Local News

December 7, 2012

Pioneer production prepares to take stage

Lights dimmed as Dan McDonald, co-director of Pioneer’s production of “Our Town,” said he wanted the Tuesday night dress rehearsal to run as if it were a performance and he didn’t want people to miss cues.

“Normally I am nervous at this point in the process of production, but you all are ready,” McDonald said to students on stage.

Pioneer High School prepares to present “Our Town,” which was written 75 years ago by Thornton Wilder, who received a Pulitzer Prize for this drama.

“Some of the direct references in the play are somewhat dated,” McDonald said. “But the themes are timeless.”  

“Our Town” is introduced and narrated by the Stage Manager, who welcome the audience to the fictional town of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, McDonald said. The audience will witness through the Gibbs and Webb families the full spectrum of human existence, from birth to marriage to parenthood to death, McDonald said. This play, directed by McDonald and Carolyn Davis, includes students from eighth grade through seniors and three adults.

Chandler Swartzell, a junior playing Stage Manager, has been involved with Pioneer theater since he was a seventh grader and he wants to major in business and theater.

“I am basically the story teller of the show,” Swartzell said of his character.

Eighth grader Matt Williams is the youngest student performing in the play on Saturday and Sunday. Williams said this will be his first play at Pioneer High School, but he has had a lot of experience acting which makes him not become nervous.

“I like the rapport in acting,” Williams said. “In this specific play my character is a normal kid who grows up and gets married. My wife dies and the audience gets to see how I my character reacts.”

McDonald said “Our Town” is reported to be the most produced play in the United States. He said the play addresses life’s issues including the drive for companionship, the transience of human life, natural cycles and the inevitable advance of time.

Emilio Garelli, a foreign exchange student playing Howie Newsom, said even though he has never acted before he doesn’t get nervous.

“I wanted to meet people and try something new,” Garelli said. “It has been fun.”

Junior Ashley Galbreath, playing Emily Webb, agreed the experience is fun.

“All the people involved are a family,” Galbreath said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better director and cast.”

McDonald said the play is very difficult because it’s different from anything the students have done before.

McDonald said there are barely any props and it’s a different set they are used to.

“This has been an incredible group of kids,” McDonald. “They’ve been working really hard and they’re ready to go.”

McDonald, who has been involved with theater at Pioneer for 10 years, said they are also using three adults in the play. McDonald will be playing the role of Constable Warren and two alumni, Ben Colsten and Eric Calloway, agreed to step in to the roles of Frank Gibbs and Simon Stimson.

McDonald are also involved. Colsten has helped direct the play.

McDonald said because of the students’ hard work and preparedness, they have had the opportunity to talk about what’s going on in the storyline of the play and why Wilder did what he did.

“These kids make my life sane,” McDonald said. “It’s been an absolute joy to work with them.”

Amie Sites is a reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5150 or

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Police blotter: April 19, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 19, 2014

  • UPDATED: Logansport HS teacher arrested on child seduction charge

    A Logansport High School teacher was arrested Thursday on a charge of child seduction.

    April 18, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 18, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 18, 2014

  • NWS-PT041814 LC50 cords.jpg 50 years later WALTON -- Dean "D.A." Zehring graduated from the current Lewis Cass High School, but he never attended classes there. It's one of the unique characteristics of the graduating class of 1968, the first class to complete all four years of high school un

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Caston considers Logan bus stop FULTON -- Caston Schools administrators are considering establishing a bus stop a few miles outside its boundaries on the north side of Logansport. The school board recently discussed the feasibility of adding a bus stop for students transferring fro

    April 18, 2014

  • mushroom Parks let mushroom hunters forage off-trail INDIANAPOLIS - Rain that pounded Brown County State Park in early April dampened the number of hikers and mountain bikers in Indiana's largest state park, but foragers of the property's 15,000 acres of forest welcomed the weather. With the arrival o

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police blotter: April 17, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS-PT041714 G.jpg Sign of support: Class meant to connect hearing-impaired family members Jordanna Dishner-Rush gestured forcefully to a coat rack hanging in the back of the meeting room at the Logansport Library. She was trying to use just hand motions — no speech — to get the other women to guess the secret word she'd been given. Dishne

    April 17, 2014 12 Photos

  • Logansport graduation rate rises again Logansport High School's graduation rate jumped almost 2 percentage points to 92.9 percent in 2013, data released Wednesday show. The Indiana Department of Education released graduation data for the 2012-2013 school year Wednesday. The data show that

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS-PT041714 Mustangs.jpg Local dealer celebrates the Mustang Fifty years ago today, the Ford Mustang was introduced to the public at the New York World's Fair. Now, six of them will be on display for the next few weeks at Rick's Auto Sales in Logansport celebrating what the business owner says is a half centur

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

     View Results