Campus Profile: Emma Bahnson

The University Theatre is whipping out another timeless piece this year: Thornton Wilder’s classic production of Our Town. What's particularly exciting, though, is that my dear friend Emma Bahnson, a senior double-majoring in English and Theatre and Drama, is taking on the lead role of Emily Webb. Our Town follows people's lives in the small town of Grover’s Corners. Wilder’s productions focuses on love, family, death and the meaning of living a full life. If you've run out of date ideas completely, this is the kind of show to bring a date to (wink wink)! Before you head over to the show, though, learn more about Emma and her experience acting in Our Town:

Photo by Beau Meyer


HC: What is your role in Our Town?

E: I am lucky enough to play Emily Webb in the University Theatre’s (UT) production of Our Town. She is one of the leads and the love interest of George Gibbs, her neighbor.


HC: What do you and Emily have in common?

E: Other than the sound of our names, Emily and I are pretty similar! We are both particularly connected to our families, and we enjoy school a lot! I would also say that we are both romantics.


Photo by Beau Meyer


HC: If you could play any other character in Our Town besides Emily, who would you play and why?

E: If I could play any other character in Our Town, it’d have to be Doc Gibbs. But I love all of the characters, it’s the entire ensemble that makes this show special.


HC: What is your favorite part about acting in Our Town?

E: It’s hard to pick one thing that is the reason I love being a part of Our Town. It’s the wonderful people in the cast, it’s the beauty in Wilder’s world, in words and in Emily.


HC: Did you know anything about the play before auditioning?

E: Before auditioning I had read the show and heard of its prevalence in American theatres, but I fell in love with it the first time I read it.


HC: Have you been in any theatre productions on campus before?

E: I’ve been involved in the play festivals the past two springs and was in the Undergraduate Theatre Association’s (UTA) production of Romeo and Juliet last spring.


Photo by Beau Meyer


HC: For how long have you been acting?

E: I’ve loved acting since I was little! There was a period of time were I tried to leave it behind; but now, I can’t imagine life without it.


HC: Do you wish to continue acting in the future?

E: Yes! Attempting to be an actor in real life is the next goal.


HC: What is your dream role?

E: Dream role is a hard one. I’d love to play Harper from Angels in America.


Photo by Beau Meyer


HC: Why should everyone come see Our Town?

E: People should come see Our Town because it reminds you about things like love and the importance of community and connection.


HC: I hear you also write, what do you enjoying writing?

E: I used to write plays; but in the last couple of years, I’ve started writing more prose, poetry and, even more recently, screenplays.

HC: Do you have anything in the works right now?

E: I’m working on a couple of film-related things right now! Still in the initial phases of writing so there isn’t much to say yet, but soon!


HC: Do you plan on getting any of your works produced in the future?

E: We are filming the screen plays, and I’m also considering writing for the Marcia Légère Play Festival! We’ll see how busy this semester gets.


Photo by Beau Meyer


Interested seeing Emma onstage? Our Town opens up Friday, Oct. 13 and runs till Oct. 29 at the Hemsley Theatre located on East Campus Mall. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2:00 p.m. on Sundays. Student tickets are $13 and can be purchased at the Vilas Box Office.