Robin and Cast, End of Scene 2 “Our Town” final dress rehearsal

Doing the Impossible Thing–Preparing for “Our Town”

When director Nat Warren-White invited me to play the role of Julia Gibbs in Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” I didn’t know if I could learn all those lines. And then I had to learn the pantomime, the blocking, the putting words and actions together to tell the story, and interacting with the other actors on stage. All this seemed impossible to me just a few short months ago. Jumping into this theatrical project, it felt to me like a giant leap of faith.

Truths and truisms–What is possible and what is impossible?

It’s been about fifty years since I’ve been in a play! But as they say, once you’ve learned to ride a bicycle…” So I stepped into my role and learned it line by line, scene by scene. And as I did, I gradually “became” Julia Gibbs, nee Hersey, wife of Frank “Doc” Gibbs. So I guess that old adage about riding a bike has at least a grain of truth to it. But my new friend Alice Rohman who plays Myrtle Webb, Julia’s close friend and confidant in “Our Town” had never done theater before! So that other saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” definitely doesn’t apply to humans! And Alice certainly has been wonderful in her role as Myrtle Webb and It’s been so much fun to play with her onstage. So, to my readers who may be thinking about trying something new, don’t be afraid of the impossible. Go ahead and try it–You may surprise yourself!

My mantra at our rehearsals–trust the process

Julia Gibbs (right) and Myrtle Webb stringing beans. “Myrtle Webb, did one of those second-hand furniture men from Boston come and see you last Friday? Alice Rohman as Myrtle and me as Julia Gibbs. Notice our beautiful aprons hand-made by Jinger Howell

Just trust the process…

I can’t really say I knew how to prepare for my role. But somehow, I knew to trust the process. Director Nat Warren-White had skillfully assembled the cast and crew. He had already built community during our Zoom readings over the winter and summer gatherings at Winslow Park. And my English teacher husband Jon encouraged me all summer long as I practiced my lines both with him and solo. He said, “Don’t wait until rehearsals to study your lines” and I’m so glad I listened to him.

Practicing “The Impossible Thing”

Practicing “The Impossible Thing.” Robin as Julia Gibbs feeding the chickens at a dress rehearsal for “Our Town”. “Here chick, chick, chick…Oh don’t be so afraid, nobody’s going to hurt you.” Tickets are still available her for our final three performances here:
Selfie with cast members, left to right: Nicholas Mallett, Rose Tuttle, Lukas Crowell, and Marie Abbatemarco

Rehearsing with the ensemble–Stumbling through the “Impossible Thing”

Our rehearsals began in earnest after Labor Day. Now it was time to release all fear and step into “The Impossible Thing. To keep myself calm, I kept telling myself to “trust the process.” So during rehearsals I allowed myself to take it slowly and just stumble through the process, a term Nat used during our early run-throughs of the play. And very gradually, I was able to sett my increasingly tattered script aside.

Final dress rehearsal, “Our Town” Act 2 after George and Emily’s wedding, waving off the young bride and groom

Tickets are available for our final three performances of “Our Town”

We will perform Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” again this weekend at the lovely Congregational Church in Freeport that houses Meetinghouse Arts. Our final weekend of shows begins on Friday October 21st at 7:30, and we will perform it twice on Saturday, a matinee and an evening show.. So it’s not too late and I hope you can make it!

Moon over water, acrylic and mixed media on panel, 6 x 6 inches, 2022 (The moon and stars have a prominent role in Our Town–the ocean, just a minor one)

Thank you to all my readers and subscribers

As always, thanks for reading my blog. And finally, I want to send a special appreciation to my subscribers for following all my “impossible” adventures!