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Phoenix Theatre stages an immortal tale that will touch every heart

Rebekah Freed, right, plays Mrs. Webb. Freed and Moudry Warnacutt converse while shucking peas. “Our Town” opens Thursday, Nov. 17. (Photo by Samantha Bengs)1 / 2
Carol Moudry Warnacutt as Mrs. Gibbs, left, rehearses a scene with Dr. Gibbs, portrayed by David Oakes. Angelica Dimock, back, playing the stage manager, narrates the play. 2 / 2

The Phoenix Theatre will take to the Sheldon Theatre stage to present their production of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town". Among the most important works in the American theatrical canon, "Our Town" tells the allegorical story of a small town, and through the magic of theatre connects the everyday to the sublime. Narrated by a stage manager, with the world of the play conjured in the imagination, audiences follow the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry and eventually — in one of the most famous scenes in American theatre — die. The New York Times describes this classic play as "Thornton Wilder's masterpiece...an immortal tale of small town morality [and]...a classic of soft spoken theater."

Min Martin Oakes, a longtime member of Phoenix Theatre, is directing the production.

"While I gain new insights every time I read 'Our Town,' one constant is the theme of sacredness that resides in the ordinary," Martin Oakes said. "The beauty of everyday experience is just one of the many great lessons in this great work of American theatre."

The cast includes local veteran performers and some new faces with Angelica Dimock, Layla Fors, William Hoffman, Amanda Anderson and Keturah Freed participating in their first Phoenix Theatre production.

The cast and crew also includes David Oakes, Justin Lewis, Carol Moudry Warnacutt, Rebekah Freed, Charlie Woodruff, Autumn Wilker, Eliot Scafe, Emma Cory, Mike Fitzmaurice, Chelsea Indrehus, Greg Nixon, Helene Olson-Reed, Jason Luckett, Emily Seefeldt, Dace Miller, Mary Testen, Tom Zenzen, Melissa Zenzen, Russell Johnson and Graham Wheeler Nelson.

"Following on the high-energy, campy heels of "Hairspray!" this past summer, Phoenix Theatre shows its diversity and commitment to a wide range of theatrical styles and content," Sheldon Theatre Executive Director Bonnie Schock said. "This play is understated, elegant and poignant in its familiarity. It speaks to the entire human experience and truly is a celebration through the representative power of theatre in our town."

"Our Town" is eligible for the Kids Play Free program. The Kids Play Free program is sponsored by the Jones Family Foundation and provides free admission to select shows for a child, 12 and under, with purchase of a regular priced adult admission.

If you go...

Who: Phoenix Theatre

What: Thornton Wilder's "Our Town"

When: Nov. 17 at 7 p.m., Nov. 18-19 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 20 at 3 p.m.

Where: Sheldon Theatre

Tickets: $10-18, Kids Play Free event

More info: www.sheldontheatre.org or 651-388-8700

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