Our Town A Hit A Smash Hit

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Jaclyn Stroud did a remarkable job narrating Our Town as the Stage Manager. (Photos by David Rosenzweig)
Jaclyn Stroud did a remarkable job narrating Our Town as the Stage Manager.
(Photos by David Rosenzweig)

Audiences were taken on an emotional roller coaster ride, witnessing ordinary lives unfold in small-town America during the turn of the century, as they watched performances of Our Town at The Wheatley School on Nov. 20 to 22.

Chronicling the life, marriage and death of the Webb and Gibbs families, the ultimate message of this three-act 1938 Pulitzer Prize–winning Thorthon Wilder drama is that life should be valued.

The play starred East Hill’s Josh Dinetz as Dr. Gibbs. Roslyn Height’s Elan Mizhiritsky portrayed Howie Newsome, Sufia Ainechi played “Simple Gifts” on the violin and Talia Rosen was assistant director. Albertson’s Caroline Crimmins was Joe Crowell and Hallie ArbitalJacoby played a Woman in the Audience and Joe Stoddard.

Hallie ArbitalJacoby portrayed undertaker Joe Stoddard discussing the difficult day with funeral guest Samantha Craig, played by Ariana Arralde.

In the emotional Act 3, Hallie ArbitalJacoby portrayed undertaker Joe Stoddard, discussing the difficult day with funeral guest Samantha Craig, played by Ariana Arralde.

Portraying an extended family on stage has bonded the Wheatley Theater Company—a talented, close-knit group of eighth- to 12th-graders, many of whom plan to focus on performing or working behind the scenes as they head off to college.

This was the second Wheatley drama for English teacher Colin McKenna, who directed The Laramie Project last fall. Technology teachers Paul Chisholm and Thomas Storck were the technical advisors and set design team, and Megan Lang was the lighting designer.

Students Avery Tanenhaus and Sal Ingardia were the technical directors, Hunter Krasinski was the lighting operator, Bert Cumming was the sound operator, Peter Frey and Ilan Zarin oversaw the spotlight, Arturo Asselta was the technical assistant and Aly Brier was the production assistant.

In the emotional Act 3, Hallie ArbitalJacoby portrayed undertakerJoe Stoddard, discussing the difficult day with funeral guest Samantha Craig, played by Ariana Arralde.

Ariana Arralde played out-of-town funeral guest Samantha Craig. (Photo by David Rosenzweig)
Ariana Arralde played out-of-town funeral guest Samantha Craig. (Photo by David Rosenzweig)

“The play’s profound message has special resonance for our students as they exhaustively prepare for their adult lives,” said director McKenna. “Wilder reminds us, regardless of career or status, that all lives have a unique majesty and sublime grace. It is not what you do in life, but how you live life. Each of our lives, each of our jagged paths through time, is an absolute wonder, a stunning miracle.”

The Wheatley Theater Company is already planning their spring musical, Little Shop of Horrors, for March 26 to 28. Visit wheatleytheater.weebly.com for news, pictures and tickets.

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Sheri ArbitalJacoby brought more than three decades of publishing experience at national magazines to her former position as editor of the Great Neck Record. She also wrote decorating, travel, food and green articles for Long Island Weekly and Anton Media Group's special sections.

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