Theatre for Young Audiences, Fables/Folktales, Experimental
Time Period - 1960s
Settings Of Play - The yard of a suburban house.
FEATURES / CONTAINS
Scene work, Competition or audition material
Bare Stage/Simple Set
Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes
No Special Cautions
Appropriate for all audiences, Adult, Children (Age 6 - 10), Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18)
Jr High/Primary, High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Shoestring Budget, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
RECOGNITION / AWARDS
In this provocative, sometimes chilling comedy, Wilder renders a
child's-eye view of the grown-up world, as a father, a mother and their
three children play a revealing game of make-believe in which the
children pretend to be orphans. Startling truths emerge on both sides,
as pretense challenges the family to discard the traditional roles of
parent, spouse, child, and sibling--blurring the lines between
perception and reality, artifice and innocence.
"Admirers of Thornton Wilder's virtuouso short plays will be glad to hear he has returned to the form in which he excels. " -Irving Wardle, London Times, March 16, 1973
"We often hear the phrase, 'a winning child.' Winning children (who appear so guileless) are children who have discovered how effective charm and modesty and a delicately calculated spontaneity are in winning what they want." -Thornton Wilder in The Paris Review Interviews, 1957
"I've been writing two plays (Ira and Childhood) that have dream sequences, and have become very attentive to what takes place in dreaming...In Childhood I use something I none too clearly remember from The Interpretation of Dreams (and by the light of that book, observed in my own dreaming): that an important person in one's dream, whom one's censor does not wish to identify or acknowledge, appears veiled or masked, or seen from the back only. So my children's father and mother." -Thornton Wilder, Journal, March 24, 1960
Childhood was first produced at the Circle in the Square Theater in New York January 10, 1962, as one of three plays grouped as "Plays for Bleecker Street. It was televised by the CBC in 1966 and 1969, and by an educational television channel in 1966 and 1970.