by Mandee Wilcox, dramaturg
My name is Mandee, and I am the dramaturg for BYU’s fifth ever production of Our Town. This production, directed by Stephanie Brienholt will open November 21st in the Pardoe Theatre of the Harris Fine Arts Center. Performing it this year is meant to be an homage to the fiftieth anniversary celebration this April. As Our Town was one of the first plays performed in the building when it was new, and has remained popular over the years, we thought that it would be an appropriate centerpiece for our celebrations. Hope to see you there!
Our Town is an American favorite, written in 1938 by Thornton Wilder. A huge sucess on Broadway in its own time, Our Town won the Tony for best revival in 1988 and 2003. In three acts, Our Town tells the story of Emily Webb and George Gibbs, two young neighbors who go through life’s great challenges together at the turn of the century.
The small town they reside in (Grover’s Corners) is as much a character as any in the play. In fact, the town is based on Peterborough New Hampshire, where Wilder spent his days writing the story – and obviously the town influenced him a little in his imagining of the story of George and Emily. The picturesque town is apparently now a popular elopement site.
Over the next few months, I’ll be bringing you historical information, interesting facts about weddings, and tales from the rehearsal room that will let you get to know this production a little better. If there is anything you’re dying to know about Our Town, feel free to leave questions in the comments. Enjoy your stay at 4th WALL Dramaturgy!