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Our Town

January 12–March 26

Asolo Rep Kicks off its Repertory Season with Thornton Wilder’s Our Town

Posted: December 28 / 2021

(SARASOTA, FLA) — Continuing its tradition of performing in true rotating repertory, Asolo Repertory Theatre proudly kicks off its 2022 rep season with the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama OUR TOWN. Thornton Wilder’s magnificent play is, at its heart, about us, and perhaps no other play rings truer today. OUR TOWN begins previews on Jan. 12, 2022, opens on Jan. 14 and runs through March 26, in the Mertz Theatre, located in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts.

 

As another ordinary day begins, the inhabitants of a small American town go about their business: newspapers are delivered, people go to work, gardens are tended. And a boy and girl fall in love. But as life’s events unfold, one question remains: “Do any human beings ever realize life as they live it?” Long after it won the 1938 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, OUR TOWN remains one of the most enduring American plays of all time, reminding us to celebrate love, family, community and the beauty in the ordinary.

 

OUR TOWN is directed by Asolo Rep newcomer Desdemona Chiang, who is co-founder of the Seattle-based theatre company Azeotrope. Chiang’s directing credits include shows at dozens of theatres across the United States, including the Guthrie Theater, Alley Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, California Shakespeare Theater and Seattle Repertory Theatre, among others.

 

“It just so happens that OUR TOWN always comes out in moments of great trauma and tragedy, because that's when we realize the meaning of now,” Chiang said. “We don't realize the meaning of now when it's Tuesday and I have work and I’m too busy to pay attention to my spouse or my kids. We don't notice OUR TOWN then. But we notice it when COVID happens. We notice it when 9/11 happens. And it takes great disruption for us to appreciate the now when, in fact, we really should appreciate now all the time.”

 

The cast of OUR TOWN is led by Kenn E. Head (Stage Manager), who has appeared in roles at such prestigious venues as Steppenwolf Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Greg Watanabe (Dr. Gibbs) made his Broadway debut in Allegiance and has appeared off-Broadway in Ballad of Yachiyo at the Public Theater and Golden Child at Signature Theater.

 

Summer Dawn Wallace (Mrs. Gibbs) is co-artistic director of Sarasota’s Urbanite Theatre, where she has directed the regional premieres of ScorchNorthside HollowDry Land, and Sam & Lizzie, and is producing director of Urbanite’s Modern Works Festival. Diana Coates (Mrs. Webb) returns for a second season at Asolo Rep after appearing in Murder on The Orient Express and Into the Breeches. Some of her favorite roles have been at theatres including Victory Gardens, the African Continuum Theatre Company of DC, and Michigan Shakespeare Festival.

 

Alex Benito Rodriguez (George Gibbs) is a graduate of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory, where he was seen in The Crucible, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Gruesome Playground Injuries. Caroline Mixon (Emily Webb) appeared in the television show Mare of Easttown and the film The Will. Some of her favorite theatre credits include Sally Bowles in Cabaret and June in Marisol. Gregg Weiner (Mr. Webb) returns to Asolo Rep after appearing in Murder on the Orient Express. His regional theatre credits include The Price7 Deadly SinsThe Whale, Red, Speed the Plow and Every Brilliant Thing.

 

The cast also includes Nydira Adams (Constable Warren/Joe Stoddard), Emily Bohn (Joe Crowell),

Charlotte Foster (Professor Willard/Among the Dead), Ptah Garvin (Howie Newsome/Man in the Auditorium), Paige Klopfenstein (Si Crowell/Woman in Balcony), Bryan Lewis (Sam Craig/Baseball Player 2/Among the Dead), Merri Rashoyan (Mrs. Soames/Lady in the Box), Giovanni Rincón (Baseball Player 3/Mr. Carter), Jamie Saunders (Rebecca Gibbs), Garrick Sigl (Simon Stimson), Derek Sikkema (Baseball Player 1 /Among the Dead) and Asher Woomert (Wally Webb).

 

The understudies for OUR TOWN are Daniel Ajak, Trezure Coles, Falcian Page, Sharon Pearlman, Isayah Phillips, Jackson Purdy, Jordan Rich, Brielle Rivera, Mikhail Roberts, Brooke Turner, Danielle Vivcharenko, Rueben Wakefield and Rickey Watson Jr.

 

“The decision to do OUR TOWN this season was one of my first responses to the pandemic,” said Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards. “It’s clear now more than ever that we need to be reminded what community is and that we need to pay attention, because life can go so quickly. Profound, intense engagement in life happens in the ordinariness of it, and this show feels very right for our time. OUR TOWN is one of those pieces that touches you and connects with you wherever you are in life, and it can’t help but reflect America. I hope it helps us reconnect and revitalize our sense of community.”

 

OUR TOWN is recommended for general audiences.

 

OUR TOWN runs Jan. 12 – March 26, 2022. Previews are Jan. 12 – 13. Visit asolorep.org for a full performance schedule. Orchestra and Mezzanine seats start at $52 and Balcony seats start at $29. Tickets are available now in person at Asolo Rep's Box Office at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, by phone at 941.351.8000 or 800.361.8388, or online at asolorep.org.

 

Rounding out the repertory season are GRAND HORIZONS (Jan. 19 – April 1) and THE GREAT LEAP (Feb. 9 – April 2), which will both run concurrently with OUR TOWN.

 

Asolo Rep is proud to be a part of #SafeArtsSarasota. Learn more about our Health and Safety Protocols.

 

 

 

CAST

(in order of appearance)

 

Kenn E. Head*…………..…………………...……………………....Stage Manager

Greg Watanabe*………………………….....………………………….…..Dr. Gibbs

Emily Bohn…………..……………………………...………….……..… Joe Crowell

Ptah Garvin…………..…………………Howie Newsome / Man in the Auditorium

Summer Dawn Wallace*……………….……………………..…………..Mrs. Gibbs

Diana Coates*….……………………………………………….……....…Mrs. Webb

Alex Benito Rodriguez*……….………………………………..……...George Gibbs

Jamie Saunders…………………………………………………..…..Rebecca Gibbs

Asher Woomert  ……….…………………………….…….....…….…....Wally Webb

Caroline Mixon*…………..………………………………………..…...…Emily Webb

Charlotte Foster…………..…………...…...…Professor Willard / Among the Dead

Gregg Weiner*…………..…………………….….….………………………Mr. Webb

Paige Klopfenstein…………..…………….………..Si Crowell / Woman in Balcony

Merri Rashoyan…………..…………………..….....Mrs. Soames / Lady in the Box

Garrick Sigl…………..……………………………...............……..… Simon Stimson

Nydira Adams…………………………….…...… Constable Warren / Joe Stoddard

Derek Sikkema………………………….…..… Baseball Player 1 /Among the Dead

Bryan Lewis…………..…..……..Sam Craig / Baseball Player 2 / Among the Dead

Giovanni Rincón…………………..………………..… Baseball Player 3 / Mr. Carter

 

*Members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

 

 

SELECT CREATIVE TEAM

 

Director………..…..…………………….…Desdemona Chiang

Scenic Designer………….…………...... Sara Ryung Clement

Costume Designer……..…...……………… Christine Tschirgi

Lighting Designer……...……………………..….. Xavier Pierce

Sound Designer……………………………..……... Matt Parker

Hair/Wig & Make-up Designer……………………Michelle Hart

Composer………………………………………. Lizzie Hagstedt

 

 

 ENHANCED EXPERIENCES

 

The Scoop (FREE)

This popular program that explores the ideas and inspiration behind the making of the show will now be available digitally. Ticket holders will receive a video link via email.

 

Tuesday Talkbacks (FREE)
Feb. 1, Feb. 22, March 15

Attendees can enhance their experience with this post-show discussion following select Tuesday performances.

 

Inside Asolo Rep: OUR TOWN

Thursday, Jan. 13, at 10:30 a.m.

Cook Theatre

$5; free for donors and Asolo Rep Guild members

 

Attendees get a glimpse of what goes on behind the curtain in this special series featuring the artists from the production, as well as special guest experts from the community. 

 

Inside Asolo Rep is sponsored by Observer Media Group.

 

OUR TOWN Family Day
Saturday, Feb. 19, at 2 p.m.
Pre-show activities for all ages before the show, starting at 12:30 p.m.

 

Family Day is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the Koski Family Foundation.

 

OUR TOWN IllumiNation Event

Saturday, Feb. 26, at 2 p.m.

Pre-show reception and post-show community conversation

For series package information and single performance tickets, contact the box office.

 

IllumiNation explores the social, political and cultural themes threaded throughout the show, while examining issues of race, gender, identity, and cultural intersection.

 

The IllumiNation series is made possible, in part, with support from lead sponsor, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, as well as the Koski Family Foundation, Observer Media Group and catering sponsor Morton’s Gourmet Market & Catering.

 

OUT@AsoloRep: OUR TOWN

Wednesday, Jan. 26

Pre-show reception

For subscription and ticket information, contact the box office.

 

OUT@AsoloRep is Sarasota’s premier cultural event connecting local LGBTQIA+ communities with fantastic theatre.

 

OUT@AsoloRep is sponsored by Sabal Palm Bank, CAN Community Health, Morton’s Gourmet Market & Catering and Project Pride.

 

*All activities are subject to change or modification based on CDC recommendations.

 

SPONSORS

 

Asolo Rep is able to present OUR TOWN because of the generosity of its sponsors. The corporate sponsors for OUR TOWN are Energy Today, Tidewell Foundation, Sarasota Scene, and Morton’s Gourmet Market & Catering, with additional support from the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

 

Asolo Rep 2021-2022 Major Season Sponsors are Florida State University, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Huisking Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Designing Women Boutique, The Exchange, Sunset Cadillac of Bradenton, and Asolo Rep’s Artistic Excellence Society. Asolo Rep’s artistic programs are paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenues.

 

 

ABOUT ASOLO REP

 

Now in its 63rd season, Asolo Repertory Theatre is recognized as one of the premier professional theatres in America and one of the largest in the Southeastern United States. One of the few select theatres in the nation that performs in true rotating repertory, Asolo Rep’s highly skilled acting company and extensive craftsmanship bring to life this unique performance method that gives audiences the opportunity to see multiple productions in the span of a few days. Asolo Rep presents up to 10 productions each season, including contemporary and classic works and provocative musical theatre experiences. A theatre district in and of itself, Asolo Rep is committed to expanding its reach into the community, furthering its collaboration with the best theatre artists working in the industry today and cultivating new artists through its affiliation with the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards and Managing Director Linda DiGabriele, Asolo Rep’s ambitious theatrical offerings and ground-breaking education and community programming engage audiences and ensure its lasting legacy for future generations. Visit asolorep.org to learn more.

January 12March 26 / 2022