Our Town

Written by Thornton Wilder
Directed by Brian de Salvo
Performed in The Mill Theatre, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin - May 2006

Our Town
The Mill Theatre in the Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin was officially opened by President Mary McAleese on Thursday 4 May 2006. The opening ceremony was followed by a performance (one of ten) of 'Our Town'. This production was a co-operative venture involving five local societies:

  • Balally Players
  • Glencullen Musical and Drama Society
  • Rathfarnham Theatre Group
  • Sandyford Little Theatre
  • Taney Dramatic Society
Mill Theatre logo

 

The Play and the Playwright

'Our Town' is all about life and people living in Grover's Corner, New Hampshire. To quote the play - "This is the way we were in the provinces north of New York at the beginning of the twentieth century". Throughout the three-act play, we learn details about the town, the families and individuals who live there, love, marriage, life and death. "In a nutshell, this is an age of transition." said Thornton Wilder in a 1973 interview. "An age of transition is difficult for everybody. But it is an exciting age. Something is straining to be born."

 

That sense of becoming is what makes Thornton Wilder's work so affecting and indelible, and with Our Town, our season comes full circle to set a nation's life against the background of eternity. An inexhaustible scholar, whose range and vast knowledge earned him the nickname 'The Library', Wilder was still capable of astonishing simplicity. His directness is often misperceived as naïveté, but both his vision and his technique are more complex than Wilder is commonly given credit for. Born in Middle America and noted for his characteristic enthusiasm and humility, Wilder was also a passionate innovator attracted not only to classicists such as Goethe and Lope de Vega, but to progressive modernists like Joyce, Eliot. Pound, and Wilder's friend and mentor, Gertrude Stein. Wilder's America, far from a provincial, reactionary, and nostalgic community as it is often misperceived, is an ideal, embracing a wide array of influences. It is significant that his archetypal American play was inspired by the stagecraft of China and Japan, as well as the English Renaissance, the Spanish Golden Age, and Luigi Pirandello.

 

You can read more about the play, the author and the production which starred Paul Newman, on the Masterpiece_Theatre page of the PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) website. PBS, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is a public not-for-profit media enterprise owned and operated by the 348 public television stations in the United States.

President Mary McAleese
President Mary McAleese opened the Mill Theatre on Thursday 4 May 2006

 

Pictur eused on poster
Emily Webb, played by Niamh Daly and
the Stage Manager, played by Declan Brennan

 

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Cast
in order of appearance

Stage Manager
Dr Gibbs
Joe Crowell Junior
Howie Newsome
Mrs Gibbs
Mrs Webb
George Gibbs
Rebecca Gibbs
Wally Webb
Emily Webb
Professor Willard
Mr Webb
1st woman questioner
Man questioner
2nd woman questioner
Simon Stimson
Mrs Soames
Constable Warren
Si Crowell
Baseball Players

Joe Stoddard
Sam Craig
Farmer McCarthy
Woman among the dead
Man among the dead
Mourners


Declan Brennan
Gordon Bell
Oran O'Rua
Patrick O'Malley
Nuala Kirby
Muriel Caslin-O'Hagan
Basil Ashmawy
Jacqueline Dooley
Kevin McMahon
Niamh Daly
Niall O'Kennedy
Brian O'Connor
Carmel Cullen
Ned Kelly
Maria O'Meara
Kevin Fahey
Angela Mills
Tom Ronayne
Oran O'Rua
John O'Brien, Oran O'Rua
and Ned Kelly
Jim Carroll
Columb Casey
Brendan Dunne
Maria O'Meara
Niall O'Kennedy
Doris Cullen, Teresa Dempsey,
Luke Dunford, Seamus Neeson,
Patrick Hand
Crew
Production Manager
Stage Director
ASM
ASM
Stage Crew
Set Design
Set Construction

Lighting Design
Lighting Operator
Sound Design
Costume Design
Wardrobe
Props
Make up
Choirmaster
Organist
Choir



Programme
Photography for Programme
Programme design/print

Producer

Director
Paul Macken
Lynn Pennefather
Maria O'Meara
Angela Power
Patrick Hand, Carmel Cullen
Michael Doyle
Martin Keane, Dermot Doyle
and Mike Doyle
Paul Macken
Stephen Dodd
Lorcan Cosgrave and Loren Harnett Helen Kane
Claire Behan and Sue Farrell
Judy Rooney
Patricia Lynam
Tony Kane
Dervila Sloan
Jacqueline Dooley, Mirella McIlvenna, Niamh Holland, Seamus Neeson, Luke Dunford, Linda Nolan
and Anne Lucas
Gary Wall
John Burns
Richard Howlett (Concept2Print)

Karen Carleton

Brian de Salvo
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Our Town at the Mill Theatre
Mrs Gibbs (Nuala Kirby) and her son George (Basil Ashmawy) rehearsing part of the wedding scene from the second act of 'Our Town' at the Mill Theatre.

 

Our Town poster

Thornton Wilder's immortal tale of love, marriage, death and daily life
won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1938.
'an informal, intimate and compelling human drama'
'a poetic chronicle of life and death'

 

The Groups Involved

Five drama groups, based in and around the Dundrum area, have the Mill Theatre as their prestigious base, which they share for three months of the year. Members from each of the five groups worked together on this first production in the Mill Theatre.

The five societies are:

  • Balally Players
  • Glencullen Musical and Drama Society
  • Rathfarnham Theatre Group
  • Sandyford Little Theatre
  • Taney Dramatic Society

 

The Poster

Our Town poster



To view a copy of the poster for 'Our Town' in Adobe Reader format (version 5 or later) just click on this link to the Our Town poster.

To save a copy, right-click on the link and select "Save Target As...""

 

 

 

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Cast and crew of 'Our Town'Cast and crew on stage at one of the final rehearsals



The photograph of the Cast and Crew taken on stage in the Mill Theatre at one of the Dress Rehearsals is available here for downloading. It does not include everyone as some were not present at that rehearsal. The image is available in two versions. The higher resolution image (which will take much longer to download on a dial-up connection to the Internet) will give a reasonably good result when used to make a copy on a colour printer. The lower resolution image will work well when viewed on screen.

To download a copy of the group photograph, right-click on one of the links below and select "Save Picture As..." To see the photograph, just left-click on one of the following links.

Picture Gallery

Photographs from productions are stored on the SmugMug.com site. The Balally Players SmugMug account allows for the viewing and downloading of images at various sizes. The slideshow below can be run and stopped by clicking on the play (>) and pause (¦¦) icons in the centre of the large image. You can move forward and back by clicking on the right or left of the image. To go to the gallery of these images stored in the Balally Players pages of the SmugMug site, double click on the main image below, where you can see and download larger copies of the images or visit www.balally.smugmug.com

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The Director

Brian de Salvo
Brian de Salvo, Director

The play was directed by Brian de Salvo. Brian's career spans many worlds - geographically and culturally. Born in Malta, he grew up and worked in England and has spent the last few decades in Ireland. In the world of advertising he was an award winning writer and later producer and director of television commercials. He continues to have connections with that part of the business through his work as voice over artist and producer. In the theatre, his directing credits cover a broad range of work including the following:

 

The Abbey
The Patrick Pearse Motel by Hugh Leonard (subsequently revived)
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
The Gate
Taking Steps by Alan Ayckbourn (subsequently revived and toured)
Two Faced (Revue with Rosaleen Linehan and Des Keogh transferred to Gaiety)
The Mask of Moriarty by Hugh Leonard
The Gaiety
Sinbad (pantomine)
Mother Goose (pantomine)
Taking Steps by Alan Ayckbourn (revival)
The Olympia
Bugsy Malone
The Riverbank
Hamlet by William Shakespeare (Second Age)
Focus Theatre
A View From the Bridge by Arthur Miller (transferred to Andrews Lane)
Men Without Shadows by Jean-Paul Satre
Picnic by William Ince
Awake and Sing by Clifford Odets
John Gabriel Borkmann by Henrik Ibsen

Brian de Salvo
Brian de Salvo directing some of the cast at rehearsal in the Mill Theatre

 

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The Theatre

Mill Theatre logo

The theatre in the Dundrum Town Centre, officially opened its doors on Thursday 4 May 2006. It is a state of the art multi-functional arts centre that presents the best in theatre, music, dance, comedy, art, children's shows and much more. It is a very well-equipped performance space with just over 200 seats, raked and retractable, two dressing rooms, a green room, rehearsal space, workshop space and a large foyer and bar. The standard of facilities is such that it is also ideal for corporate events, radio and television presentations.

 

Work on the fit out of the building was done between January and April 2006 and was undertaken by Sisk & Co.

 

 

Mill Theatre Dundrum
The theatre (part of the building on the right) in the Town Square, the heart of the Dundrum Town Centre. This picture was taken just before it opened its doors to the public on 4 May 2006..
Mill Theatre
The main theatre space, photographed when the Committees of the five local drama societies met there on Monday 10 April 2006 to see the facilities and to be briefed on how preparations for the opening were progressing.
Karen Carleton
Karen Carleton, who was also Producer of 'Our Town', introducing members of the five Committees to the theatre facilities.

 

The Mill Theatre is beside the Mill Pond in the Town Square area of the Dundrum Town Centre.

Dundrum Centre area map

Car Parking is available in the Dundrum Town Centre Car Parks and the theatre is a few minutes walking distance from either the Dundrum (north) or Balally (south) Luas stations.

The Theatre Board

The members of the Board of Directors of the Mill Theatre when the theatre was opened (in alphabetical order):

Sebastian Barry, Author & Playwright
Karen Carleton, Drama League of Ireland
Lorcan Cosgrave, Dublin Folk Group / Dundrum Festival
Myles Dungan, Taney Dramatic Society
David Harvey, Chairman
Maria King, Rathfarnham Theatre Group
Pat Kinsley, Glencullen Musical & Drama Society
Tony McGettigan, Balally Players
Joe McPartlin, Sandyford Little Theatre
Mary Mullen, Glencullen Theatre Group
Gary Wall, Balally Players
Appointee, Glenrye Developments

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