Peapack-Gladstone — October 19 is Opening Night for the New Peapack Players presentation of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, Our Town. The play will be performed on four nights, October 19, 20, 26, & 27 in the sanctuary at Peapack Reformed Church, Gladstone, NJ. The church, a 153-year old member of the Reformed Church in America, is a sponsor of the troupe and has provided financial backing for the current production.
“We’re excited to support the lively arts in our community, ” said the church’s pastor, Rev. Linden DeBie, “and Thornton Wilder’s timeless message that life is precious and every moment we share together magical is one that we find especially poignant just now. I do believe that it is a hopeful message and wholly appropriate coming from our community of faith.”
The church, an 1872 Wren-Gibbs style clapboard edifice, is the second on the site, having replaced an 1850 building that burned, very tragically just three weeks after the Peapack congregation dedicated extensive additions and renovations following the end of the Civil War. Gracing a hillside overlooking Main Street and the Gladstone terminus of the old Erie-Lackawanna railway, the current building has become a beloved landmark in the Somerset Hills, not least for its excellent acoustics and pipe organ, both assets that are expected to distinguish the Players’ inaugural production.
“Citizens of Wilder’s mythical Grover’s Corners would feel right at home at Peapack Reformed Church,” Rev. DeBie added, “and we’re sure that you will too. It’s a very thoughtful, almost atmospheric space that beckons us to introspection. A person can really wrestle with questions of truth and eternity in a room like this and I think the playwright would be pleased. If I may paraphrase something Wilder said: ‘A church is supremely fitted to say: “Behold! These things are.’”