There is a stage manager on the stage. He can shuttle back and forth between different times and spaces at will. He can magically pause, fast forward and rewind the specific time. He can also shift the scenes and locations of the incidents. Today, he would like to tell a story about “life.” The whole story takes place in a small town filled with sweet scent of jasmine flowers.
The stage manager observes people in the town from their birth to death. He especially cares about two families from their new beginning to the next generation. These two cute families are the Chen family and the Ai family. Chen Shao-wei and Emily are childhood sweethearts. Later they fall in love with each other and get married. Nine years after their marriage, Emily dies of obstructed labor. However, as her soul still has a sentimental attachment to this world, she begs God to give her one more chance back to the most important day in her life.
Our Town reflects how to value and cherish life by describing the pieces of life of the two families and one loving couple, from their childhood, marriage, to death. Surrounded by the warm and sweet atmosphere, the whole play expresses the quest of ordinariness, simplicity, serenity, care, responsibility and love. When watching this play, the audience is able to contemplate the mystery of life, viewing this world with the consistent historical view. The questions about life within this play are eternal and ageless.
◇ For more information of Wilde's Our Town, please visit the website: https://www.thorntonwilder.com/our-town
｜Artist Credits (2014 version)｜
Script Thornton N. Wilder
Director James Chi-Ming Liang
Costume Design Ping -Ping Pamerla Chin
Lighting Design An-Huei Tsao
Set Designe Shih-Chi Li
Music Arrangement Chris Babida
Visual Design Ethan Wang
Music Consultant Ringo Ling-Chia Chan
Stage Manager Nuo-Hsing Huang
The first version: 1989/3/19, The Youth Cultural and Artistic Center
The latest version: 2014/1/8, National Centre for the Performing Arts of China
Our Town faithfully represents local customs and human warmth, arousing the audience’s pleasant recollection and yearn for the sweet life in the past. With the tranquility and delight of sharing life, the heartwarming and lively performance of the actors and actresses wins great recognition from people from all walks of life. This play has been reinterpreted numerous times with seven versions. It has become one of the landmark productions of the Godot Theatre Company with the most versions. The latest version toured not only in Taiwan, but also around city overseas, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Xiamen. The leading actress, Vega Tsai, who plays the role of a leaving soul having sentimental attachment to this world, amazed thousands of people with her natural and touching acting and garnered the Modern Drama Valley One Drama Award for the Best Actress in 2015. The jury commented on her performance that “You may understand something only when you are dead—however, as long as you watch her performance, you will understand.”