As Professor Willard in "Our Town"
at WICA - June, 2014

Norm as Professor Willard in "Our Town" - June, 2014


My Memories of "Our Town"

          I did not audition for WICA's production of "Our Town",
but the director, Tim Rarick, asked me to meet with him to
discuss accepting the role of "Professor Willard". He needed
to fill that role and cast member Jill Johnson recommended
me for it. I commented that I considered the character's speech
to the town was supposed to be the most boring part of the play.
But Tim pointed out that Willard probably considered his
speech would be fascinating information to the audience and
especially to himself. I agreed and determined to show Willard
as extremely excited in his speech. I consider that performance
to be my most challenging, most appreciated, and favorite of
all my acting portrayals.

          I remember commenting backstage that I regretted that
I had never been in a musical, but some other cast members
pointed out that in our production of "Our Town" I sang in a
duet and in a choir, making our show slightly "musical".

          My strangest Professor Willard line included the
peculiar adjective "brachiocephalic" to describe the early
settlers of the town. I did not understand the word, but felt that
it sounded quite acedemic and appropriate for Willard to
impress his audience with obscure vocabulary. Years later, I
had surgery to create a fistula in my arm for my future dialysis.
For a subsequent checkup, I had an ultrasound imaging of it,
and the hospital technician told me he was checking my
brachiocephalic fistula"!

Photograph by Tyler Raymond, Copyright 2014

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