LOHS honors the 75th anniversary of Our Town

by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - In the red cast, Thomas Curran plays Mr. Webb, left, and Alex Smith is George Gibbs in the blue cast.Before anyone donned paisley bell bottoms, before a television lit up every home, before the United States entered World War II, came the classic play about a love story in a little New Hampshire town.

Lovers of “Our Town” this year mark the 75th anniversary of the people of Grover’s Corners’ debut on Broadway. Lake Oswego High School Performance Seminar, a theater class, is paying tribute to Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work with a show at the school’s Black Box Theatre.

Director Bob McGranahan will draw the curtain on the story of the Gibbs and Webb families on Tuesday.

“It’s absolutely relevant today,” said McGranahan, a drama and health teacher. “Every really good play is about love because that’s what makes the world go around, and this play looks at that very huge concept from a bunch of different angles.”

McGranahan said the play is gentle and heartbreaking.

“If it’s done well there’s nowhere to run,” he said. “You can’t not be affected by it.”

The first act centers on a typical day in Grover’s Corners, the second on the love that blooms between George Gibbs and Emily Webb and the third on a young life cut REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Thomas Curran plays Mr. Webb, left, and Celeste Spangler is Mrs. Webb in the blue cast.

Performance seminar is a course at the school that offers an in-depth study and performance of a single script. Students cast the roles and take other leadership roles. There are two separate casts, red and blue, who alternate performances, so more students have a shot at larger roles.

Senior Celeste Spangler, who plays Mrs. Webb (blue cast) and Joe Stoddard (red cast), said the class attracts “people who maybe wouldn’t normally” try acting.

Senior Darby Hennessey scored one of the lead roles, Emily Webb, in the red cast.

“This is actually one of my favorite plays, so I was very excited,” said Hennessey, 17. “I wanted this part more than anything.”

She said the play “will bring tears to your eyes” because it has such an authentic feel.

“It’s just about an ordinary town, living an ordinary life, which you wouldn’t think would be so profound, but it is,” Hennessey said. “People, community — that’s what matters over money and houses and all the material wealth.”

The set sports few props, said Elin Hansen, a senior on exchange from Sweden.

“The actors bring on the environment, set the scene,” said Hansen, 18, who plays three parts, including Professor Willard.

How to attend

When: 7 p.m. May 28 to June 1 and again 2 p.m. June 1

Where: Lake Oswego High School Black Box Theatre, 2501 SW Country Club Road

Cost: $5 for students through college, $8 for general admission and $5 for seniors and children 12 and younger

INFO: Visit

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