Zabet NeuCollins and Ben Moniz,  as Emily and George, share sodas at the West End Drug Co. in Bar Harbor  during a rehearsal for “Our Town.” All photos by Julia De Santis.

But it’s not really geography that makes Our Town special to Gina. It is the universality of the themes, the focus on family, on friendship, and on the basic love we have for each other. “Of all the plays I’ve read or been in or seen,” says Gina, “this one touched me so deeply and caused me to think about the people in my life.”

Ask her for a short summary, and she’ll say, “It follows two youths who grow up, fall in love, and deal with life loss. It’s a slice of life—but it’s everyone’s life. Everyone’s loved and lost someone.”

Scripts are unnecessary as George and Emily discuss their dreams.

Gina has seen Our Town, and performed in it; but this is the first time she’s directed the play. Each experience has been different. “When I was in the play, I was sixteen, and young love was potent. The thoughts of where life will take me, what life will teach me, and what the future will bring me were so strong. Now, I still identify with Emily’s character, but more about what she learns in the third act—things that can’t be realized in living time. I’m now more interested in trying to learn those things than when I was sixteen.”

The story, which was written by Thornton Wilder and first performed in 1938, works almost like a camera, focusing in on the small town known as Grover’s Corners between the years 1901 and 1913. By following a paperboy as he delivers newspapers through town, we meet many of the residents. Then we hone in on two families, the Webbs and the Gibbs, and their teenage children, Emily and George, who—naturally—fall in love.

Zabet NeuCollins, playing Emily Webb; Gina Sabatini, the director; Ben Moniz, playing George Gibbs; Aydan Pugh, one of the stage managers go over the soda fountain scene one more time.

The third act contrasts the rituals of daily life and the drama of individual lives with a more distant view, contemplating life’s continuity.  Says Gina, “We learn that even years later, life in Grover’s Corners hasn’t changed, but how one sees and values what it means to be alive alters with time and circumstance. We all live and die, and the importance placed on those events help shape the kind of people we are and the lives we lead. What is it that so moves Gina? Lines like this one, spoken by Emily in the third act: “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute?”

“I want people to leave hugging their families,” says Gina.

True Love.

Some thirty people are involved this production—about 10 percent of the student body plus Darron Collins, COA president, who is playing Professor Willard.

In order of appearance, the cast is as follows: 
STAGE MANAGER                         Bethany Anderson
DR. FRANK GIBBS                         Alexander Depavloff
JOE CROWELL                              Caroline Spillane
HOWIE NEWSOME                        Holly Krakowski
MRS. JULIA GIBBS                        Colleen Courtney
MRS. MYRTLE WEBB                    Meg Trau
GEORGE GIBBS                             Ben Moniz
REBECCA GIBBS                           Katie Mathews
WALLY WEBB                                Zoe Anderson
EMILY WEBB                                 Zabet NeuCollins
PROFESSOR WILLARD                 Darron Collins
CHARLES WEBB                            Arywn Sherman
WOMAN IN THE BALCONY           Nimisha Bastedo
BELLIGERENT MAN                       Khristian Mendez
LADY IN A BOX                              Nimisha Bastedo
SIMON STIMSON                           Bo Dennis
MRS. LOUELLA SOAMES              Brittany Lester
CONSTABLE WARREN                  Michael Jenks
BASEBALL PLAYERS                     Nimisha Bastedo and Khristian Mendez
SI CROWELL                                  Emily Hollyday
SAM CRAIG                                    Gina Sabatini, Jabu Mickle Molefe, Robin Owings
JOE STODDARD                            Kira Weintraub
DEAD MAN                                     Khristian Mendez
OTHER DEAD MAN                        Nimisha Bastedo

ASSISTANT DIRECTORS               Robin Owings and Jabu Mickle-Molefe
STAGE MANAGERS                       Aydan Pugh, Alice Mae Stoner, and Kate Young
SOUND EFFECTS                          Renee McManus
COSTUMES                                    Rain Perez

Ben, Zabet and Gina outside the West End. Thank you for hosting us!

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