As reported by Dan Clark of the Idaho Statesman, Thornton Wilder’s 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Our Town is coming to Norristown, Pennsylvania to help a good cause. On December 20 and 21, employees of Montgomery County Emergency Services will be putting on Our Town in Building 33 – a theater on the grounds of the Norristown State Hospital.
The cast includes MCES crisis workers, case managers, social workers, registered nurses, psychiatric technicians, allied therapists, administration – many of whom have never been in a play or, at least not for several decades. Gabriel Nathan, the play’s director and a development specialist at MCES, said it wasn’t hard to find people for the various roles. “I kind of depended on the fact that I know theater and I know Our Town and I know the people at MCES. I just kind of picked people whose voices that I heard while I was reading the play over,” he said. The idea to stage a production of Our Town came from the staff’s deep affection for one another, the desire to collaborate on something unifying, creative, and honest to enhance morale and be more accessible to the wider community.
To see the MCES staff’s performance of Our Town is free. However, playgoers can make a donation to the MCES Patient Fund. Money from the patient fund goes towards the benefit of the patients. “For the patients that unfortunately have to be hospitalized during Christmas, they get a gift bag filled with all kinds of good stuff. That stuff is either donated or it’s purchased with money from the patient fund,” Nathan explained. “It’s all things that benefit those hospitalized at MCES.”
The MCES staff will be putting on two performances of Our Town, one on December 20 at 7:30pm and one on December 21 at 2pm. For additional information, visit the MCES website.
For more inside details and commentary on this unique venue, read the complete article, “A unique stage for this rendition of ‘Our Town,'” by visiting the Idaho Statesman website.