The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday December 5th

'Our Town' Features Diverse Cast and Audience

The introspective play, which runs through April 28, will bring PlayMakers Repertory Company's 26th theater season to an end.

"('Our Town') is an American masterpiece," said PlayMakers' artistic director, David Hammond. "It looks for the meaning in daily life, and people feel a need for that now."

First produced in 1938, the play looks at the imaginary town of Grover's Corner and explores the townspeople's struggle to cherish life before it's too late.

To reflect the play's universal nature, Hammond said his decision to incorporate a multicultural cast into the play was a refreshing twist, with good reason. "If one comes to a play and doesn't see themself mirrored, why should it be their reflection?" he said.

Actress Hannah Moon, who plays Emily Webb, said she applauded Hammond's choice to select cast members from different ethnic backgrounds.

"It's a great representation of the world today," Moon said. "As an Asian-American actor, it opens a lot of doors for me and says it doesn't matter what you look like be able to convey a character."

To further ensure that all people can enjoy the play, PlayMakers will run a special performance for the hearing and visually impaired on April 12.

The performance is part of the accessibility project, an initiative sponsored by the N.C. Arts Council to make plays more accessible to the handicapped.

PlayMakers' Managing Director Donna Heins said several aides will be available during the performance so people with disabilities can enjoy the play to its fullest. "There will be a Braille program, sign language interpreters, audio description and large-print programs available" she said.

Heins said that while the performance April 12 will be the company's first ever to cater to people with disabilities, hopefully it will not be its last. "We hope that next year we'll have more fully accessible plays," she said.

Hammond said he hopes that by making sure all people feel included in PlayMakers' production of "Our Town," audiences will be more able to take in the play's larger message about life.

"The message -- embrace life and never take it for granted," Hammond said.

For more information about the accessibility project and "Our Town" ticket prices, contact the PlayMakers Box Office at 962-PLAY.

The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at artsdesk@unc.edu.

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