American Theatrical Masterpiece "Our Town" Comes to Heritage Center

Mar 2, 2017

DUBUQUE, Iowa – University of Dubuque Heritage Center continues its fourth annual Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series with American Shakespeare Center’s 2016/17 Hungry Hearts Tour production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town. In presenting this classic piece of theatrical literature, ASC explores what it is like to grow up in a small town where everyone knows each other’s name.

WHAT:             Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series – Thornton Wilder’s Our Town

WHEN:            Tuesday, March 21 – 7:30 p.m.

WHERE:          John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center, University of Dubuque

TICKETS:        $24-$29 adults, $20-$24 UD alumni, $10 child/student

A moving look at life in the small town of Grover's Corners, Our Town examines what it means to grow up. Through three acts – Daily Life, Love and Marriage, and Death and Dying – Wilder studies the deeply personal yet remarkably universal lives of the Webb and Gibbs families. This poignant American tale explores friendship, love, and death, but, more importantly, what it truly means to live.

The American Shakespeare Center brings a unique performance style to Heritage Center, blending Shakespeare’s stage craft with modern sensibility. The company uses Shakespeare’s staging conditions including universal lighting, minimal sets, doubling, and music. In Shakespeare’s day, the company couldn’t turn the lights out on the audience – actors and audience shared the same light. The Hungry Hearts Tour leaves the lights on for a type of audience contact rarely seen in modern day theatre. Audience members share directly in the action onstage as they become citizens of Grover's Corners in Our Town.

While Wilder's play is a classic slice of Americana, it is hardly a sentimentalized ideal. For Our Town Director Jim Warren, the play “is about our lives – right here, right now. It asks us to look at our own lives. It reminds us that each day matters.” Our Town investigates the complex underpinnings of deceptively simple lives.

Since 1988, American Shakespeare Center has toured the country with shows incorporating Shakespeare’s staging conditions. Based in Staunton, Virginia, the company’s mission is to recover the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare’s theatre, language, and humanity by exploring the English Renaissance stage and its practices through performance and education. The ASC’s Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, is open year-round for productions of classic plays that have been hailed by The Washington Post as "shamelessly entertaining" and The Boston Globe as "phenomenal…bursting with energy."

Prior to the show, a member of American Shakespeare Center will deliver a free pre-show lecture from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. in Babka Theatre, adjacent to Butler Hall, offering insights and background on the company, their work, and, specifically, their production of Our Town.

Tickets for Our Town can be purchased Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Farber Box Office, Heritage Center, University of Dubuque, 2255 Bennett Street; by phone at 563.585.SHOW; or online at