DHS Theatre Presents: Our Town

Playing the role of Mrs. Webb in the DHS Theatre Department’s production of Our Town, between Nov. 8-15, Jillian Ulloa, 12, puts all her effort into performing one of the main roles in her fourth production in the DHS theatre. “It’s been a thrill putting together this production,” Ulloa said. “I am anxious to unveil the masterpiece we have whipped up.”

Lukas Luna, Co-Copy Editor

The Downey High School theatre department debuted their production of the Thornton Wilder classic “Our Town” on Nov 8. Its story revolves around the lives of the citizens in the small town of Grover’s Corner.  


The play is a pulitzer prize-winning work by American playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder that has been a staple in theatres across the country since its publishing in 1938.


While the first two acts come off as typical comedy fare, the play takes a somber turn in its third act as it tackles themes of life and death. The dramatic material initially intimidated actor Michael Macias, 12, but he soon found himself immersed in the role.  


“I auditioned because it was unlike anything I’ve ever done,” Macias said. “I’ve always done comedies, so this was a change acting-wise, it was a drama and I wanted to explore that area of acting.”  


The play is known for its unconventional set-up, which features a near-bare stage and the narrator-esque stage manager introducing each act and delivering most of the exposition. With such a minimalist approach, the play relied heavily on its 22 member cast.  


The actor who portrayed the stage manager, senior Matt Fitz, felt the strong cast dynamics helped strengthen their performance.


“They [the cast dynamics] build chemistry. Everyone gets closer and it really plays off in the scenes,” Fitz said. “Everyone just gets super close.”  


The final act was the most difficult to be performed. It featured many strong emotions from the performers and it was mainly shouldered by a small number of actors. However, Downey’s drama department were able to drive the play’s lesson of the appreciation of the little things in life home to its touching conclusion.


When the last lines were spoken and the curtain fell, the cast were left with time to reflect on their first performance.  Choir member Angelina DiLorenzo, 10, was proud of the culmination of her weeks of practice.


“Tonight, I think all the work that we’ve been putting in for a month and a half now is really paying off, ” DiLorenzo said. “Everything is working really well.”  


The drama department plans to once again showcase its talents with In The Heights, which will start it’s run at the Downey Theatre on March 21 of next year.