Next month, the talented Wheatley Theater Company, which includes thespians from Roslyn, will present a production of the Thornton Wilder classic, Our Town. The productions will take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20-22 at 7:30 p.m. at The Wheatley Theater. Our Town is a Pulitzer Prize-winning 1938 play about life, marriage and death in a small New Hampshire village.
The play was considered experimental in its time as it is performed without a set, while the actors mime their actions with little scenery and props and no set. In writing the play, Wilder thought that American theater needed to under major improvisations and so he used imaginative devices to communicate to the audience, including a narration throughout the play by the stage manager.
In all, the play has long been considered an affirmation of the simple life. It centers on the courtship and marriage of the young couple, George and Emily. Emily dies while giving birth to the couple’s second child, but to highlight her example of selfless living, she returns to the play’s final drama, the funeral of a longtime resident, to remind viewers how much life should be valued at every minute, an effort that as the stage manager reminds her, is achieved by only a very few people, namely saints and poets during the course of their lifetime.
Indeed, the flyer for the Wheatley production describes the play as a “groundbreaking meditation of life and love. A stirring love story. A soaring affirmation of the beauty of life.”
Since its debut in 1938, Our Town has enjoyed many long runs and revivals and has also been produced for both television and the movies. Wilder’s own works, in both drama and fiction, are being reissued by the Library of America.
For show and ticket information, go to wheatleytheater.weebly.com