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Darren Gilshenan, Maeve Dermody and Robin Goldsworthy. Photographer: Stephen Dupont.

POSTED: 21 AUGUST 2010

STC takes a heart-warming look at smalltown America*

Continuing this year’s exploration of American drama, Sydney Theatre Company is preparing to stage the iconic Our Town.

Thornton Wilder’s 1938 Pulitzer-Prize-winning play is one of the most widely produced plays in the United States, yet is rarely seen in Australia.

This heart-warming classic makes an affecting philosophical case for relishing life in the here and now as it chronicles the lives of two close-knit families living next door to each other.

This new production, directed by Iain Sinclair, will be performed at the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House, from 14 September, with official opening night on 18 September.

Guided by the ‘stage manager’ (Darren Gilshenan), the audience is introduced to the inhabitants of a small, sleepy American town, Grovers Corners, and absorbed into the domesticity of daily life in 1901.

The touchstones of everyday life are tenderly revealed, particularly through the story of Emily Webb (Maeve Dermody) and George Gibbs (Robin Goldsworthy) as they grow up, fall in love, marry and start a family.

Interweaving the present, the past and the future across 13 years, as stories evolve and the shadows of mortality encroach, it becomes clear how extraordinary even the most ordinary of lives can be.

Director Iain Sinclair, who has worked as Assistant Director on Sydney Theatre Company’s Festen, Blackbird and The Convict’s Opera, brings together some of Australia’s finest stage actors for his mainstage debut for the company.

Alongside Gilshenan, Dermody and Goldsworthy, the large cast also includes Anita Hegh, Susan Prior, Christopher Stollery and Frank Whitten, as well as Foley Artist Steve Toulmin.

Director: Iain Sinclair. Set Design: Pip Runciman. Costume Designer: Jennifer Irwin. Composer & Sound Designer: Paul Charlier.

With: Nicholas Bakopoulos-Cooke, Ashleigh Cummings, Maeve Dermody, Darren Gilshenan, Robin Goldsworthy, Anita Hegh, Russell Kiefel, Michael Kilbane, Chris Pitman, Susan Prior, Toni Scanlan, Christopher Stollery, Josh Quong Tart, Steve Toulmin, Frank Whitten.

*Based on media release issued by Sydney Theatre Company.