Our Town (2015)

Our Town 2015 Main Promo Image
Composed by Ned Rorem
Libretto by J.D. McClatchy
Based on the play by Thornton Wilder

Conducted by Stuart Martin
Directed by Jessica Derventzis
Costume Coordination by Betty Kolodziej

By arrangement with Boosey & Hawkes, Inc., publisher and copyright owner.

Welcome to Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire and 1901. Meet two families, the Gibbs and the Webbs and their neighbours and friends. Watch childhood friends Emily Webb and George Gibbs grow up, dream about the future and discover what is important to them. Turn the pages of time and gauge your own impact on the world and your community. This thought-provoking opera is based on Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize winning play from 1938.

Performance Dates and Locations

Fort Edmonton Park
June 19, 2015 at 7:30pm – Band Shell (Outdoor)
June 20, 2015 at 3:00pm & 7:30pm – Band Shell (Outdoor)
June 21, 2015 at 7:30pm – Capitol Theatre (Indoor)

Please Note: All OUTDOOR PERFORMANCES will be moved into the Capitol Theatre if weather conditions are not IDEAL or if mosquitoes are insistent on moving us indoors! The decision to move indoors may be made before a performance or during intermission.

This production is generously sponsored by

Cook Counselling Services Ltd.

Ticket Information      

Individual tickets available May 1, 2015

5% GST will apply to all Fort Edmonton Park performances.

Band Shell Outdoor Performances (June 19 & 20)
Advance Tickets: Adults $26 / Seniors $22 / Students $18
At the Door: Add $4 to the above prices.

Capital Theatre Indoor Performance (June 21)
Advance Tickets: Adults $30 / Seniors $26 / Students $22
At the Door: Add $4 to the above prices.

Individual tickets are available beginning May 1st, 2015:

Please Note: If you would like to purchase tickets for multiple events at different venues, we recommend purchasing by phone through our box office at (780) 487-4844 to make your ticketing experience as smooth and easy as possible.

Fort Edmonton Park Add-Ons      

Picnic Baskets – $17.00 + GST per person
(Available through Hotel Selkirk – see below)

These “old timey picnic baskets” include:

  • Fresh Veggies with Dill Dip
  • Salad of your choice
  • Sandwich of your choice
  • Fresh Fruit Cup
  • Homemade fudge Brownies
  • Bottled Water

Pre-order your Dinner Basket to enjoy on the hillside before or during the show.
Contact the Hotel Selkirk to place your order at hotelselkirk@edmonton.ca

Sunday Family Dinner – June 21, 2015
Hosted by Hotel Selkirk, Fort Edmonton Park

Celebrate Father’s day with the entire family without cooking! Dine at the Hotel Selkirk before the show starting at 5:00pm. The NUOVA Festival will set the mood with vintage music and a pre-show talk all about Our Town and Thornton Wilder’s inspirations. Then move into the Capitol Theatre for the only indoor performance. Space is limited so book your table early!

Cast List     

Role June 19 & 20, 7:30 pm June 20, 3:00 pm & June 21, 7:30 pm
Dr. Gibbs Simon Chalifoux Simon Chalifoux
Emily Webb Elizabeth Polese Allison Walmsley
Frank Alexis Wilkinson Alexis Wilkinson
George Gibbs Robert Popoli Adam Sperry
Joe Crowell Grayson Nesbitt Grayson Nesbitt
Lady in the Balcony Allison Walmsley Elizabeth Polese
Man in the Audience David Boan John Johnston
Mr. Webb Eric Epp Eric Epp
Mrs. Gibbs Cristina Lanz Jamie Groote
Mrs. Soames Meghan Goguen Susanne Reimer
Mrs. Webb Leslie Bickle Molly Luhta
Sam Adam Sperry Robert Popoli
Simon Stimson Ross Mortimer Arthur Boan
Stage Manager John Johnston David Boan
Ensemble Katherine Mayba, Valerie Poisson, Jamie Groote, Jesse Setka

Full Synopsis     

Synopsis of the Thornton Wilder play, from Wikipedia

Act I: Daily Life
The Stage Manager introduces the audience to the small town of Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, and the people living there as a morning begins in the year 1901. Joe Crowell delivers the paper to Doc Gibbs, Howie Newsome delivers the milk, and the Webb and Gibbs households send their children off to school on this beautifully simple morning.

Act II: Love and Marriage
Three years pass and George and Emily prepare to wed. The day is filled with stress. Howie Newsome is delivering milk in the pouring rain while Si Crowell, younger brother of Joe, laments how George's baseball talents will be squandered. George pays an awkward visit with his soon-to-be in-laws. Here, the Stage Manager interrupts the scene and takes the audience back a year, to the end of Emily and George's junior year. Emily confronts George about his pride, and over an ice cream soda, they discuss the future and their love for each other. George resolves not to go to college, as he had planned, but to work and eventually take over his uncle's farm. The wedding follows where George, in a fit of nervousness, tells his mother that he is not ready to marry, and Emily tells her father she is not ready to marry either, but they both calm down and accept their proposals happily.

Act III: Death and Dying
The Stage Manager opens the act with a lengthy monologue emphasizing eternity, and introduces us to the cemetery outside of town and the characters who died in the nine years since Act Two: Mrs Gibbs (pneumonia, while traveling), Wally Webb (burst appendix, while camping), Mrs. Soames, and Simon Stimson (suicide by hanging), among others. We meet the undertaker, Joe Stoddard, and a young man named Sam Craig who has returned home for his cousin's funeral. We learn that his cousin is Emily, who died giving birth to her and George's second child. The funeral ends and Emily emerges to join the dead. Then Mrs. Gibbs tells her that they must wait and forget the life that came before, but Emily refuses. Despite the warnings of Simon, Mrs. Soames, and Mrs. Gibbs, Emily decides to return to Earth to relive just one day, her 12th birthday. She finally finds it too painful, and realizes just how much life should be valued, "every, every minute." Poignantly, she asks the Stage Manager whether anyone realizes life while they live it, and is told, "No. The saints and poets, maybe – they do some." She then returns to her grave, beside Mrs. Gibbs, watching impassively as George kneels weeping at her graveside. The Stage Manager concludes the play, and wishes the audience a good night.