Our Town: Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic
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The last date listed for Our Town was Sunday July 10, 2011 / 7:00pm.
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If your idea of a poetry reading involves a tweed-clad author, a podium and possibly a nap, then… More
Quotes & Highlights
Wilder wrote Our Town in 1937, when he was in his 30s. He worked on it at the famed MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, and completed the entire third act in a single day after a walk in the rain in Zürich.
*By Thornton Wilder
Directed by Sean Murray
Production Sponsored by Danah Fayman*
Wilder’s Our Town is arguably one of the most iconic plays of the twentieth century. Its seemingly simple story of the communal life in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, has spoken to generations of audience members about love, companionship, choices and change. The unique construct of the play – which calls for no set, little-to-no scenery and minimal props, along with an interactive Stage Manager – was the playwright’s response to a belief that “theatre was not only inadequate, it had become evasive.” Wilder hoped that this shift to the bare essentials would direct more attention to the words and story and therefore have greater impact. Indeed his play has become one of the most produced and recognized across the globe. It has been turned into multiple films, an opera, television productions and even a 1955 musical TV adaption. The 2009 revival at Barrow Street Theatre ran for 644 performances, making it the longest running production of the play in its history.
The moving artistry of Our Town has long been loved by Artistic Director Sean Murray. However, the oft-produced antiquated stereotypes of the piece concerned him, too. “The story is so beautiful and universal,” said Murray. “It truly speaks to everyone. But the normal casting of the piece sets it back and makes it feel like an historical piece about a select few.” Murray’s decision to select a color-blind, age-blind cast was his conclusion. “I want the audience to see themselves represented on the Cygnet stage. I want the town to truly be our town and not a mythical place in New England.”