Our Town coming to our campus

With the upcoming show about to kick off Hamline Theatre’s 2021-2022 school year, here’s some information on its production.


Robin Doyscher, Senior Reporter

Hamline Theatre will be putting on a production of “Our Town,” a 1938 three-act play by Thornton Wilder, American playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner. The play explores twelve years in a small town through the various intersecting lives of its inhabitants. A metatheatrical piece set in an actual theatre, “Our Town” is known for its minimalistic style and trademark narration. Hamline Theatre last performed “Our Town” in 1946, and this will be the first 21st century rendition of the play at the school. It is directed by Professor Jeff Turner, the Department Chair.

First-year and stage manager Rosie Knowlton talked about the process of creating “Our Town,” and the various moving parts within the show.

 “The energy is really high because being on Zoom is really tiring and it’s been good to be back. I think we started midway in September, so we just finished tech week and we’re in dress week next week,” Knowlton said.

The stage manager is an integral part of any theatrical production. They help manage the day-to-day running of rehearsals, and coordinate various teams together to make the show work. It’s a very intensive and hands-on position marked by intimate knowledge needed of both the various teams and the material. 

“So, basically, I do everything organizational wise so the director can focus on the production. I write everything down about blocking like stage movements and stuff, and I’m the one calling all the stage cues and everything like that,” Knowlton said.

Getting back to in-person rehearsals from a year mostly apart has seemed to increase the amount of excitement among cast and crew for the play. 

“From my perspective it was a smooth transition, but I am a first-year, but from high school to here it’s been a good transition,” Knowlton said. Since we’re back there’s been a lot of energy to wrangle in.”

Knowlton has had various jobs throughout academic theatre, but has a passion for stage managing—being relatively new to Hamline University Theatre, and carrying years of experience.

“Yeah, I was either in a show or house managing for a show all four years of high school. House managing is more public service stuff like ushering and ticket stuff, while stage managing was more hands-on,” Knowlton said.

As for upcoming productions, there are plans for a spring show and likely various other projects throughout the year. 

“We’ve got a couple seniors doing their capstone projects and one of them is doing a show potentially in the spring, and there are talks about doing a musical in the spring which would be super cool,” Knowlton said.

If you are interested in seeing “Our Town,” the play will be hosted at Anne Simley Theatre located in the Drew Fine Arts Building. Opening night is November 12, and it will also be running on November 13, 18, 19 and 20, all at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets can be reserved online (email tickets@hamline.edu). Attendees need proof of vaccination or a negative test result within 72 hours before seeing the play, and masks are required regardless of vaccination status.