Last night and for five nights more, the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts will be an extension of normal, picturesque Grovers Corners, N.H., as the Opelika High Theatre Society performs the classic American play: Thornton Wilder’s Our Town.
Theatre society director Revel Gholston said he was initially hesitant for the society to perform “Our Town,” as he said he preferred the theatre society to perform shows that were more outside the standard conventions.
“It’s just the most profilic play in American theatre, so maybe that’s why we’ve avoided it thus far,” Gholston said. “It’s not that we didn’t want to do it.”
Gholston said the show’s large cast has been enjoyable, as he’s seen an increase in upperclassmen joining theatrical productions.
“We do have a small group of senior leaders, but most of these actors are fresh faces who aren’t freshmen,” Gholston said. “A lot of juniors.”
One such junior is first-time actor M.J. Burton, who said the experience of performing has been a new and interesting challenge for him.
“This play really made me open my eyes to a lot of things about how we view life,” Burton said. “We have to learn to take something away from every day, to focus and really appreciate the small things.”
Senior Sarah Ann Keeter said she felt it was great to be able to perform a play she had read in English class last year.
“We read it as a junior, but reading it and performing it, you really see two completely different things,” Keeter said. “To get to be able to perform one of the classics of theatre as a senior is going to be something I’ll remember forever.”
Gholston said he hopes people will come out and enjoy the show, as the society is offering five shows after last night’s opening night.
There will be a Sunday matinee at 5 p.m. and the subsequent shows on Tuesday, Oct. 25, Wednesday, Oct. 26, Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29 are at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and are available at the doors.