The Lasting Impact of “Our Town”
Somewhere within a 100 mile radius of your current location, someone is preparing to perform Our Town at this moment.
That might be a slight overstatement, depending on where you live, but there’s no question that Thornton Wilder’s Our Town is one of the most produced plays in theaters all over the world.
In the foreword to Our Town, Donald Margulies said “The play’s success across cultural borders around the world attests to its being something much greater than an American play: it is a play that captures the universal experience of being alive.”
Our Town won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1938 after a run on Broadway. With all due respect to The Bridge of San Luis Rey, my current read, it’s Wilder’s most famous work.
With two chairs as props and no other stage backdrop, Our Town is simple to produce but difficult to execute. Set in the fictional Grover’s Corner, New Hampshire, it explores the relationship between George Gibbs and Emily Webb, two neighbors who grow up as childhood friends, fall in love, and get married.
I’ve sadly never seen nor read the play, as anti-American as that sounds, though I did watch the video below, which was a feature on CBS This Morning about the lasting impact of Wilder’s play. So can I get some points for that?
I’m sure many of you have watched or read Our Town…so is it worthy of the acclaim?