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For the second year, the Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center at John Hardin High school presents a community pro-am drama with “Our Town.”
The run of the play is followed by Our Copland Concert by the Heartland Winds.
Bart Lovins, PAC director, sees the pro-am production as a great way for amateurs in the area to interact with professionals in a high-quality production.
The main professional in the cast is J.R. Stuart, who has appeared on the PAC stage before in a one man show based on the life of Mark Twain. He also directed Lovins in “To Bury Caesar.”
Stuart’s love for “Our Town” started early in his career when he played the Stage Manager in “Our Town” in 1981, his senior year at South Decatur High School. The experience of being playwright Thornton Wilder’s mouthpiece in the play “profoundly affected” his life and prepared him at a young age to “find perspective and beauty in the ebb and flow of life.”
“It is a pleasure all these years later to reconnect with Wilder’s celebration of the everyday moment,” Stuart said.
The film explores daily life including the hurts and humor, Lovins said.
It’s such a classical piece of theater that most people have seen some form of “Our Town” in their lives, but Lovins assured this performance will be unique.
The PAC’s season has been devoted to highlighting the Hardin County community, ending with “Our Town” to showcase local talent, Lovins said.
Adding the Copland concert to the production was a combined effort that began with the late Chuck Campbell. Copland was one of Campbell’s favorite performers, Lovins said, and this production is one of the last things Campbell worked on.
“It’s going to be very special to all of us,” Lovins said.
The play has a lot to do with life and death and many in the PAC community still are dealing with the grieving process over Campbell, Lovins said.
“It seems very appropriate to be doing this and think about Chuck as we do so,” he said.
Brian Froedge took the reins of the Heartland Winds after Campbell’s death and is excited about the production.
“All of this material is a slice of Americana and although some of it may seem simple on the surface, the play and music profoundly opens a window into the heart of what makes us Americans and what is so unique about our people and our country,” Froedge said.
As a special bonus the PAC is offering a buy one get one free deal. If you purchase a ticket for “Our Town” or “Our Copland Concert” you receive a free ticket to the other event. The offer is not available online but can be made through the PAC box office.
Audiences will enjoy the community performance, Lovins said.
“You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you will have a good time,” he said.
“Our Town” is performed at 7 p.m. April 12, 13 and 14, and at 3 p.m. April 15. The “Our Copland Concert” is 3 p.m. April 15. Tickets are $5 to $20.
A photo exhibit is on display during the run of the show featuring photos from Western Kentucky University Mountain Workshop’s “Home in the Heartland.” The books can be purchased at the PAC box office.
For more information or for tickets, go to www.thepac.net or call (270) 769-8837.
Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or email@example.com.