Our Town

Definition

Theater

  • Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer-Prize-winning play aboutsmalltown America, first performed on Broadway in 1938. Our Towntakes a somewhat nostalgic look at everyday life in the small communityof Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, at the turn of the century. Thestyle contains elements of expressionism. A 'stage manager' guidesthe audience through the action, explaining and commenting upon eventsand relationships, whilst also participating in the action.

    The plot revolves around the romance of Emily Webb and GeorgeGibbs. Wilder uses flashbacks to show the daily existence of the Webband Gibbs families together with their friends and neighbours. Theyouthful love of Emily and George matures into a happy marriage thatends with her death in childbirth. At the funeral Emily's spirit appearsand desperately tries to convey her past happinesses to her mother.When this fails, Emily returns to the grave despairing at the wayin which most people allow the joys of life to pass them by.

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