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Arts & Culture

Something Is Eternal: A Look At 'Our Town'

Carol Rosegg
David Cromer as the Stage Manager in 'Our Town' at the Barrow Street Theater, 2009.

Thornton Wilder's Our Town debuted more than 80 years ago. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and, over the decades since, it has continuously been one of the most produced of American plays.

It is known for its spare set -- just some chairs and tables, perhaps some ladders -- and lack of props and sometimes even costumes. It's known for its metatheatricality and its Stage Manager character, who addresses the audience directly and rarely participates in the action of the play, as much as there really is any.

It is known as old-fashioned, sentimental, nostalgic and, simultaneously, obviously and intentionally not old-fashioned, sentimental, and nostalgic.

This hour, a look at perhaps the quintessential American play: Our Town.


  • Howard Sherman - The author of Another Day's Begun: Thornton Wilder's Our Town in the 21st Century
  • Kate Powers - A stage director and the founder of The Redeeming Time Project; in 2013, she directed a production of Our Town at Sing Sing Correctional Facility

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Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

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