Press Room

OUR TOWN MEDIA PRESS RELEASE

February 25, 2010
For: IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kirsten Park
(801) 581-6270
kirsten.park@ptc.utah.edu

PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS

OUR TOWN
By Thornton Wilder

Pioneer Theatre Company presents the classic drama OUR TOWN by Thornton Wilder from March 12 through March 27, 2010.

The drama about two ordinary families living in adjacent houses in sleepy Grover’s Corners, N.H. in the early years of the 20th century has been described by many as the Great American Play. The play details the everyday lives of those two families, the Gibbs and the Webbs. But underlying the events of their lives – marriages, births, and deaths – is a hope for something more, a transcendental experience unique to the human condition.

Playing the part of the Stage Manager, who guides the audience through the town and introduces its inhabitants, is Equity actor ANDERSON MATTHEWS. MATTHEWS’ Broadway credits include Pater Ustinov’s “Beethoven’s 10th” and “The Robber Bridegroom,” and other New York credits include “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Ten By Tennessee” and “Arcadia” at Lincoln Center. He most recently appeared at PTC as Papa Leroux in “Is He Dead?” Other Pioneer Theatre Company shows include “The Three Musketeers,” “As You Like It,” “Laughing Stock,” “You Can’t Take It With You,” and “Noises Off.”

The two young people who grow up together over the course of the play, Emily Webb and George Gibbs, are played by Equity members AMELIA MCCLAIN and ERIC GILDE respectively. MCCLAIN’S New York credits include “Mine” and “The Horton Foote Project” at Slant Theatre Project, “A Doll’s House” at Studio Tisch, “Dance Dance Revolution” with Les Freres Corbusier, and “October/November” with Ensemble Studio Theatre. She holds a B.F.A. from The University of Evansville and an M.F.A. from New York University, and returns to the PTC stage after playing Juliet in last year’s production of Romeo & Juliet.

GILDE has been seen in New York in “The Nosemaker’s Apprentice” at The Brick, “Wedding Pictures” at Ensemble Studio Theatre, and “Edgewise” at Cherry Lane Studio. Regionally, he has been seen at many theatres, including St. Louis Repertory Theatre and Yale Repertory. He holds an MFA and BA from Yale University, and returns to PTC after appearing as Benvolio in last year’s production of “Romeo & Juliet.”

Emily’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Webb, are played by Equity actors CRAIG WROE and JOYCE COHEN. WROE appeared in London’s West End as Dr. Douglas in “Miss Evers’ Boys.” Off-Broadway, he has appeared in shows such as “Catch-22,” “An Oak Tree,” “King John,” “2,” “The Alexander Plays,” “Othello,” “The Tempest,” “The Winter’s Tale” and “Richard II.” WROE has also appeared on many television shows, including “Rescue Me,” “Burn Notice,” and “Law & Order.” He returns to PTC after appearing in “Macbeth,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” “Henry V,” “Dracula,” and many others.

COHEN has appeared on Broadway in “Once a Catholic” and off-Broadway at the Mint Theater, Playwrights Horizons, The Chelsea Westside, and others. She appeared at the Utah Shakespearean Festival last year in “Foxfire” and “The Secret Garden.” Some of her many PTC credits include “Othello,” “Enchanted April,” “Copenhagen,” “Arcadia,” “Laughing Stock” and last season’s “Romeo & Juliet.” COHEN has played Emily in several productions of “Our Town,” including PTC’s 1985 production.

George’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs, are played by CRAIG BOCKHORN and GLORIA BIEGLER. BOCKHORN appeared in the Kennedy Center, Broadway, and national tour productions of “On Golden Pond.” His other New York credits include “Prelude to a Kiss,” “The Seagull,” “The Hope Zone,” “The Truth-Teller,” and “Kit Marlowe.” Regionally, he has appeared at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, Baltimore CenterStage, Dallas Theater Center, among many others. He returns to PTC after appearing in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” among others.

BIEGLER was a member of the Broadway companies of “Arcadia” and “Spoils of War,” and of the off-Broadway company of “Mrs. Klein” starring Uta Hagen. Her numerous regional credits include Elizabeth in the world premiere of “Great Day in the Morning” at South Coast Repertory Theatre, for which she won the Drama-Logue Award for Best Actress. PTC audiences will remember BIEGLER as Rose in “Enchanted April,” Claire in “Proof,” Mercedes in “The Count of Monte Cristo,” among many others.

The town choir master, haunted by his own demons, is played by local Equity actor PAUL KIERNAN. KIERNAN most recently appeared at PTC in “Twelve Angry Men” as Juror Ten, and also in “Is He Dead?,” “Romeo & Juliet,” “Pride and Prejudice,” and “Amadeus,” among others. At SLAC, Paul has been seen in “Freedomland,” “The Memory of Water,” “The Beard of Avon,” “The Water Project” and “Seeing the Elephant.” His TV and film credits include: “Go Figure” for Disney Channel, “Luck of the Irish,” “The Maldonado Miracle,” and the HBO series “From the Earth to the Moon.”

The part of the town’s milkman, Howie Newsome, is played by Equity actor GLENN PETERS. PETERS has appeared off-Broadway and nationally with John Houseman’s The Acting Company in their productions of “The Turn of the Screw,” “Murder by Poe,” “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “Richard III,” and “American Dreams: Lost and Found.” He originated the role of Streffy in “Glimpses of the Moon” at the historic Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel, and the role of Lady Clem in “West Moon Street” for Prospect Theater Company. Other New York credits include The New York International Fringe Festival, New York Musical Theatre Festival, and Summer Play Festival. This marks his PTC debut.

Playing the part of the town’s constable is local Equity member TERENCE GOODMAN. GOODMAN’S Broadway and First National tour credits include the original production of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” the first revival of “Damn Yankees” with Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston, and as Captain Smith in “Titanic.” He was a series regular on “Days of Our Lives” and had a recurring role on “The Young and the Restless.” He returns to PTC after last appearing as Juror Twelve in “Twelve Angry Men.”

Featured roles in the ensemble include Equity locals KEVIN DOYLE as the cemetery groundskeeper Joe Stoddard; COLLEEN BAUM as the town gossip Mrs. Soames; and JASON TATOM as Professor Willard. The ensemble is rounded out by MELISSA CLASON BURNS, GWEN DE VEER, GABRIELLE GASTON, JAKE MILO KOEPPL, and ANDY RINDLISBACH.

Playing the part of Rebecca Gibbs, George’s younger, starry-eyed sister, is NATALIE BLACKMAN. BLACKMAN recently understudied for PTC’s production of “Touch(ed)” and appeared as Sophie in “Master Class” at Salt Lake Acting Company. She attended Circle in the Square Theatre School and will graduate from the University of Utah’s Actor Training Program in 2010.

Emily’s younger brother is played by local actor TALON G. ACKERMAN. Eleven-year-old ACKERMAN’S professional credits include Collin Craven in Utah Shakespearean Festival’s production of “The Secret Garden” and Tom Brewer in “Sleepy Hollow” at York Theatre in New York City. This marks his PTC debut.

Directing the production is PTC Artistic Director CHARLES MOREY. MOREY has directed more than eighty productions for Pioneer Theatre Company. Regionally he has directed for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Asolo Theatre Company, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Meadow Brook Theatre, American Stage Festival, PCPA Theaterfest and the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Morey is also an accomplished playwright whose works have gone on to successful productions in theatres across the country, and a fellow of the MacDowell Colony.

Set design is by guest artist PETER HARRISON. HARRISON is a nominee of the American Theatre Wing Design and Barrymore Awards. His recent credits include Horton Foote’s “The Roads to Home” off-Broadway with Jean Stapleton. In opera, he has served as resident designer for the Cleveland Orchestra Blossom Opera and has designed for New York City Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, American Music Theatre Festival, Juilliard Opera and Chicago Opera Theater. This is his 24th production at PTC.

Costume design is by SUSAN BRANCH TOWNE. Among TOWNE’S New York credits are “Griffelkin” for New York City Opera and the off-Broadway productions of “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!,” “She Loves Me,” “Fortinbras” and “Two Gentlemen of Verona.” She returns to PTC after designing “My Fair Lady,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Chicago,” and “Julius Caesar,” to name a few. Local audiences may know her work from the Utah Shakespearean Festival, where she designed during the 1996-1999 seasons. She returns to PTC after designing for “A Chorus Line,” “Romeo & Juliet,” and “My Fair Lady,” among others.

Sound design is by PTC resident sound designer JOE PAYNE, and hair and make-up design is by AMANDA FRENCH, also a PTC resident designer.

Pioneer Theatre Company, Utah’s premier resident professional theatre, performs at Roy W. and Elizabeth E. Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, located on the University of Utah campus at 300 South and 1400 East in Salt Lake City, easily accessible by TRAX light rail. Free parking is also available and the theatre is equipped with an elevator, handicap parking, hearing assistance devices and other easy-access features.

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MEDIA PHOTO SHOOT: There will be a media photo shoot on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 S. 1400 E., SLC. Please RSVP at (801) 581-6270.

PHOTOS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD: High-resolution color photos of this production will be available for media use on the PTC website beginning Thursday, March 4th, 2010 after 3:00 p.m. Go directly to http://www.pioneertheatre.org/press-room

TV CAMERA FILMING: Filming a short segment of the production during Preview or Opening Night for press use can be arranged. Call (801) 581-6270.

INTERVIEWS: Interviews with the cast and artistic staff are available. Call (801) 581-6270.

PRESS TOURS: Tours of the set for the press are available. Call (801) 581-6270.

WHO:
Pioneer Theatre Company

WHAT:
Our Town
By Thornton Wilder

WHEN:
March 12 – March 27, 2010

TIMES:
Mondays – Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday matinees, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre
300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City

PRICE:
$22 – $40; Children K – 12 are half price on Mondays and Tuesdays

MORE INFO:
Box Office (801) 581-6961. The Box Office is open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, and Saturdays when there are performances
www.pioneertheatre.org

CAST:

TALON G. ACKERMAN as Wally Webb
*COLLEEN BAUM as Mrs. Soames/Ensemble
NATALIE BLACKMAN as Rebecca Gibbs
*GLORIA BIEGLER as Mrs. Gibbs
*CRAIG BOCKHORN as Doc Gibbs
MELISSA CLASON BURNS as Ensemble
JOYCE COHEN as Mrs. Webb
GWEN DE VEER as Ensemble
*KEVIN DOYLE as Joe Stoddard/Ensemble
GABRIELLE GASTON as Ensemble
*ERIC GILDE as George Gibbs
*TERENCE GOODMAN as Constable Warren
*PAUL KIERNAN as Simon Stimson
JAKE MILO KOEPPL as Ensemble
*ANDERSON MATTHEWS as Stage Manager
*AMELIA MCCLAIN as Emily Webb
*GLENN PETERS as Howie Newsome
ANDY RINDLISBACH as Joe/Si Crowell/Ensemble
*JASON TATOM as Professor Willard/Ensemble
*CRAIG WROE as Mr. Webb

* Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association.