Olivia Oguma’s Short Film Puts Artists of Color at the Center of Thornton Wilder's Our Town

Video   Olivia Oguma’s Short Film Puts Artists of Color at the Center of Thornton Wilder's Our Town
 
Ann Harada, Thom Sesma, Mia Katigbak, Mirirai Sithole, Emma Ramos, and others bring an iconic monologue to life in their town. OUR town.

Following the news of a 2021 Broadway revival of Our Town, actor Olivia Oguma (Luce, Mamma Mia!, Les Misérables) set about putting her own twist on the Thornton Wilder classic. Featuring a host of familiar faces, including Ann Harada, Thom Sesma, Mia Katigbak, Mirirai Sithole, Emma Ramos, and many more, her short film uses one of Wilder's monologues to put the artistry of BIPOC actors and writers front and center.

"I came to realize, that a lot of my hurt and frustration regarding the revival, the casting, and the optics of the theatre institution has to do with simply not seeing myself represented on stage," Oguma shares. "Specifically, in the context of classic plays that explore what it truly means to be an American.

Olivia Oguma
Olivia Oguma

"I wanted to create something that celebrates our connection to one another," says the artist. "I wanted to create something that said, people of color deserve to be a part of this conversation… we deserve to be sitting at this table. I wanted to create something that simply said: We see you, do you see us?"

You can watch their town. OUR town. above. A captioned version of the film is available by clicking here.

The cast also features Oguma, Marc Delacruz, Annie Henk, Kaliswa Brewster, James Seol, Brynn Williams, Kaaron Briscoe, Don Nguyen, Anthony Lee Medina, Jo Mei, Austin Ku, Bruce Locke, Jason C. Brown, Ashley Bryant, Sade Namei, Wi-Moto Nyoka, Rodney To, Christopher Oscar Peña, Tina Chilip, Michael Genet, Nandita Shenoy, Brooke Ishibashi, Kate Rigg, Andres Munar, and James Yaegashi.

Oguma's short film is conceived, edited and directed by the artist, featuring Wilder's words and original music by Cody Owen Stine.

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