UNO Theatre starts season with “Our Town”


Will Patterson

The University of Nebraska at Omaha Theatre has begun its 2017-2018 theater season with the production of “Our Town.”

“Our Town” is split into three acts about the town of Grover’s Corners at different points in time. Themes that are present throughout the play include love and death, which are intertwined in the citizen’s everyday lives.

The unique perspective of “Our Town” is immediately made apparent. The Stage Manager is the main character and narrator of the production. Throughout the performance, she refers directly to the audience.

Theatre Artistic Director and UNO professor Scott Glasser is directing UNO’s production of “ Our Town .”

“The audience is part of the show,” Glasser said. “It’s written that way originally. There’s actually questions for the audience that are part of the show.”

A globalist philosophy is present throughout the course of “Our Town.” The play seeks to portray the world through the daily lives of a small town.

“Our Town’ is our world,” Glasser said. “It’s the globe as a town.”

Playing on the performance’s inclusive themes, the UNO production will feature several international choirs. According to Glasser, the provided music helps “frame” the performance, allowing the audience to imagine the performance in various settings across the world.

The theme surrounding the UNO’s 2017-2018 theater season is revolution. While “Our Town” isn’t a performance about a literal revolution, it did forever change the face of theater when it was first performed in 1938.

“The scenery is the empty stage,” Glasser said. “That was revolutionary. After that there were many productions that tried to strip bare all the excess and just get down to the meaning of characters.”

In the original performance of “Our Town,” the theater was stripped down with only chairs or the audience and two ladders in the staging area. The theater set has been reimagined for UNO’s black box theater while still honoring the original vision. This has been done by suspending chairs above the performing area and two ladders in the back drop.

Theater Coordinator Steven Williams is happy to be revisiting and reimagining the first play with which he was ever involved. As the production’s set and light-ing designer, Williams is responsible for the unique appearance of the black box theater.

“There’s a connection that I’m hoping the audience makes with the scenic design from the message we’re trying to convey with the play itself,” Williams said.

The final design is the result of months of planning. Without knowing who the cast members or crew members would be, the play is built entirely from the ground up.

Remaining performances of “Our Town” will be on Oct. 4 through Oct. 7. The theater opens at 7 p.m. with the performance beginning at 7:30 p.m. UNO students can use their MavCard to get a free ticket to a performance.