By Chelsea Rankin
Patrick Henry College
Poster Design for Our Town
PHC junior Chaedon Laman, director of this semester’s Eden Troupe production - Our Town, an all American play by Thornton Wilder, asks potential audience members to resist reading summaries of the play before attending. He wants viewers to be captivated by the surprise ending.
Laman has been involved in theater since high school, and wanted to bring Our Town to PHC, because he believes it will bless the campus.
“The message of Our Town is: live life every day to the fullest, because life is short and we don’t realize how much of a blessing it is while we have it,” he said.
He said audiences should expect to see a “genuine story” without props or elaborate scenes and costumes. What viewers will see, however, are ordinary people living everyday American lives.
Freshman Keaghan Kane is playing the lead in Our Town, the role of the narrator. Unlike other plays, Our Town’s narrator steps into the play and interacts with the other characters and the audience.
Kane auditioned for the play to get a chance to be on stage, a favorite pastime of hers. She didn’t expect to fall hopelessly in love with the story and the characters.
“I think I can speak for all of the actors when I say it has made a deep impact on our lives,” she said. “Our Town has some amazing themes about humanity, eternity, the frailty of life, and our recognition of the importance of everyday moments. These themes resonate with deep parts of the human experience and soul, drawing out the things that, to paraphrase what the Stage Manager says, ‘we all know, but we don’t take out and look at very often.’”
In Kane’s mind, the main theme of the play is recognizing the beauty surrounding “everyday existence.” The play shows viewers how many daily miracles are missed each day.
“Our Town convicts us and reminds us that there is so much beauty to be found, even in the mundane bits of life,” she said. “It reminds us of the importance of those things and people we love. It makes everything more meaningful.”
Our Town is being performed at Patrick Henry College November 15-17 in Town Hall.
To purchase tickets, visit Eden Troupe's website. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.