“Our Town” Production


Emily Webb, played by senior Rebecca Russell, panics, venting to her father Charles, played by Sophomore Ben Smith, about her upcoming wedding. Both were performing in the Salida High Schools Drama Team’s production of Our Town, on November 12, 13 and 14th. Russell has been acting for years, including four years with the Salida High School Drama Team. Some of her previous roles include Horatio in Hamlet and the Singing Telegram Girl in Clue. Ben Smith is a newcomer, and this is his second play at Salida High School.

Gwen Ramsey, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Director Devon Kasper’s eyes filled with tears as she introduced the Salida High School Drama Team’s production of “Our Town” on opening night, Friday November 12th. After almost two years without a production showcased to the public, the SHS Drama Team returns to the stage.

“It feels really fantastic to have a big show and a show that brought out a lot of people,” said Kasper.

“Our Town” was written by Thornton Wilder and the production was on the 12th, 13th and 14th of November. A teaser for the show occurred at SHS on November 10th where the team acted out the first part of the show to all SHS students.

Sophomore Clara Streeter, who played Mrs. Webb in the show, explained how the teaser felt for her, “We were showing the first bit of the show that we’d worked really hard on, and we didn’t know the outcome yet, but we were just hoping that we wouldn’t get made fun of too much at lunch.”

No jokes were hurled across the lunch table at the drama team, as the teaser was a great success along with the other three shows later in the weekend.

Drama has always allowed the actors to connect with their given characters and relate to their feelings and personalities.

Streeter felt connected with her character, who was the strict mother of two children, “I think she’s hilarious,” Streeter said. “She’s this very strict, to the point woman, but then secretly she’s very prideful, and I think that I connect to that in a sense.”

The play “Our Town” involves around George Gibbs who was a young man with a bright future. George, played by sophomore Jasper Coen, was the star of his high school baseball team and had dreams of taking over his uncle Luke’s farm. He lived in Grover’s Corner, New Hampshire, with his father, the local doctor Frank, played by senior Wyatt Velharticky, his mother Julia, played by senior Jessie Rollins, and sister Rebecca, played by freshman Olive Ritchie. George pines after Emily Webb, played by senior Rebecca Russell, his neighbor and daughter of the local newspaper editor, Charles, played by sophomore Ben Smith, and Myrtle, played by sophomore Clara Streeter. During “Our Town,” the Stage Manager, played by senior Vander Ritchie, led us through three important days in the lives of these two families, waxing poetic about the meaning of life, legacy, and love. Set between 1901 and 1913, “Our Town” is a poignant reflection on small town life, simple love, and being present in your life, and remains relevant more than 80 years after it was written and awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

Members of the community were thrilled to come out and see the drama team’s hard work in action. Though the team did perform a show last spring called “Lovesick,” the turnout was low due to the mid-pandemic setting. This year, the team almost filled the auditorium each night.

Audience member and SHS sophomore Jack Landry said, “It was really exciting to go see a drama show in person for the first time, and it really added to the high school experience that we didn’t get last year because of Covid.”

Ryan O’Brien, parent of freshman actor Fisher Holloway-O’Brien, commented, “Knowing what work it took to get here for a lot of these guys and especially for the first timers is a big deal. Having things back on display [at SHS], and a return to some kind of normality was great, but also the chance to actually bring [the show] into the world we live in now was the most important part.”