Milligan College will present the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Our Town,” by Thornton Wilder, featuring an all-star cast of the college’s students, faculty, staff and alumni in honor of Milligan’s sesquicentennial celebration which kicks off at Homecoming, Oct. 24.
The play will run Oct. 22-24 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 25 at 2:30 p.m. in the McGlothlin-Street Theatre located in the college’s Gregory Center. All seats are $5, and tickets are currently on sale in Milligan’s bookstore, (423) 461-8733. A free matinee will take place Oct. 23 at 10 a.m.
“This fall marks the kick off to Milligan’s sesquicentennial celebration, and I wanted to do a piece of theatre which emphasizes the qualities that make Milligan such a unique place,” said Professor of Theatre Richard Major, who serves as director of the play. “The story of ‘Our Town’ represents a beautiful slice of Americana and the truly meaningful aspects of life one experiences in a small town.”
Set in the early 20th century, “Our Town” is about a fictional American town, Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, told through the everyday lives of its citizens.
The play is noted for its minimal use of props and scenery and the character Stage Manager, portrayed by Milligan alum Garry Smith (’78), who supplies the narrative of the plot and interacts with the audience.
“Our Town” was designed by Pamela Adolphi, Milligan’s technical director and resident designer for theatre, and features original music by alum Bradley Eastridge (’09).
“As the play unfolds, I believe audiences will not only bear witness to how the play resembles life at a small college like Milligan,” said Major, “they also will see it as a mirror reflection of the towns and cities they grew up in or the communities where they currently reside.”
The cast includes faculty members Dr. Paul Blowers, professor of church history, as Doc Gibbs; Jim Dahlman, associate professor of communications, as Editor Webb; Dr. Tim Dillon, professor of history and humanities, as Professor Willard; Dr. Heather Hoover, associate professor of English, as Mrs. Gibbs; and Hoover’s son, Owen, as Wally Webb.
Several Milligan alums featured in the show are Heather Knudtsen (’11), cast as Mrs. Webb; B.J. Krug (‘09), playing Joe Stoddard; and Smith. George Lane, son of alumna Caroline Kangwa (‘15), will play Joe/Si Crowell.
Students include sophomore Joshua Bullen, of Abingdon, Va., as Sam Craig; junior Briana Florian, of Waxhaw, N.C., as Rebecca Gibbs; senior Tori Giblin, of Avon, Ind., as Mrs. Soames; junior Riley Lis, of Knoxville, Tenn., as Constable Warren; junior Jacob McGlamery, of Mountain City, Tenn., as Howie Newsome; senior Laura Mixon, of Kingsport, as Emily Webb; senior Gabe Rees, of Redford, Mich., as George Gibbs; and senior Andrew Wissmann, of Johnson City, as Simon Stimson.
Founded in 1866, Milligan celebrates 150 years of scholarship, community and faith in 2016. More events are planned throughout the school year. For more information on Milligan arts and 150th events, visit milligan.edu/arts.