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‘Our Town’ by Teen Guild Builders opens Friday

The Teen Guild Builders of the Actors Guild of Parkersburg will present Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” at the Guild Playhouse on Market Street where the show opens 8 p.m. Friday. From left, Cate Evans as Rebecca Gibbs, Braden Deguzman as George Gibbs and Althea Koskey as Mrs. Gibbs. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

PARKERSBURG — “Our Town,” the American classic by Thornton Wilder, will open 8 p.m. Friday by the Teen Guild Builders at the Actors Guild of Parkersburg.

Under the direction of Lori Ullman and assistant directors Joe Reeves and Doug Parks, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play first performed in 1938 will enjoy a six-show run at the Actors Guild Playhouse on Market Street.

Show dates are 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, June 25 and June 26, and 2:30 p.m. matinees on Sunday and June 27. Tickets are $15 and are available at the Actors Guild at actors-guild.com.

“Our Town,” conceived by Wilder while he was studying in Rome in 1920, takes place from 1901-1913 in the fictional Grover’s Corner, N.H., and is about the circle of life of the residents.

The talented performers in the Teen Guild Builders will bring a slice of American history to the stage, according to Ullman.

Willow Peyton, the narrator, in the first scene of act 1 of “Our Town” by the Teen Guild Builders of the Actors Guild of Parkersburg. The six-run show under the direction of Lori Ullman opens 8 p.m. Friday at the Guild Playhouse on Market Street. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

“The show is brought to life by a wonderful cast of teenagers from the Mid-Ohio Valley who bring the Gibbs and Webb families and their friends to life,” Ullman said. “These kids have been waiting over a year to be back on stage, back doing what they love, trying something new in a safe, warm, and welcoming place. When we were given the go-ahead to do the show, I am not sure who was more excited, them or me.”

Work on the show started in March 2020 and it was originally intended to be part of the City of Parkersburg’s Bicentennial celebration. While the pandemic derailed those plans, the teens will still get to showcase their talents at a time of historical significance.

“We are excited to bring a piece of living history to Parkersburg especially as we celebrate our own history with West Virginia Day as one of our performance dates,” Ullman said.

The performers were exceptional, according to Ullman.

“I cannot tell you how terrific these young people are. They are dedicated. And they tackled a very difficult third act coming off a pandemic,” she said. “To say that we are proud of them is an understatement.”

From left, Sam Watts as Dr. Frank Gibbs and Zachary McBride as the paperboy of the Teen Guild Builders in “Our Town,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Thornton Wilder opening Friday at the Actors Guild of Parkersburg. The show is directed by Lori Ullman and assistant directors Joe Reeves and Doug Parks. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

The three-act play tells the story of the Gibbs and Webb families across a 12-year span. A narrator or stage manager played by Willow Peyton sets the stage and guides the audience through the performance.

Members of the Gibbs family are Dr. Frank Gibbs played by Samuel Watts, Mrs. Gibbs played by Althea Koskey, George Gibbs played by Braden Deguzman and Rebecca Gibbs played by Cate Evans.

The Webb family is portrayed by Katie Riggs as Mrs. Webb, Kaleb Windland as newspaper editor Charles Webb, Olivia Welch as Emily Webb and Sarah Ervin as Wally Webb.

Also in the cast are:

* Andrew Hanna as Howie Newsome

Sarah Evan as Wally Webb, Katie Gibbs as Mrs. Webb and Olivia Welch as Emily Webb rehearse a scene in “Our Town,” the Teen Guild Builders show directed by Lori Ullman at the Actors Guild of Parkersburg. Shows are 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, June 25, June 26 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday and June 27. Tickets are $15 and are available at the Actors Guild website, actors-guild.com. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

* Anna Ware as Constable Warren

* Zachary McBride as Joe Crowell and Joe Stoddard

* Jaden Moellendick as Si Crowell

* Lauren Young as Professor Willard

* Katie Michael as Mrs. Soames

Dr. Frank Gibbs played by Samuel Watts, left, has a talk with his son George played by Braden Deguzman in the first act of “Our Town.” The show by Teen Guild Builders opens 8 p.m. Friday at the Actors Guild of Parkersburg on Market Street. Tickets for the six-run show are $15 and are available at the guild website, actors-guild.com. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

* Simon Stimson as Elijah Conger

* Taryn Newsome as Sam Craig

* Olivia Raber, Jack Peyton, Zoe Koskey and Madison Binkney as the townfolk and baseball players.

Staff of “Our Town”:

* Directors: Lori Ullman, Joe Reeves and Doug Parks

Samuel Watts as Dr. Frank Gibbs schmoozes his wife played by Althea Koskey in Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” opening at 8 p.m. Friday at the Actors Guild of Parkersburg. The show is presented by the Teen Guild Builders under the direction of Lori Ullman and assistant directors Joe Reeves and Doug Parks. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

* Vocal assistance: Jennifer Parks

* Costumes: Jane Mancini and Linda Craig

* Props: Marsha Mueller

* Sound design: David Roberts

* Lighting design and technical director: Beth Lane

From left, Althea Koskey as Mrs. Gibbs and Katie Riggs as Mrs. Webb in the first act of “Our Town” that opens 8 p.m. Friday at the Actors Guild of Parkersburg through the Teen Guild Builders. Tickets are $15 and are sale at actors-guild.com. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

Players from the Teen Guild Builders on the stage at the Actors Guild of Parkersburg in a scene from “Our Town,” which opens 8 p.m. Friday at the Actors Guild Playhouse on Market Street. The show is directed by Lori Ullman with Assistant Directors Joe Reeves and Doug Parks. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

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