aijima Kazuyuki, Washio Machiko and Sato Masahiro. Coming in early 2011, this tale centering around two families will be a must-see.
Set in Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, USA.
At the home of Frank Gibbs, the town physician, and his next door neighbor, Charles Webb, publisher of the town paper, it is a peaceful day like any other. Gibbs's son George and Webb's daughter Emily, both 16, have known each other their whole lives. Their minds are occupied with thoughts of the day's homework, dreams for the future, and maybe even a bit about each other. Just an ordinary morning, on an ordinary day.
July 1904. They have just graduated from high school.
It is the day of Emily and George's wedding. George hasn't been able to settle down since morning. Their parents talk about marriage, and their wishes for the young couple.
The couple say their vows, the people of the town offer their fervent blessings, and the wedding ends.
Little by little, change is coming to the once sleepy town. Cars are beginning to replace horses. People are starting to lock their doors. Indeed, the world is changing.
Emily's funeral is being held at the cemetery on the hill. Things had been so happy, when she suddenly died in childbirth. George, his parents and the Gibbs are overcome with grief.
They are watched over by the spirits of the cemetery. Emily is now one of them, and she watches her own funeral. She recalls the happy days gone by, and begins to realize what it is that is most important – to her, to her family, to humankind, to the world.