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Chautauqua Theater season kicks off with ‘Our Town’

If theater exists in part to remind us why we’re alive, no play accomplishes this vital task with more poetry, more grace or more aching beauty than Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.”

The quintessentially American 1938 play, which concerns the ins and outs of daily life in the fictional town of Grover’s Corners, is the first offering in Chautauqua Theater Company’s current season. It runs through Sunday in a production directed by Paul Mullins.

Next up in the Chautauqua season is Lynne Nottage’s play “Intimate Apparel,” about a black seamstress working in New York City in the early 1900s, from July 24 to Aug. 4. That’s followed by Shakespeare’s “Henry V” from Aug. 14-21. The season also features two sessions of the company’s annual New Play Workshop, with Jason Wells’ “The Engine of Our Ruin” on July 17 and 18 and David West Read’s “Afterlove” from Aug. 5 to 7.

The plays take place in the Bratton Theatre at the Chautauqua Institution (1 Ames Ave., Chautauqua). Tickets are $35 for the three main productions and $20 for the New Play Workshop plays. Call 357-6437 or visit

– Colin Dabkowski

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