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Highland fall, spring theatre feature Pulitzer plays

Building F

The Highland Community College theatre department announces its 2021-22 theatre season by producing two Pulitzer Prize-winning plays: “Our Town” on Oct. 7, 8, and 9; and “Sweat” on March 10, 11, and 12, 2022. Both productions are performed by Highland students on the Fine Arts Theatre stage in the Ferguson Fine Arts Center, 2998 W. Pearl City Rd., Freeport, Ill.

“Our Town” by Thornton Wilder begins with the simple aspects of the lives of the residents of the mythical small town of Grover’s Corners and ends asking profound questions. “Our Town” examines with humor and sadness the joys and losses experienced in life. “Our Town” won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1938.

Laura Early, Theatre Arts Instructor, said, “’Our Town’ is a powerful statement of our shared humanity. The play is especially relevant to today and our desire for human interaction and closeness.” 

“Sweat” by Lynn Nottage is filled with humor, truth, and heart. The play examines the relationships of a group of friends who spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets, and stories working together on the factory floor. When layoffs and picket lines chip away at trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other to stay afloat. “Sweat” won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2017 and is the second Pulitzer for Lynn Nottage. Nottage’s play “Ruined” won the Pulitzer in 2009. Nottage is the first and remains the only woman to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice.

“I am a huge Lynn Nottage fan, and I am thrilled to direct ‘Sweat.’ Lynn Nottage is one of the greatest living American playwrights and this play is relevant, moving, and timely,” Early said.

“Sweat” contains strong language and mature content. Parental guidance is suggested for audience members under age 17. No attendees under age 12.

Auditions for “Our Town” and “Sweat” are open to students, faculty, staff, and community members. Highland actively seeks a diverse cast. Look for announcements for virtual or in-person auditions for “Our Town” in August.

“Our Town” and “Sweat” are slated for live performances with an audience. Tickets will be limited and will go on sale through the box office 30 days before opening night by phone at 815-599-3718 or online at

Due to the current state and federal COVID-19 recommendations and to maintain the integrity of the event, Highland will not present Summerset in 2021. The Highland Theatre Arts department says they are looking forward to and plans are underway for an exciting Summerset in 2022.

Highland Community College follows safety recommendations set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health, the CDC, state and federal guidelines. During all rehearsals and performances, the current campus safety precautions are followed.