OUR TOWN

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Adults $35

Youth (ages 13-16) $15

NOTE: Children ages 12 and under, and unvaccinated adults are not allowed in the theatre at this time.

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October 1-31, 2021

Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm (note early start time)

Sundays at 2 pm

The show runs approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes, including 2 intermissions.

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CCCT is pleased to welcome our community back to the theatre with a bold reimaging of this giant of the American theatre. Presented with the approval of the Thornton Wilder estate, a diverse ensemble of 8 actors will portray the town of Grover’s Corners as they, in Wilder’s description, go about “the life of a village against the life of the stars.”

“One of the sagest, warmest and most deeply human scripts to have come out of our theatre.” – New York Post

“It is probably the finest play ever written by an American.” – Edward Albee

“Thornton Wilder’s masterpiece […] An immortal tale of small town morality [and] […] a classic of soft spoken theater.” – The New York Times

“No American play describes more powerfully how we imagine ourselves.” – New York Daily News

 

 

DOY CHARNSUPHARINDR (he/him)(Mr. Webb, etc.) is thrilled to return to CCCT, after taking on the role of Mike Masaoka in CCCT’s 2018 production of Allegiance. His other credits include Harold Hill in The Music Man (PSP), Van Helsing in Dracula (SBMT), Phil in Almost, Maine (SBMT), Andrey in Three Sisters (PSP), Pride & Prejudice (SBMT & SVS), Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (BBBay), Miss Saigon (BBBay), Les Misérables (BBBay), and the world premiere of Conrad Panganiban’s Welga! (Bindlestiff). Offstage, he’s a teacher and a coach specializing in leadership, communication, presentation, and storytelling. He utilizes his training as an actor to help others develop their communication skills and authentic leadership presence.

GRACE DOLEZAL-NG (she/her)(Emily, etc.) is an actor/director from the SF Bay Area. She recently graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Theatre. She also studied with the Prague Shakespeare Company, and at the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA). Selected acting credits: Uncle Vanya (Sonya, Northwestern), Julius Caesar (Lucius, Prague Shakespeare Company), Water By The Spoonful (Orangutan, Northwestern). In Fall of 2020, she independently produced and directed a virtual production of Death For Sydney Black by Leah Nanako-Winkler. She was the Assistant Director to Vanessa Stalling for the Goodman Theatre’s production of Roe in February of 2020. Grace is a proud recipient of the Herb Alpert Emerging Young Artist Award. www.gracedn.com

SUSANNE HOBBS REED (she/her)(Mrs. Gibbs, etc.) is excited to end her brief 15-year hiatus from formal theater with this amazing reading of Seven. Previous favorite productions include Working: A Musical, A Little Night Music, The Colored Museum, Little Shop of Horrors, and Marisol by José Rivera. Susanne is able to channel her theater spirit in her daily work in education. BA, UC Santa Cruz, Politics. MFA, Theater, Sarah Lawrence College. #blacklivesmatter

TIM HOLT JONES (he/him)(Doc Gibbs, etc.) is happy to return to CCCT, having appeared here in the TBA award-winning production of August: Osage County; as well as To Kill a Mockingbird; You Can’t Take It with You; Cabaret; and several Reading Stage offerings. Most recently, Tim worked for the Eugene O’Neill Foundation in Beyond the Horizon. Other Bay Area credits include The Cherry Orchard at Town Hall, Three Sisters at the Douglas Morrisson, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Aluminous Collective), The Laramie Project (Masquers Playhouse), for Role Players Ensemble in Of Mice and Men and A Streetcar Named Desire (TBA nomination), 1776 for Contra Costa Musical Theatre, and Bright Shining Sea with PlayGround. Tim teaches middle school in Oakland and thanks you for returning to the theatre.

JUSTIN P. LOPEZ (he/him)(George Gibbs, etc.) is an actor, singer, writer, and boba-milk-tea enthusiast, who loves to find true connection and humanity in each script and song. Recent credits include the world premieres of Kiss My Aztec! (Berkeley Repertory Theatre) and Unbreakable by Andrew Lippa (SFGMC). Other favorite roles include Claudio (Much Ado About Nothing) and Juan Perón (Evita). In 2020, Justin focused on his playwriting work with ESPA Primary Stages and The Playground Experiment (PGE). His new play, The Re-Education of Fernando Morales, was selected for development by several companies, including Custom Made Theatre Company. Find out what else Justin is up to at www.justinplopez.com

FRED PITTS (he/him)(Stage Manager, etc.) Fred is excited to be back at CCCT where he has been seen as Maurice Wilkins in Photograph 51 (Reading Stage online) earlier this year, as George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life: A Radio Play, and as Paul Sycamore in You Can’t Take it With You. He is a company member of African-American Shakespeare and Custom Made Theatre. He has worked with Exit Theatre, Shotgun Players, Altarena, Palo Alto Players, Pear Theatre, New Conservatory Theatre, among others. His first solo show, entitled Aren’t You…?, had its South Bay debut in August with Palo Alto Players. By day, he’s a doctor working in the field of drug safety. Our Town marks the 12th time he has been in a show with castmate Kelly Rinehart. And yes, they are married.

KELLY RINEHART (she/her)(Mrs. Soames, etc.) is thrilled to be back at CCCT after almost being seen in the Waverly Gallery last March. She’s also joined CCCT as Rosalind Franklin in Photograph 51 (Reading Stage online) and Ivy in August: Osage County. She has worked with Dragon Productions Theatre Company (most recently, in The How and the Why), Altarena, Custom Made Theatre Company, Hillbarn, Palo Alto Players, Ragged Wing, SF Olympians Festival, and Those Women Productions, among others. This is the 12th show she’s shared with her now-husband, Fred Pitts. Her day jobs include being an augmentative alternative communication specialist, a university lecturer and clinical supervisor, and a teaching artist doing improv with kids in long-term hospital stays. She also likes playing outdoors and ice cream.

MARJAN SAFA (she/her)(Mrs. Webb, etc.) is thrilled to return to Contra Costa Civic Theatre, this time in person! She was last seen at a reading in Motherhood Out Loud at the Altarena Playhouse, playing seven different characters. She has previously worked with TheatreFirst, Golden Thread Productions, San Francisco Playhouse, Palo Alto Players, San Francisco Playwrights’ Center and Multi-Ethnic Theatre. She’s in ongoing classes with Richard Seyd at Seydways Acting Studios. She likes to read, bake, walk and dip her toes in the water in her spare time. To learn more about her you can visit her webpage at marjansafa.com.

Thornton Wilder (1897–1975) was a pivotal figure in the lit­erary history of the twentieth-century. He is the only writer to win Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and drama. He received the Pulitzer for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927) and the plays Our Town (1938) and The Skin of Our Teeth (1942). His other best-selling nov­els include The Cabala, The Woman of Andros, Heaven’s My Destination, The Ides of March, The Eighth Day and Theophilus North. His other major dramas include The Matchmaker (adapted as the musical Hello, Dolly!) and The Alcestiad. The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden, Pullman Car Hiawatha and The Long Christmas Dinner are among his well-known shorter plays.

Wilder’s many honors include the Gold Medal for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Book Committee’s Medal for Literature and the Goethe-Plakette Award (Germany).

Wilder was born in Madison, Wisconsin, on April 17, 1897. He spent part of his boyhood in China and was educated principally in California, graduating from Berkeley High School in 1915. After attending Oberlin College for two years, he transferred to Yale, where he received his BA in 1920. His post-graduate studies included a year spent studying archaeology and Italian at the American Academy in Rome (1920-21) and graduate work in French at Princeton (Master’s degree, 1926).

In addition to his talents as a playwright and novel­ist, Wilder was an accomplished essayist, translator, research scholar, teacher, lecturer, librettist and screenwriter. In 1942, he teamed up with Alfred Hitchcock on the classic psycho-thriller Shadow of a Doubt. Versed in foreign languages, he translated and adapted plays by Ibsen, Sartre and Obey. He read and spoke German, French and Spanish, and his scholarship included sig­nificant research on James Joyce and Lope de Vega.

Wilder enjoyed acting and played major roles in several of his plays in summer theater productions. He also possessed a life-long love of music and wrote librettos for two operas, one based on The Long Christmas Dinner (composer Paul Hindemith) and the other based on The Alcestiad (composer Louis Talma).

One of Wilder’s deepest passions was teaching. He began this career in 1921 as an instructor in French at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey.  During the 1930’s he taught courses in Classics in Translation and Composition at the University of Chicago. In 1950–51, he served as the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard.

During WWII, Wilder served in the Army Air Force Intelligence. He was awarded the Legion of Merit Bronze Star, the Legion d’honneur and the Order of the British Empire.

In 1930, with the royalties received from The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Wilder built a home for himself and his family in Hamden, Connecticut.  Although often away from home, restlessly seeking quiet places in which to write, he always returned to “The House The Bridge Built.” He died here on December 7, 1975.

More information on Thornton Wilder and his family is available in Penelope Niven’s definitive biography, Thornton Wilder: A Life (2013) as well as on the Wilder Family website, www.thorntonwilder.com

ASHA ALVAREZ (she/her)(Stage Manager) is so excited to return to the theater and the Contra Costa Civic Theatre in particular! She is a Berkeley graduate with a BA in Theater and Performance Studies. She last made her stage debut as Emilienne in Convoy 31000 with Theatre Lunatico in Berkeley, and she last stage managed at CCCT with Once On This Island, and The Hispanick Zone as a student at Contra Costa College. She would like to thank her friends and family, especially her maternal grandmother Faye Roberts without whom she would never have gotten involved in theatre. Much love to Michael!

MADELINE BERGER (she/her) (Costume Designer) is excited for the return to live theater, especially in her hometown! Pre-pandemic her costumes came alive around the Bay Area at San Francisco Playhouse, Altarena Playhouse, and San Jose Stage. Now she is thrilled to be designing for the place that started it all. From camper, to first time costume designing at El Cerrito High (with CCCTs stock), to main stage costume designer! Madeline is grateful for the collaboration and dedication from her incredible assistants. Special thanks to friends and family for their continued support of her creativity.

DANIEL “TECHNO” DEBONO (he/they) (sound designer) has been designing and mixing Theatrical Sound in the SF Bay Area since 2010. Training under Jack Morocco (Pyrotechniques, Mythbusters) for 6+ years, Techno has been behind the mixing board for local productions of The Wiz, Les Misérables, Sweeney Todd, Little Shop of Horrors, Godspell, and Allegiance, as well as comedies and dramas like The Laramie Project, How We Got On, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Silent Sky, Almost, Maine; and numerous bilingual productions including The Cries of La Llorona and Frida Kahlo: The Artist; the Woman. Overjoyed to be back to work, Techno spent much of his time during the pandemic honing his graphic design and omelet-making skills while spending extra time with his wife and kids.

COURTNEY JOHNSON (she/her)(Lighting Design) In college Courtney was told “a jack-of-all-trades is a master of none,” which she took as a challenge, so she became a lighting designer, production manager, director, actor, technical director, and college professor. Her theatrical motto is “overkill is underrated” and her favorite theatrical term is “suspension of disbelief.”

DEVON LABELLE (she/her)(Props/Scenic designer) is a Prop Lead and SFX artist whose work has been seen across Bay Area stages since 2009. She is Resident Artist with Crowded Fire Theater, a Company Member with Shotgun Players, and a TBA-award–winning props designer for her work on Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice (Shotgun Players) and Vanya, Sonya, Masha, and Spike (CCCT). Devon is the props shop coordinator at San Francisco State University. Upcoming projects include The Displaced with Crowded Fire Theater and The Magic Lamp with the Presidio Theatre.

MARILYN LANGBEHN (she/her)(director) is beginning her ninth season at CCCT. Productions for the company include Broadway Inside Out, Bright Star, All the Way, Ragtime, All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, CabaretThe Sound of Music, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)[revised], the world premiere of The Lost Years and The Mountaintop, both of which began their lives at CCCT as part of the Reading Stage series. Her widely-acclaimed production of August: Osage County received Best Production and Best Director nods at the inaugural TBA Awards in 2014. She founded the Theatre’s Reading Stage series in 2015 to showcase the work of women playwrights and playwrights of color. To date, the series has produced more than 20 works, including plays by Katori Hall, Theresa Rebeck, Cynthia Wands, kimber lee, Leah Nanako Winkler, Jiréh Breon Holder, and Inda Craig-Galván, among others. Marilyn also inaugurated the “Kitchen Table Conversation” Zoom series in 2020 to engage audiences in substantive conversation about the arts in an informal setting. She is a fierce advocate for arts education and equitable access to arts programming on both sides of the curtain and a champion of the next generation of theatremakers in our community.

 

Publicity photos

Production photos

 

Our Town Impresses in Stage Return” – East Bay Times, 10.8.21
Our Town Echoes the Stories of Your Town and Mine” – ForAllEvents.com, 10.8.21