By Sheena Barnett
TUPELO – The love stories, dramas and tragedies of every day life come alive in “Our Town,” presented next weekend by Tupelo High School’s Theatre Company.
“It’s focuses on the beauty of simplicity, of daily life, and living in the moment,” said director Lacey Carr. “It’s also about the simplicity of theater, so the focus is on acting.”
“Our Town,” which focuses on the lives in the small town of Grover’s Corners, features no props and only the most basic sets.
“They have to create an environment with dialogue and movements,” Carr said.
Death, Love and Marriage and Daily Life are all active participants in the play; actors representing the themes narrate the story and interact with the town’s citizens. Mary Ellen Cobb and Victoria Wise, both juniors, share Daily Life stage manager roles. Wise is also the Love and Marriage stage manager, and Cobb is the Death stage manager.
Not only does Wise’s character tell a love story, but she also serves as a minister at the wedding, for example.
“I connect to the audience, because I’m love. When they see me, they see love,” Wise said.
All of the actors are focusing on their movements and their words, since they can’t rely on a fancy set or elaborate props to tell the story. They mimic holding a cup, for instance.
“It’s definitely harder, not having a physical object to move. You’re making more deliberate moves,” said Katelyn Stieg, a junior who stars as Mrs. Webb.
“It’s almost like a dance. You pay attention to your muscles, like the way you clench your hand when you hold a cup,” Cobb said.
The actresses said “Our Town” was one of the most challenging plays they’d starred in at THS.
“It helps us use our imagination,” Wise said, “beyond anything else we’ve ever done before.”