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North Farmington's 'Our Town' Opens Thursday

Students learn to focus on life's ordinary moments in Thornton Wilder's classic drama.

Are there moments of your life that you would want to relive? 

That question was posed during a candle-light ceremony to the cast of "Our Town," which opens Thursday at North Farmington High School's Cobb Center for the Performing Arts. The ceremony was just one activity that helped to prepare students for their roles in Thornton Wilder's classic drama.

"I picked ("Our Town") because every time I read it, I saw something new and exciting about it," said director Samantha Feldman. "It's set more than 100 years ago, but I find the themes and message to be so relevant to our time ... taking in every moment and not letting moments pass you by." 

The cast of 33 students has been rehearsing since mid-September, Feldman said. 

Junior Alec Shapiro plays "George Gibbs," who begins the play as a carefree teenager and ends it as a grieving husband and father. 

"George is a very passionate person," Shapiro said. "He doesn't know how to express that very well. It's hard for him to do that, and I think that's really cool to dive into and explore." 

Kourtney Bell, a senior, plays "Emily Webb," a young woman whose early death inspires the show's message about appreciating the time we have on earth. Bell, who said she has been acting since age 4, said she likes that even though Emily is strong, "she cares about other people".

As the "Stage Manager", senior Evan Rausch has the largest speaking role in the play. He said his role is different, in that it's largely up to the actor how to portray the character. (In Farmington High's production of "Our Town", also going up this weekend, the "Stage Manager" is a female character.)

"I wanted to be Mr. Gibbs," Rausch said. "I realize now that I would much rather play this role. It's fun, but it's also extremely scary at the same time." 

"Our Town" opens Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Additional performances will be held Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $12 or $10 for students and seniors. To reserve your seat, call 248-426-5202. Tickets will also be available at the door 30 minutes before show time. 

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