Angelle Thomas and Phillip Moran flirt from atop the ladders on LSU Claude L. Shaver Theatre stage.

Their perches are among the few props they have as Emily Webb and George Gibbs in LSU Theatre's production of "Our Town."

The show opens Feb. 15, just in time for Valentine's Day. And though the bond between Emily and George is unbreakable, their story also is bittersweet.

Thornton Wilder's play doesn't have a happy ending. But it doesn't end on a tragic note, either.

Wilder wrote the play acknowledging that it's actually playing out in a theater.

But the theater is a metaphor for life, with the stage manager as a celestial guardian.

"The stage manager has the most lines and is always on stage," said director Shannon Walsh. "Our cast is made up of undergraduates, and I thought this character might be too much for one undergraduate."

Walsh divided the part into three, giving it to Sydney Prochaska, Marielle Lambert-Scott and Fa'amaepaepa "Lilo" Laupola.

All three are on stage, with each taking the lead in one of the story's three acts that focus on the fictional, small American town of Grover's Corners.

Wilder's play premiered in 1938, but it's set at the turn of the century specifically between 1901 and 1913 focusing on everyday lives.

The set is minimal and props are few as the town's residents walk through daily life, the eventual marriage between Emily and George and, finally, death and eternity.

This story also will play out again in March when Theatre Baton Rouge's Young Actors Program stages it. LSU Theatre has partnered with the Young Actors, with older cast members mentoring the Theatre Baton Rouge's teens during rehearsals.


'Our Town'

WHEN: Feb. 13-17, Feb. 19-24. Performances at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

WHERE: Claude L. Shaver Theatre in the LSU Music and Dramatic Arts Building, Dalrymple Drive.

TICKETS/INFO: $22; $17, seniors, faculty, staff; $14, students; pay-what-you-can Feb. 13; $12 Feb. 14 preview. (225) 578-3527 or swinepalace.org


Follow Robin Miller on Twitter, @rmillerbr.