‘Our Town’ at ARTworks

Director JW Rone works with Elliot Chucta and Abigail Freeman.

“Our Town” opens Thursday, June 2, and is produced jointly by the Palmetto Theater Xperiment and Misspent Youth Productions, directed by JW Rone. The show is at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturdays, and Sundays at 3 p.m., until June 12. Thursday nights are “Pay What You Can.”

“I auditioned for this show for a couple of reasons,” said Benji Morgan, who is the music specialist at Red Cedar Elementary School. “One being that I have worked previously with JW Rone, in an  educational setting with 3rd grade students, and was anxious to see what he could teach me as an adult. I also wanted to grow my relationship with ARTworks by participating as well as attending performances there.”

Benji plays Simon Stimson, the music director in Our Town. “The role is  short and sweet, and totally me. As a music teacher and former music minister, I can relate to how Simon Stimson thinks  — though I’ve never been drunk either as a teacher or when working in the ministry.”

Michael Bible, a student at Beaufort Academy, auditioned because “I love acting, and I wanted to put on a great show. Meeting other actors gives me the chance to pick up some new techniques of my own, and “Our Town” has helped me find other fantastic people who share my passion for the theater. Elliot Chucta’s pantomiming is amazing; I love Ann Errington’s address to Editor Webb from the audience; I love Benji’s drunken stagger across the stage.”

Michael is playing Howie, and two other supporting roles too. “I like that my role establishes the immutable nature of Grovers Corners. My roles have graced me with challenging pantomime, including controlling my invisible (but all too real) horse Bessie. Best of all, I love that my character, Howie, has an eccentric love for discussing the weather. What fascinates me about “Our Town” is the way that Thorton Wilder has captured the very essence of a turn of the century American town.  I’m fascinated by the way in which the play presents daily life in an idyllic town both on and below the surface. In this play, I see an American playwright’s perfect preservation of what it was to be a New Englander in the early 20th century.”

“It’s an old play,” mentioned Benji Morgan. “Community theater is important because it allows me to get to know the community. I enjoy getting to work with different people, many whom I never met before doing this play, and it’s a great avenue to hone ones acting skills.

The theater production is accompanied by a juried art show in the gallery at ARTworks, 2127 Boundary St. Tickets to the play are $15 per person, $10 for students (13+), $5 for children (12 and under) and $10 for groups of 10 or more. www.ArtWorksInBeaufort.org.


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