Special to the Recorder
The Ponte Vedra High School theater department showcased its production of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” last weekend.
Directed by the head of the drama department, Jason Nettle, the play in three acts tells the story of two young lovers and their journey through life in a small town. Although the couple has troubles, by the end they realize what is really important.
The local high school’s rendition of Thornton Wilder’s masterpiece opened with a rustic stage setting lined with numerous picture frames. The set design of antique furniture and pastoral clothing set a proper precedent for the environment of a conservative midwestern American town.
Junior Mason Ebert played several roles, acting as the stage manager and narrating the play for the audience. Ebert was perfect for the job as he carefully articulated each line, depicting beautiful scenery, and even hopped in as other characters during the play.
Sophomore Kathleen Vergnolle and junior Graham Corbett acted as the main characters — Emily Webb and George Gibbs, respectively. Vergnolle and Corbett both encapsulated the play’s themes of love and pain. The connection between the characters felt not only genuine, but tender as well. The powerful wedding scene provided insight to the challenges of marriage and hinted at the struggles to come for the characters.
Other noteworthy performances came from junior Jasmine Hurt acting as Mrs. Gibbs, and seniors Sebastian Carson as Dr. Gibbs, Sydney Scott as Mrs. Webb and Ty Lewin as Mr. Webb.
In the program guide, Nettle snuck in a letter for the audience to be opened after the show. In this letter, he justified his choice of the rather somber play.
“The dead in the show realize that we waste our time on earth because we’re too busy ‘living’ and missing what’s important … Don’t waste any of your moments,” Nettle wrote.
The seemingly somber play presents a realistic and ultimately positive outlook that still resonates today more than 80 years after its original publication.
Ponte Vedra High School’s drama department will present its next production, “Seussical,” April 11 to 14.
John Lancaster is a student at Ponte Vedra High School.