Last summer's independent community production of Our Town in Bexley was an optimal experience.

Audience, crew, cast, sponsors — all united in an expertly produced communal celebration of art, contemplation and enlightenment.

For me, of course, it was a defining moment of my life. I sold tickets to my mid-life crisis. And 1,300 people came to see. Shameless. Wonderful.


Or so it seemed. In some ways, perhaps.

But then…

On Leaving Our Town
The audience left the last show, a matinee. We struck the minimal set. It was all very efficient.

And heart-breaking. So much work. So much heart. So much achieved. Struck into the back of a rented truck.

During the month that followed, Alisa Isaac, Matt Slaybaugh and I discussed several topics:

  • There is an audience. Of the 1,300 people who attended Our Town, some number (half? twice as many?) would return to see another show. Let's bring them another show.
  • The experience was great. "For actors and audience alike, this is a rare experience in the theatre," Bill Inglis (Dr. Gibbs) taught us, "It is so wonderful because it's being done for all the right reasons." How can we again achieve the communal feel and purity of Our Town?
  • What would be the next show? Repeating Our Town was rejected. It's too soon and could not match the 2008 experience. So what show? Death of a Salesman? "Do something lighter," said Alisa. "Our Town was great. Now do something lighter."

Then Alisa said it: "The Odd Couple."

Why The Odd Couple?
At first it seems too light. "It's as if Neil Simon set out to write the most popular American play of all time," said Matt. "And, it can be argued, he did it."

At what cost? Is the play all icing and no cake?

"No!" said Alisa. "There is great meaning in The Odd Couple. At its heart, the play is about relationships. Two men find themselves in need — and they answer the other's need. That's a play about relationships."

"And, in the end," she added. "That's really all we have in this life."

Coming in 2009. An independent community production of The Odd Couple.

You can follow the production at its own site.