The Pulitzer-winning drama, set in the small town of Grover’s Corners, has a beating heart that will resonate through the years

It is frequently called the quintessential American play, but if productions of Thornton Wilder’s 1938 Pulitzer prize winner Our Town focus on its “American-ness”, they’re missing the point.

Much as the Russian-set, Jewish-themed Fiddler on the Roof became an international hit in numerous languages, Our Town has lasted as one of the most produced US plays in the global modern repertoire. This is not for its statement on the American character or as a flag-waving paean to a simpler time, but because its true concerns transcend the specifics of turn-of-the-20th-century Grover’s Corners, where the play is set. That’s quite surprising for a play with a rather slim plot and no conventional conflict, which alternates between long narrated passages and select scenes of two families in small-town New Hampshire.

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