A Two-Sided Turnover! One Stoplight Town Review


The stoplight is a double-edged sword; a dictator or a diplomat, depending on who you are in the Old Lyme Players production of One Stoplight town. So what was this stoplight trying to say? If you missed these two nights at the LOLHS theater the 22nd and 23rd, here is what happened.

To note: This was my first time attending a play at our high school! Having only been to musicals, I wondered how the actors wouldn’t burst out in song after each few minutes of dialogue. However, I’m pleasantly surprised to report that the production flowed very well even without it (no surprise, it is a play after all.)

What most immediately caught my attention was the roughly nine-foot-tall stoplight, with the red, yellow, and green fully functioning lights standing center stage. As an audience member, I felt intimidated by the red glow in the darkness, but the music that opened with it created an intimate scene. I could feel the duality of the stoplight’s colors instantly. 

Trish, portrayed by Sabina Junkiet, opens the show walking on stage with her tools to put the finishing touches on the new stoplight. She gives a very prophetic monologue right off the bat, and would continue to give wise lessons throughout the play. At the start, I couldn’t feel the weight of what Trish was saying, but as the play continued the powerful scenes that followed gave ground to what Trish said following her first “Yellow, red, green. Slow down, stop, go!” Trish also guides the story’s contrast between “taking risks” and “taking time.” Every color on the stoplight is meant to be appreciated for what it is; green for going ahead and accepting a challenge; yellow for taking a minute to slow down and maybe rethink; and red for a full freeze. Each character goes through their own series of stoplight colors, and while it isn’t always the one they want, it is always the one they need.

The play is set in a small town where everyone knows everyone, and one person’s news is everyone’s news (sound familiar?) As anyone from Old Lyme and Lyme can imagine, this can have its upsides and downsides. You might be able to have everyone in town at your wedding via evite, or the local mechanic looking after your kids when they go street racing with their friends. Some people would love to see these positive things live forever, but this comes with keeping everything the same. Enter: Barb, portrayed by Alexis Grasdock.

If the town is perfect as it is, why change it, right? Barb would agree. Trish and Barb exist as perfect foils to one another throughout the play. Barb is stuck in her ways, and Trish is ready for the next step. Both want to see the town prosper, but clearly have a different image in mind. I definitely expected more character growth from Barb in the same manner as the other characters, but even though she didn’t get Trish’s positive mindset on the bound-to-change-future, I think she did eventually accept that she couldn’t fight change.

From the stunning set to fantastic lights and audio, and from comedic relief to polar opposite heroines, One Stoplight Town was nothing short of a fantastic production and memorable experience. Everyone in the cast and crew should be very proud of themselves for all their hard work!