Raymond Bobgans first impression of Our Town was one of contempt. As a typical high-school student, Bobgan -- who directs Cleveland Public Theatres production of Thornton Wilders classic play -- couldnt have cared less for the musty ruminations on small-town life. Because the play has been increasingly done without invigorating it, it has become a museum piece, admits Bobgan. But there was a lot that I had missed.
After becoming immersed in various Books of the Dead for another CPT project a few years ago, Bobgan finally made a connection. People say that the moment of death is an awakening to life, he says. To me, that is what Our Town is really about. Its the closest thing we have had in the last century to an American Book of the Dead. Bobgan scrapped the small-town premise of the original and focused on a much bigger picture -- the plays dreamlike qualities. This script has accumulated a lot of dust, he says. This production shakes it off and allows people to see the play without all the baggage it has accumulated.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: April 19. Continues through May 12