SCHEDULE
Matinees at 2:30 pm
Evenings at 8:00 pm
Runs July 6 to 28
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SUBSCRIPTIONS
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VIDEO
Synopsis
Setting
Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, in the early 20th century

Act One
To the accompaniment of the old hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” a funeral procession passes by.  The Stage Manager introduces the audience to the place and time, and particularly to two families.  One is that of Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs, the other Editor and Mrs. Webb.  They are next door neighbors and each has a teenager in the house.  The Webb’s Emily is the high school’s best student; the Gibbs’ George leads the baseball team.  The young people are aware of one another, and have been known to exchange gazes from their windows, but fear they are too dissimilar to come together.  As Emily and George deal with the challenges of being eighteen, their parents deal with the realities of life in a small town.

Act Two:  Three years later, Emily and George are to be married.  The older Gibbs’ reflect on their own marriage, while Editor Webb advises George on the future.  The Stage Manager, wanting to be sure that the audience understands how the situation developed so far, takes the action back two years to the early stages of Emily and George sharing hopes and fears over a soda.  Then it’s ahead to wedding day.  Both young people have apprehensions about the future, though the service proceeds before the gathered throng in the church.

Act Three:  Nine years later, the scene is that of the town cemetery.  The spirits of the dead are gathered to one side, and amongst them is Mrs. Gibbs.  As in the first act, a funeral procession approaches, to the same hymn as at the opening.  The late Mrs. Gibbs declares that it is Emily, who has died in childbirth.  As the coffin is set into place, Emily herself appears amongst the dead.  Already longing to be with George once more, she asks to be allowed to return to life for just one day from the past, so as to experience it again.  The other dead warn her that this is unwise, but the Stage Manager does not refuse her request.  He takes Emily back to her thirteenth birthday.  At first, she is struck by how young and happy everyone looks, but then frustration sets in as she realizes that she is the only one who knows how fleeting these joys are.  Bidding farewell to her loved ones, she rejoins the dead, where she is welcomed as one of their own.  The living, they lament, just don’t understand.