Local politicians will have roles in "Our Town" STS performances

Members of the Shandaken Town Board and the two District Two Ulster County legislators (Don Gregorius and Brian Shapiro), along with Ulster County Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum, will be appearing in the Shandaken Theatrical Society’s next production, Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.” Performances are November 14-16 and 21-23; Friday and Saturday shows at 8 p.m., Sunday shows at 2 p.m.
This impressive array of VIPs will participate as members of the wedding and as a silent bank of “the dead” in the cemetery scene.
The play is directed by Linda Burkhardt and features Deborah Ann Warren (Stage Manager), Seraphina Mallon-Breiman (Emily Webb), Chris Luongo (George Gibbs), Alan Shevlo (Frank Gibbs), Amy Wallace (Myrtle Webb), Scott Patterson (Charles Webb), Ann Davies (Julia Gibbs) and Roger Karz (Simon Stimson), among many others.
Phoenicia is a fitting venue for “Our Town;” in many ways the place recalls Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, the setting of the play. Kids hang out in front of the corner grocery and recent moms push strollers down the sidewalks. Our Phoenicia is a real family town.
FDR, in the depths of the Depression, pointed out to the nation that the crisis we confronted was over merely material matters. The country’s spirit remained sound and healthy. With our current economic woes, it may be a good moment to take a step back from the race for consumables to turn our thoughts to more sustaining values. Surely this is what Wilder did when he sat down in 1938 to write “Our Town,” a play that over seven decades has attained an enduring place in the American and worldwide repertoire.
The play affectionately portrays small-town family life, while gently critiquing it in light of larger matters: mortality, love and eternal truths. The work is anything but heavy-handed. It gives pleasure while unobtrusively provoking thought. The late Paul Newman starred as the Stage Manager in a PBS-aired production, available on DVD. He considered it one of his favorite roles.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for STS members, seniors and students. Reservations: 845 688-2279.