Synopsis by Mark Deming
The Los Angeles community of Compton has become infamous thanks to news reports and rap music lyrics that have portrayed it as an African-American neighborhood brought to the edge of destruction by corruption and black-on-black crime. In 2003, a handful of students and teachers at Compton's Dominguez High School decided to do something that hadn't happened at the school in more than 20 years -- put on a play. When it became obvious that the financially strapped school (which had recently canceled its football program) couldn't provide a budget for sets or costumes, the students did what money-conscious high-school theater departments have been doing for decades -- they staged Thornton Wilder's Our Town, a drama commonly performed without the use of sets or large props. But what would Wilder's allegorical story of life in a small turn-of-the-century Midwestern hamlet mean to kids in Compton? And would the inexperienced students and faculty be able to bring it off? OT: Our Town is a documentary which looks at Dominguez High's brave experiment and the people who struggled to make it happen.
against-all-odds, drama-teacher, ghetto, high-school, play [drama], rehearsal, teenagers, theater