Towngate Actor Spotlight: Aimee Kefauver in OUR TOWN

One of most amazing things about community theater is the actors that give their talent and time so that we can be entertained, moved and inspired. At Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre, we are lucky to have a large number of these talented people share their creative skills with us. Some are veterans who have honed their skills and bring a polished craft to their performances. Others are new to the stage, entering the realm of acting with a fresh face and vigor.

Wheeling native Aimee Kefauver has been acting at Towngate Theatre since she was 11-years-old. She is currently performing as Emily Webb in “Our Town,” the closing show of Towngate Theatre’s 50th Season.

We sat down with Aimee and asked her a few questions about herself and her part in “Our Town.”


Towngate Theatre: You’re a student at West Liberty. What are you studying?
Aimee: “I’m actually graduating on May 4th! I’m going to school for speech-language pathology. In the fall, I’ll be attending Cal U in PA for graduate school.”

Towngate Theatre: Congratulations! That’s exciting and a lot going on in your life. Why did you audition for “Our Town?”
Aimee: “I have always loved ‘Our Town!’ And when I heard that Towngate was doing it and that Tim (Thompson)would be directing, that was just the icing on the cake!”

Towngate Theatre: You’ve been acting at Towngate for some time now. How many shows have you done at Towngate?
Aimee: “I’ve been performing with Towngate since I was 11. I took my very first acting class with Mr. Tim and then auditioned for my first show right afterwards. A few of the shows I’ve done there include “Wait Until Dark,” “Tartuffe,” “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Cinderella,” “All The King’s Women” and “Dark of the Moon” and then, of course, “August: Osage County” last year.”

Towngate Theatre: That’s a pretty great collection of shows! And you’ve done theater elsewhere as well?
Aimee: “I was in six shows at Wheeling Park High School. “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “Anything Goes,” “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Meet Me in St. Louis” and “Footloose.” I was also a captain of the speech and debate team and took acting classes from Mr. Bill Cornforth.”


Towngate Theatre: Yet you keep coming back to Towngate. What do you like about acting here?
Aimee: “Towngate is like my home away from home. I have spent so much of my life within those walls, and it has so many memories for me. The people I’ve met are incredibly talented and incredibly kind… When you see a show at Towngate, your friends and neighbors are the ones up onstage and behind the scenes. Each production is a group effort and I think that really shows. There’s just so much heart and soul. It’s a uniquely rewarding experience to be a part of it.”

Towngate Theatre: You play Emily Webb in the show. How are you like Emily?
Aimee: “Throughout the show, Emily learns the importance of appreciating the little moments in life. Growing up, my mom had a sign in our kitchen that read, ‘Enjoy the little things. For one day, you may look back and realize they were the big things.’ I have really tried to live by that, and if anything, playing Emily has really reiterated that for me.”

Towngate Theatre: That’s great advice. How are you unlike Emily?
Aimee: “Well, anyone who knows me knows that I’m one emotional lady. But Emily is from early 20th Century New England, where a great number of people were almost embarrassed by their emotions. Especially in Act 1, it’s important that we play our characters as somewhat reserved. That’s been challenging, but in a very rewarding way. It’s always fun to play someone different from yourself.”

Towngate Theatre: Do you have a favorite moment so far?
Aimee: “I honestly don’t know if I could pick one. This is such an amazing cast, and I’ve worked with a lot of these wonderful individuals before. It tends to feel like a big reunion! I will say that a lot of us have a sweet tooth, so our assistant director, Bob Gaudio, supplies baked goods and they are always a standout. But just getting to tell this beautiful story alongside such talented friends has been priceless. Every moment has been important.”

Towngate Theatre: What are you most looking forward to audience members experiencing when they see this production?
Aimee: “I was just talking about this with Tim! There’s something about this play that just feels so important. Wilder didn’t miss a beat when he sat down to write this show, and it’s a pleasure to bring it to an audience. I think I’m most excited for people to be left with something meaningful. There are some shows that you go to see, and they’re very entertaining, but when they’re over, they’re over. This show really leaves people thinking. More than once we’ve been speechless after a scene or a run-through, and I can’t wait for others to get to experience that alongside us.”

Towngate Theatre: What do you like to do when you’re not acting?
Aimee: “I love to write. As a matter of fact, I’m currently working towards publishing my first novel. I also enjoy listening to and playing music, singing, and watching plays, musicals, films, you name it.”


Considered by many to be the greatest American play ever written, Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece “Our Town” illuminates the powerful bonds that hold communities together through everyday life and moments of crisis.

With humor, wit and powerful storytelling, the play follows two ordinary families–the Gibbs and the Webbs–through life, love and loss in the fictional small village of Grover’s Corners.

Told as a “play within a play,” the stage manager narrates as we follow the residents of Grover’s Corners through 12 years of life changes–from the mundane in Act I, “Daily Life,” to the romantic in Act II, “Love and Marriage,” to the devastating in Act III, “Death and Eternity.”

Directed by Tim Thompson, the Towngate production has a large and talented cast. In addition to Aimee playing Emily, the cast includes John Reilly, Noah Hilton, Vincent Marshall, Rachel Thompson, Justin Swoyer, Dee Gregg, Eric Dutton, Joe Heatherington, Jim Weekly, Kristin Seibert, Robert Gaudio, Grace Thompson, Alex Fabrizio, Isaac Swoyer, Rob DeSantis, Karissa Martin, Pete Fernbaugh, Marie McKelvey, Aidan Kosol and Colin Roose.

“Our Town” closes Towngate’s 50th season of community theater, which is sponsored by Unified Bank.


Evening performances of “Our Town” take place at 8 p.m. May 3, 4, 10 and 11. A matinee performance takes place at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5.

Purchase tickets online in advance or by calling 304-242-7700. You can purchase tickets at the door, if available. Box office opens one hour prior to curtain.