by Thornton Wilder
Wilder’s 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning play tells the story of the fictional American small town of Grover’s Corners between 1901 and 1913 through the everyday lives of its citizens. In this Skidmore College Theater production, maverick theater director, Phil Soltanoff reexamines and resuscitates OUR TOWN as an “edgy innovative classic”.
“OUR TOWN is an American play that everyone knows, and most everyone has seen. Maybe a spouse or parent, a high school girlfriend or boyfriend, have even been in a production. The play’s ubiquity also creates its problem. OUR TOWN is done so much it’s become a shadow of its once innovative self. An anesthetized version of the play exists in our psyche. Our ideas of OUR TOWN are homey– sweet and saccharine– about good ol’ American values. Somehow (via perfunctory repetition) the play itself has disappeared into homespun worn-out notions. This production is an attempt to rescue OUR TOWN as an edgy innovative classic. I must confess, most folks who direct the play say this same darn thing. So let me join those rescuers in my attempt to hurl a life preserver to Wilder’s text. I think there’s a masterwork hidden in all the encrusted gobbledygook.” – Phil Soltanoff