TOUCHED HEARTS AT HART’S 2023-24 SEASON OPENER
September 12, 2023
By Elisa Joy Payne
This past weekend, Hillsboro Artist Regional Theatre (HART) delighted audiences with their heartwarming production of "Morning’s at Seven," written by Paul Osborn, bringing a sense of cozy charm to this small theater in Downtown Hillsboro. From the beautifully constructed stage to the dedicated cast, this theater experience was a testament to the power of passion and community involvement.
Setting the Stage
From the moment we entered the theater, a sense of coziness set under the leadership of Harrison Butler, the director, enveloped the audience. The always inviting theater space at the corner of SE 2nd and Washington has been transformed into a charming suburban neighborhood. The stage features Masterfully crafted back porches attached to two-story houses, complete with a white picket fence in the background. What made the stage even more remarkable was how community volunteers had lent their time and skills to create this stunning set. It was a true labor of love that added authenticity and immersion to the production.
Synopsis from HART
Aaronetta and Ida Gibbs have lived next door to each other most of their lives and along with Esther, all of the Gibb sisters are an open book to each other. Husbands not included. Into the fray comes Myrtle Brown, perpetually engaged to Ida's son Homer. But Homer can't seem to commit to a wedding date. Taking matters into her own hands, Myrtle finally gets a proposal by compelling Homer to fly the nest. Sort of. This perennially charming portrait of small-town America fifty plus years ago was revived on Broadway in 1980 and in 2002 to critical acclaim.
The Heartfelt Performances
The true stars of "Morning’s at Seven" were the actors, who approached their roles with infectious enthusiasm. The cast’s dedication and passion for their characters shone through in each scene, leaving the audience emotionally invested from start to finish. It was clear that these were community actors sharing their talents with friends and neighbors, and this authenticity added a unique charm to the performance. The sincerity and earnestness of the performances were evident, with each member of the audience seeming to fall in love with a different character.
The most remarkable aspect of this production is the sense of community it fostered. Not only did volunteers contribute their time and skills to build an impressive set, but the entire production seemed to be a labor of love by all involved. The palpable camaraderie among the cast and crew extended to the audience, creating a shared experience that transcended the typical theater visit.
HART Theatre's production of "Morning’s at Seven" delivered an enchanting evening of theater that celebrated the spirit of community and passion for the arts. The actors’ dedication and authenticity breathed life into the characters and the story. The beautifully constructed set, a testament to the power of volunteers, added an extra layer of immersion to the performance. This is a production that reminds us of the magic that can happen when a community comes together to share their talents and create something truly special. If you're in search of heartwarming, locally-driven entertainment, HART Theatre's "Morning’s at Seven" is not to be missed. It runs through Sunday, September 24th and tickets can be purchased on www.hart-theatre.org.