A modern version of ‘Our Town’ hits the high school
By ELIZABETH SHEPHERD
Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber Arts Editor
November 17, 2009 · 12:09 PM
Vashon High School drama students will present an original take on one of the most beloved plays in the American theater canon, with four performances of “It’s a Wilder World Today: Our Town Revisited” scheduled for Thursday through Sunday.
The play is based on Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” but with a twist: The action is set on Vashon Island.
Stephen Floyd, the VHS teacher who is directing the production, said the students in his advanced theater arts class began work on “It’s a Wilder World Today” in September, starting with in-depth look at Wilder’s play.
Several weeks of writing scenes and monologues followed, and in rehearsal the students shaped the script into a story line that focuses, like the original play, on a relationship between two young people, George and Emily.
“The script explores how life has changed, as well as what universal experiences remain the same, over the course of a century in small-town America,” said Floyd.
The structure of the play follows Wilder’s original, with scenes about daily life, a middle section about romance and a final scene that reflects on life and death.
Floyd said the result of all the students’ work on the project is a play with a lot of humor amidst serious and thoughtful overtones — but it is not for all ages.
“If the play were a film, it would be rated PG-13, with language that some parents may find inappropriate for small children,” Floyd said.
He went on to explain that the play also contains material about adolescent sexuality, a scene that shows how some of our Island teens party and timely references to “grinding” at high school dances.
“It’s a Wilder World” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 19-21, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, at Vashon High School Theatre. Tickets, sold at the door, cost $5. Parental guidance is suggested for children 13 and younger.Contact Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber Arts Editor Elizabeth Shepherd at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-463-9195.