PLAYWRIGHT THORNTON WILDER changed theater forever with his play Our Town.
“The way the play is written is very natural and basic,” says Megan Truillio, who is directing a production of Our Town at Savannah Children’s Theatre “It’s never really done with a set.
“There are invisible props. the outline of houses, the outline of windows,” she says. “If somebody is feeding chickens or watering flowers, there are no real chickens, no real flowers.”
The production is quite a departure for the Savannah Children’s Theatre. “There are no big bright colors and magical animals,” Truillio says.
“Thornton Wilder wanted to get the message across that there are things in life, everyday things, that we take for granted. We go through life and don’t notice things like colors, the way our mother has her hair, the way father looks, what breakfast they made for us as children, and before you know it, it’s over.
“The play has three acts,” Truillio says. “The first act is youth and childhood and growing up. The second is love and marriage. The third act is death.
“We have all these people we haven’t seen in the first and second acts who have died. They’re talking about life and regret so many things they took for granted.”
The main characters are George Gibbs and Emily Webb, who grow up together and get married. Emily dies in childbirth, but gets to go back and relive one day of her life.
“The way I’ve decided to do the show is different from most productions,” Truillio says. “When she goes back to life, everything will be in color and the colors are brighter, there is actual bacon on an actual plate.”
The play is probably not for younger children because they’re not going to understand it, Truillio says. “It’s for middle school and up just because it’s not very pretty to look at,” she says.
The actors are high school students enrolled in the Savannah Children’s Theatre Performance Ensemble. “It’s an audition-only group, kind of the cream of the crop,” Truillio says.
The play is thought-provoking, Truillio says. “You learn a lot of yourself,” she says. “It’s very self-reflective. Even as I watch, I think, ‘What are things I take for granted? What are the moments I’m supposed to remember?
“It’s a sad play and a powerful message for high school students,” Truillio says. “It’s life -- it’s what happens.”
Savannah Children’s Theatre presents Our TownWhen: April 4 and 11 at 7 p.m. and April 5, 6, 12 and 13 at 3 p.m.Where: Savannah Children's Theatre, 2160 E Victory Dr.Cost: $10.Info: www.savannahchildrenstheatre.org