Did you know? Seventy-five years ago in February, Broadway audiences first attended the opening night of this much beloved American classic. In honor of the anniversary, director Stephen Rayne has engaged a diverse cast of actors, finding new resonances in the play and creating an “Our Town” for our modern time.
The Ford’s Theatre 2012-13 season continues with a production of Thornton Wilder’s treasured American drama “Our Town”, directed by Stephen Rayne from January 25 through February 24, 2013. Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama presents a timeless commentary on the transience of human existence. Teenagers George and Emily meet, fall in love, marry—and suffer the slings and arrows of everyday life. Wilder transforms their ordinary story into a poignant and captivating exploration of mortality and the interconnectivity of human beings. In celebration of the play’s 75th-Anniversary year, Stephen Rayne directs a diverse cast, creating an “Our Town” for our time.
“‘Our Town’ is a play which transcends differences in culture, class and race, and speaks to the great themes common to all great art: love, death and marriage,” said director Stephen Rayne. “From its first production in 1938, the play struck a powerful chord with the American psyche, and it is as fresh and relevant today as it was then. I am hoping to bring a fresh perspective to this great classic and present a production that Ford's and Mr. Wilder will be proud of.”
Check out Ford’s series of programs in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of “Our Town” offering include:
- “Our Town” 75th Anniversary Celebration: Monday, February 4, 2013, at 7 p.m. //Ford’s Theatre celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Broadway opening for Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” with a special program on the Ford’s Theatre stage. As part of the evening’s festivities, The Thornton Wilder Society will present its “Thornton Wilder Prize” to an individual in the arts who practices their calling with the distinction, devotion and zest that characterized the artist for whom the Prize is named. Tickets are free but required. For details and reservations, click here.
- Reading: Wilder’s Classic One Acts: Monday, February 11, 2013, at 7 p.m. // Ford’s Theatre presents an evening of classic one-acts by Thornton Wilder, read by students from American, Georgetown and Howard universities. The evening includes The Long Christmas Dinner, Pullman Car Hiawatha and The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden. Tickets are free but required. Support provided by Samuel French. For details and reservations, click here.
- “Our Town” Pre-Performance Seminar: Tuesday, February 12, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. // Join us for a pre-performance seminar with Tappan Wilder, the playwright's nephew and literary executor, in a dialogue with Penelope Niven, author of a major new Wilder biography. A copy of Niven’s newly released biography, Thornton Wilder: A Life, and a light dinner are included in the price of admittance. Tickets go on sale to the public on January 6, 2013, for $45. Tickets to “Our Town” sold separately. Click here for more information.
“Our Town” is made possible with support from Lead Sponsor Exxon Mobil Corporation and production sponsor Qualcomm. WAMU-FM is the Official Media Partner for “Our Town”.