February 10, 2000
CONTACT: Pat Wright, 661/664-2138 or pwright@csub.edu

Beloved Play "Our Town" Is Performed At Dore Theater

The theater arts program at California State University, Bakersfield presents the beloved play about American life, "Our Town," at the Dore Theater. Performances are set for Feb. 24, 25 and 26 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 27 at 2 p.m.

The play earned playwright Thorton Wilder the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1938 and continues to be performed by actors in high school, college, and community theater groups around the country and the world. Wilder wrote many plays, novels and short stories, including "The Matchmaker," which was turned into the musical "Hello Dolly!"

"I selected the play because I felt as we move into the 21st century that our lives have become even more frenetic," said director Anita DuPratt, a theater professor at CSUB and chair of the CSUB Performing Arts Department. "We tend to take even less time for ourselves, our families, our mental and spiritual well being.

"This classic American drama focuses on Wilder's ideas about life and how we live it," DuPratt continued. "Beauty and wonder can be found in the simplest moments in our life, but unfortunately we tend not to pay attention to the smaller moments. We are wedded to the computer, the cell phone, the beeper, and e-mail and laptop computers keep us constantly on the job. I found the theme of `Our Town' refreshing and relevant to today's world."

The cast includes Judd Johnson as the stage manager, Sarah Martin as Emily, Alex Rivera as George, Chuck Pratt as Doc Gibbs, Alissa Morrow as Mrs. Gibbs, Richard Briggs as Mr. Webb, and Elisabeth Marks as Mrs. Webb.

Also included in the cast are two CSUB theater alumni. James Barnett plays Joe Stoddard. Barnett graduated in 1990 and now teaches English at East Bakersfield High School. He has performed in "Candida," "Crimes of the Heart," "Measure for Measure," "The Diviners," "Glass Menagerie" and others.

Paul DuPratt graduated in 1982. He earned a master's degree of fine arts in acting at California Institute of Arts, and worked professionally in Los Angeles for more than 10 years. He is currently a special education teacher at Actis Junior High School. He has performed in "Three Penny Opera," "The Runner Stumbles," "The Long Christmas Dinner," "Taming of the Shrew" and others.

Theater arts faculty member John Swanson has designed a sparse set which allows the imagination to envision "Grovers Corners" to be anywhere in the world.

General admission is $10; students with ID are $5. Please call 661/664-3127 for more information


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