John Prowse photo David Underhill as George Gibbs and Hailey Conner as Emily Webb in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town to be presented in August by Peninsula Productions.

‘Our Town’ to open Peninsula Productions’ revamped White Rock space

Black box theatre in Centennial Park lends itself to experimental production

Our Town is coming to our town this summer.

Thornton Wilder’s ‘meta-theatrical’ classic – exploring life, love and community – will be the inaugural presentation for Peninsula Productions’ newly-revamped ‘black box’ theatre space in White Rock’s Centennial Park, Aug. 9 to 24.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning 1938 drama tells the story of the fictional American small town of Grover’s Corners between the years 1901 and 1913 from the viewpoint of its citizens.

Through the humour and storytelling ability of Wilder, seemingly commonplace events soon build into a meditation on the very nature of what it means to be alive.

But, as director Rebecca Walters (also Peninsula associate artistic director) relates, although the show is about Grover’s Corners, it is actually set in the theatre in which it takes place – with a stage manager who directly addresses the audience and fills in some roles, and actors who play multiple roles with minimal props on a mostly bare stage.

It’s an ideal first show for the reworked Peninsula space, which lends itself to flexible and experimental productions that emphasize imaginative acting and stagecraft over traditional proscenium arch presentation.

“It starts with an empty stage,” Walters says in the press release for Our Town, “and the stage manager welcoming us and introducing us to the town.

“A few chairs, a couple of ladders, and eight very talented actors, each playing a number of roles, bring this story to life – it’s pretty magical.”

Helping create that magic in the upcoming production will be cast members Colleen Byberg, Hailey Conner, Ryan Kniel, Damion LeClair, Michelle Morris, David Underhill, Katie Voravong, and Elliot Wesley.

Walters says that even today – more than 80 years after its debut in a Princeton, New Jersey theatre – Our Town retains all of its power to engage an audience with universal truths of human experience.

“It’s such a wonderful script,” she says. “It’s funny, and clever, and incredibly moving.

“The story seems really simple, but then it sneaks up on you, and you realize that that’s what life is, a string of small moments, some beautiful, some sad, some overwhelmingly powerful, but mostly simple, and then you get to the end and realize, ‘Oh – that’s my life!’

“We’ve got to remember to appreciate those moments when they’re happening, because it’s all over so fast. Appreciate the time you have, love the people in front of you, nothing is permanent.”

The Peninsula Productions theatre is located in the park (14600 North Bluff Rd.) next to Centennial Arena. Performances are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with 2:30 p.m. matinees on Saturdays and Sundays.

Tickets can be purchased at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Surrey Board of Trade fears SkyTrain expansion will impede other transit needs

‘We need transit improvements in all of Surrey,’ Anita Huberman says

Public hearing set for two Surrey modular housing projects for homeless

Surrey council set to vote Monday on projects in Guildford, Whalley

North Delta Secondary teacher up for B.C. education award

Prabhjot Grewal is up for a Premier’s Award for Excellence in Education in the Outstanding New Teacher category

Publication ban lifted on transgender complainant’s name in Surrey waxing dispute

Jessica Yaniv filed 13 discrimination claims against salons, one in Surrey, based on gender identity

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Most Read