Theater department to perform “Our Town” Oct. 7-9

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Photo by Emma Short

Senior Asad Bhimani rehearses a scene in Act II of “Our Town.” The show will be performed at 7 p.m. on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday night performances along with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m.

The varsity theater class will perform “Our Town” the nights of Oct. 7-9 in the auditorium. Tickets will be sold for $5 at the door.

The 1938 classic play takes on themes of loss in a fictional small town. Juniors Emma Foughty and Kyler Beck will play two of the lead roles, Emily and George Gibbs. 

“We read the script and we all loved it,” Foughty said. “I really like the show, it has a great message. It’s sad but also not just a negative show.”

New head theater director Scott Crew, who is directing “Our Town,” started teaching at Hebron this school year. After going through three theater directors in the last three years, students are feeling optimistic about Crew. 

“He is like a teddy bear with glasses,” Beck said. “He is so nice. I think he’s such a great change [for our program]. I like how he’s so organized and has such a positive, ‘go get ‘em’ attitude everyday — especially with such a big class — and I think he’s offering a lot of new [opportunities].”

Foughty is another student who likes the way Crew conducts himself in class. Foughty said the cast is constantly doing new activities and students are always working to improve themselves. Crew has many traditions implemented into his teaching, including something his students call “mindfulness moments.”

“Mr. Crew is so passionate about what he does,” Foughty said. “He has this yellow crystal bowl and a mallet. At the end of class, he’ll make us sit, close our eyes and just think through everything and relax so that we always end class on a positive note. That’s what I really like.”

Crew directed “Our Town” for the first time at the age of 33 or 34 when he directed at the college level, so now at the age of 60, the story resonates differently within him — especially after having lost people in his life. 

“There are so many beautiful parts to this play,” Crew said. “I don’t know that my [students] at the ages of 16, 17 [and] 18 totally get that, and I don’t know that they will. It’s not going to affect them, it’s not going to mean as much to them now, but when they’re older someday, they’ll look back on it and think ‘Oh, I get it,’ and that’s a wonderful thing.”

The play is unique in the sense that it does not use props or artificial sounds; the actors mime their actions without props while other students in the background make sounds congruent to the gestures. One of the reasons Crew proposed this script to his students was because of the situation the world is coming out of. He believes the beauty of the play is its discussion of people not appreciating the moments they have in life.

“The play talks about how none of us really ever appreciate what we have — no matter what it is,” Crew said. “Nothing’s promised in this life and we just have to respect it. As I always tell everybody, if one person sits in that audience and has an epiphany, then we did our job. It doesn’t have to [happen to] a bunch of people and it doesn’t even have to be the [students.]”

Once “Our Town” closes, the theater program will continue with its 2021-22 season and start rehearsals for their second fall show, “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing,” which will be taken and performed to feeder elementary schools, as well as performed in the cafeteria. Rehearsals for the musical, “Legally Blonde,” will also be held while the two varsity fall shows are happening; the cast list for “Legally Blonde” was posted Sept. 25. 

“I haven’t experienced [this much talent] in the schools that I’ve come from,” Crew said.  “Although they’re pretty good sized schools, I’ve never had the talent pool that I’ve had here, and it’s really hard for me [to cast.]”