NEWPORT BEACH — At 17, Michael Fleming has written the musical score for the upcoming "Our Town" production, which will open Friday night at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa.
A junior at the Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana, Fleming put together the music in less than a month after reading Thornton Wilder's three-act play of the same name, finding inspiration in the plot.
"Our Town" is about a small community in New Hampshire called Grover's Corners; and although, in general, it's about the townspeople of that era, the story focuses on one woman, Emily Webb. She dies during childbirth and gets a rare chance to relive her 12th birthday in what has become a classic theatrical moment.
In the end, Emily comes to the conclusion that many people do not really live life while they have the chance.
The play, set in the early 1900s, earned Wilder a Pulitzer Prize. But the play was considered so depressing that the Soviets banned it while they occupied Berlin — out of fear that it could incite a wave of suicides.