Mountain View’s Pear Theatre presents poet Dylan Thomas’ “Under Milk Wood” through April 11 online.
The play is an account of a spring day in the fictional Welsh village of Llareggub, focusing on the inhabitants’ dreams, desires, loves and regrets.
Sinjin Jones directs.
Commissioned by the BBC as a radio drama and later adapted for the stage, creator Thomas described his work as “a play for voices.”
Overseen by an omniscient narrator, the residents of the tiny fishing village spend an average day pining for lost loves, obsessing over past mistakes and future hopes, while working, drinking, gossiping, playing, singing and dreaming.
Pear’s production features six voices, each from clans that come together after an apocalypse. They use an old recording to launch themselves into a sacred reverie, reliving the beauty of a shared memory of the best parts of what it means to be human – to remind themselves of what could be again.
Thomas is perhaps best known for his poem, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.” His works, well-known for their lyricism and emotional impact, often arose from his formative years during the politically charged 1930s of poverty, illness, alcoholism and the strain of raising a family in England during the early years of World War II.
Thomas is reported to have commented that “Under Milk Wood” was developed in response to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima as a way of reasserting the evidence of beauty in the world. It is also thought that the play was a response by Thomas both to the Nazi concentration camps and to the internment camps that had been created around Britain during World War II.
Pear’s production, filmed in the round in the theater, includes styles of movement to differentiate the clans and their stories. During the rehearsal and production process, artists explored the possibilities of combining pre-recorded pieces with live audio.
The cast includes Oluchi Nwokocha, Ali-Moosa Mirza, Asha Kelly, Thomas Farley, Kalan K. Birnie and Connie Jimenez. Between them, they portray 40 characters (both alive and dead).
Tickets are $30-$34. In addition to the production, several Zoom readings with pre-recorded videos are available.
For tickets and more information, call 254-1148 or visit thepear.org/season-19.