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11-14-03 Art Carney, Our Town, Anna S. Curtis and OCHS Class of 58

Art Carney Has Always Brought Memories of Our Town, Anna S. Curtis and the OCHS Class of 58

   Art Carney


AVOC Article


November 13, 2003


Art Carney Dies in Connecticut


Recent media reports have talked about and praised Art Carney’s acting career.  His part in the Jackie Gleason Honeymooners Series is the most famous.  See below excerpt.


…”Even though the Gleason Show and the role of Ed Norton cemented Carney's success as a comedian, he was never content to be known as merely a comic actor. When the program moved to CBS Carney's agent negotiated for the actor to have three out of every thirteen weeks off to perform in noncompetitive shows. Carney built up a solid background as a dramatic performer on episodes of Studio One, Suspense, Kraft Television Theater, and Playhouse 90, and in special events like a telecast of Thornton Wilder's Our Town. By the latter part of the decade critics had come to take the excellence of Carney's dramatic performances for granted. When he appeared in the lead in Rod Serling teleplay "The Velvet Alley" on Playhouse 90, the Variety review of 28 January 1959 commented, "Carney achieved considerable stature as a dramatic actor with his remarkable performance."…..”


I remember Art Carney most for his lead role (Stage Manager) in the T V production of Our Town.  My high school class (OCHS 1958) produced Our Town as our Senior Play in May, 1958, in the Cafetorium of the old high school (now middle school) on Mars Hill Road.  We worked on the play for months.  It involved at least 30 classmates.  The Play was directed by the inimitable ANNA S. CURTIS, English Teacher and dramatist extraordinaire!


The play established a  lot of camaraderie for our Class.  It was a hit in the community and was talked about for years.  I had the Stage Manager Part. 


After we graduated, Mrs. Curtis invited a number of us to her home in Watkinsville to watch the Art Carney –Our Town performance.  We enjoyed the ‘get-together’ and the performance very much.


Art Carney made a lasting impression on me.  I never heard his name later without remembering our Class Play, Anna S. Curtis and Our Town.


Some moments in life are treasures and priceless.


Wendell Dawson, Editor



Our Town - Class of 58-- Anna Curtis on Left


The Wedding Scene in Our Town

Wendell Dawson-Stage Manager May 1958