Our Town

by  Thornton Wilder

Full Length Play, Drama  /  17m, 7f



Winner! 1938 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
"While all of Wilder's work is intelligent, non-synthetic and often moving, as well as funny, it is Our Town that makes the difference. It is probably the finest play ever written by an American." - Edward Albee

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License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    17m, 7f
  • Duration

    Duration

    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Not Applicable
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Tony, Pulitzer, From Broadway, From Off-Broadway
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Monologues
    • Scene work
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

Samuel French, in cooperation with the Thornton Wilder Family, is pleased to release the playwright’s definitive version of Our Town. This edition of the play differs only slightly from previous acting editions, yet it presents Our Town as Thornton Wilder wished it to be performed. Described by Edward Albee as “…the greatest American play ever written,” the story follows the small town of Grover’s Corners through three acts: “Daily Life,” “Love and Marriage,” and “Death and Eternity.” Narrated by a stage manager and performed with minimal props and sets, audiences follow the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry, and eventually – in one of the most famous scenes in American theatre – die. Thornton Wilder’s final word on how he wanted his play performed is an invaluable addition to the American stage and to the libraries of theatre lovers internationally.
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Accolades

  • Winner! 1938 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Reviews

...one of the sagest, warmest and most deeply human scripts to have come out of our theatre." - New York Post

REVIEWS:

"While all of Wilder's work is intelligent, non-synthetic and often moving, as well as funny, it is Our Town that makes the difference. It is probably the finest play ever written by an American." - Edward Albee

"Thornton Wilder's masterpiece [...] An immortal tale of small town morality [and] [...] a classic of soft spoken theater." - The New York Times

"Beautiful and remarkable one of the sagest, warmest and most deeply human scripts to have come out of our theatre [...] A spiritual experience." - New York Post

"No American play describes more powerfully how we imagine ourselves." - New York Daily News

"No play ever moved me so deeply." - Alexander Woolcott, The New Yorker

RELATED ARTICLES ON BREAKING CHARACTER:

Theatre Comes to The Public: Bringing Our Town(s) Together
by Rosey Strub
December 19, 2016

OUR TOWN’s Timeless Qualities: 75 Years in the Making
by Tara Kennedy
January 23, 2012

Videos

  • In Our Living and Our Dying: Our Town in the 21st Century
  • Tappan Wilder on the Legacy of Our Town
  • The New Edition of Our Town
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Church / Religious Groups
  • Senior Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Outdoor
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1900-1910
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The entire play takes place in Grovers Corners, New Hampshire, beginning in May of 1901.
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

17m, 7f
STAGE MANAGER
DR. GIBBS
JOE CROWELL
HOWIE NEWSOME
MRS. GIBBS
MRS. WEBB
GEORGE GIBBS
REBECCA GIBBS
WALLY WEBB
EMILY WEBB
PROFESSOR WILLARD
MR. WEBB
WOMAN IN THE BALCONY
MAN IN THE AUDITORIUM
LADY IN THE BOX
SIMON STIMSON
MRS. SOAMES
CONSTABLE WARREN
SI CROWELL
THREE BASEBALL PLAYERS
SAM CRAIG
JOE STODDARD
PEOPLE OF THE TOWN
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Cast Attributes

  • Flexible casting
  • Room for Extras
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

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Authors

Thornton Wilder

Thornton Wilder (1897-1975), born in Madison, Wisconsin, and educated at Yale and Princeton, was an accomplished novelist and playwright whose works explore the connection between the commonplace and the cosmic dimensions of human experience.

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Our Town was first presented in New York City at Henry Miller's Theatre on February 4, 1938. It was produced and directed by Jed Harris.

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