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Thorton Wilder’s American classic, "Our Town", to be produced at SUNY New Paltz

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03/31/2008

NEW PALTZ -- Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it –
every, every minute? Emily, Act III


Actors: Larissa Goldberg as Rebecca Gibbs and Evan Teich as George Gibbs

The Department of Theatre Arts of the State University of New York at New Paltz presents the Pulitzer Prize-winning play

Our Town
by Thornton Wilder

Directed by Nancy Saklad, assistant professor of Theatre Arts at SUNY New Paltz.

Guest appearances by SUNY New Paltz president Steve Poskanzer, Dean Kurt Daw, Frank Trezza,
Bruce Silver, Everton Henriques, Paul Kassel and Paul Zuckerman.


April 24, 25, 26 and May 1, 2, 3, at 8:00 p.m.

Matinee performances on
April 27 and May 4 at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets: $16 general reserved and $14 reserved senior/staff/student.

Purchased online now at www.newpaltz.edu/theatre

Beginning April 14 tickets may also be purchased at the Box Office

located in Parker Theatre.

Hours: Monday thru Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

(845) 257-3880.

First produced in 1938, Our Town has become America’s most loved and performed play, and is considered Wilder’s most celebrated achievement. Set at the turn of the 20th century, the play reveals the ordinary lives of the people (particularly the lives of George Gibbs, a doctor’s son; and Emily Webb, the daughter of a newspaper editor) in a fictional community – Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. Gibbs is an up-and-coming baseball star, while Webb is a conscientious, serious-minded student. As the two grow up, they fall in love and marry, but shortly thereafter they face tragedy and Emily comes to realize how precious life is. Although an uplifting play, Our Town, nonetheless confronts the darker side of the realities of life at the turn of the century.

In mounting this production, director Nancy Saklad felt that the strong sense of community portrayed in Grover’s Corners had to be present in the SUNY New Paltz production. “I wanted Our Town, to reflect our town,” said Saklad. “So, I approached faculty members from the Theatre Department and other individuals from the university to be in the show.” Obvious she was very persuasive, since she was able to recruit New Paltz community members to work on the production, including President Steve Poskanzer, who is appearing as Howie Newsome, the local milkman. Other guest appearances include Kurt Daw, Dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts; Bruce Silver, International Studies; Everton Henriques, Foundation Board; Paul Kassel, Associate Professor, Theatre Arts; and Paul Zuckerman, Associate Professor, Computer Science.

Guiding the audience through the show is the Stage Manager, played by Dr. Frank Trezza, chair of the Department of Theatre Arts and producer of Our Town. “This is the fifth time I have worked on the play – as an actor (previously playing Doc Gibbs) this is my second time in the play,” said Trezza. “I have also directed and produced it before, and I always learn something new. It is such a rich play, and the themes are so timeless that it never loses its relevance.”

About the director

Nancy Saklad is an assistant professor of theatre arts at the State University of New York at New Paltz and has directed The Importance of Being Earnest and Stop Kiss. Saklad is also a vocal coach and has worked regionally with The Shadowland Theatre in Ellenville, NY, and The Pearl Theatre in NYC. She is a certified Fitzmaurice voice associate and will gain certification in Chekhov work this summer. Saklad earned her MFA in Theatre/Directing from Purdue University.