Our Town

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Our Town is a three-act play by American playwright Thornton Wilder. It is a character story about an average town's citizens in the early twentieth century as depicted through their everyday lives (particularly George Gibbs, a doctor's son, and Emily Webb, the daughter of the town's newspaper editor and George's future wife). Using metatheatrical devices, Wilder sets the play in a 1930s theater. He uses the actions of the Stage Manager to create the town of Grover's Corners for the audience. Scenes from its history between the years of 1901 and 1913 play out.

Wilder wrote the play while in his 30s. In June 1937, he lived in the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, one of the many locations where he worked on the play. During a visit to Zurich in September 1937, he drafted the entire third act in one day after a long evening walk in the rain with a friend, author Samuel Morris Steward.[1]

Our Town was first performed at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, New Jersey on 22 January 1938. It next opened at the Wilbur Theater in Boston, Massachusetts on 25 January 1938. Its New York City debut was on 4 February 1938 at Henry Miller's Theatre, and later moved to the Morosco Theatre. The play was produced and directed by Jed Harris.[2] Wilder received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1938 for the work.[3] In 1946, the Soviet Union prevented a production of Our Town in the Russian sector of occupied Berlin "on the grounds that the drama is too depressing and could inspire a German suicide wave." [4]


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