Paschal High School theater students will not use props or an elaborate set in their current production, “Our Town.”
“The whole idea of it is the simplicity of life,” Paschal Theater Arts teacher Michael Muller said. “Nothing happens except by the end you are totally aware of how wonderful life is and how you should always keep that in mind. Living is a joy.”
Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” is set in New Hampshire in the 1900s, he said. The play follows the characters George and Emily through a progression of years. Ninth-grader Maxwell Murray plays the role of George.
“The theme of the play is simplicity,” Murray said. “[George] falls in love with a girl named Emily, and that’s really the plot of it. It’s life, love and death.”
There are 19 Paschal theater students in the play, but about 40 to 50 people are involved, from working the lights to playing the live sound effects, Muller said.
“It’s an interesting play because it’s intentionally done with no setting: no scenery except ladders, chairs and tables,” he said. “We have sound effects which are done live and they have no props.”
Students rehearsed for six weeks and prepared in many different ways, Maxwell said.
The students in the play had to write biographies on their character so that they could find out who their character really was as a person.
Tenth-grader Emma Schwartz, who plays Emily, said she read the play over and over again to make sure she knew how her character would react to certain things throughout the play.
The bonds that the theater students created through the many rehearsals also made the whole process easier and made the experience one to remember, Murray said.
“It’s a lot of fun and you get to be a family,” he said. “You definitely get to learn how everyone else acts and learn how to better yourself as an actor.”
“Our Town” will run at Paschal for the next two weeks with the last show May 5. Tickets are $5 for students $8 for adults.