Time Period - 1930s, 1920s, 1910s / WWI, 1900-1910, 19th Century
Settings Of Play - The dinning room table in the Bayard home, over the course of nine decades.
FEATURES / CONTAINS
Local Celebrity Cameo, No intermission
Interior Set, Bare Stage/Simple Set
No Special Cautions
Adolescence, Aging, Business, Childhood, Christianity, Death, Illness/Health, Love, Marriage, Memory, Parenting/Family, Religion
Appropriate for all audiences, Adult, Senior, Children (Age 6 - 10), Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18)
High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Professional Theatre, Senior Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Shoestring Budget, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups, Church / Religious Groups
RECOGNITION / AWARDS
The Long Christmas Dinner
– nine decades long – showcases the lives of several generations of the Bayard family, and some of their Christmas dinners. Wilder breaks the boundaries of time as we measure it, and invites us to partake of “one long, happy Christmas dinner” – past, present, and future. As generations appear, have children, wither, and depart, only the audience appreciates what changes and what remains the same. “Every last twig is wrapped around with ice. You almost never see that,” young Genevieve marvels, not realizing that her mother made this observation years earlier, or that her daughter-in-law will one day do the same.
"Like a surprise holiday gift [...] [these plays] shine like gems." - The New York Times
"Of all my plays it is the one that has found the widest variety of receptions. At some performances it has been played to constant laughter; some listeners are deeply moved and shaken by it; some find it cruel and cynical (What? The dead are forgotten so soon?)" - Thornton Wilder in a letter written April 11, 1960 to Gertrude Hindemith, whose husband, the composer Paul Hindemith, wrote an opera based on the play
The Long Christmas Dinner was first produced November 25, 1931 in a joint performance by the Yale Dramatic Association and the Vassar Philaletheis at the Yale University theater in New Haven, Connecticut, along with Love and How to Cure It, Such Things Only Happen in Books, and The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden.