Talk:Our Town

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Stage Manager[edit]

in the analysys part "all that education for nothing," Wilder says is incorrect because in the play it is actualy the Stage Manager who says that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:28, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality Disputed?[edit]

How is the neutrality disputed? I see no discussion here. (talk) 18:09, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Ansh666 (talk) 03:32, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. This article is NOT written as an advertisement. The Neutrality diputation should be removed. Frankatca (talk) 20:13, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Dubious assertion?[edit]

The current version asserts: "The Stage Manager, traditionally played by a single person, was turned into an ensemble of girls, acting both as narrators and a sort of Greek chorus, reacting to situations unfolding around them and ultimately working their way into the action as characters."

I have seen no published version of Thornton Wilder's OUR TOWN that supports this assertion. I have seen the role of Stage Manager portrayed by an actress, but not by an "ensemble of girls" although some director in some production may well have altered Wilder's play in this manner. However such a production is far from usual. Certainly the December, 2002, Broadway production featuring Paul Newman as Stage Manager had no such ensemble of girls. Unless support for this assertion can be produced, I propose reverting the change. Frankatca 02:43, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I removed the statement. The play's text does not include this happening, and I doubt that any production would have implemented the chorus. Enam Esru 14:00, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Enam, you are correct that this is not from the Our Town text. But I think I may know where they are getting it from Wilder's Template:Pullman Car Hiawatha has something like a "chorus" in it, and they may have gotten some of their information from that. They could have also fount that in one of Wilder's other works, also. He tends to use interesting events like that to convey a point. In fact, "Our Town" is arguably one of his most "normal" works, as it has few events involving nearly-supernatural, overseeing characters. Anyway, thanks for making the edit! I just wanted to share my guess as to where the author might have gotten their information, as you seemed to be wondering. Happy editing!

A request for a video link[edit]

I'd like to see a link to a video of the play, Our Town. Free would be best. For example, a high school computer class could work with a high school drama class and link from Wikipedia to the on-demand video. Having an actual play to watch is worth a million words.

Kaydell Leavitt

My school put on Our Town last year, and I believe it was videotaped. (I played Howie Newsome.)
Not sure what the licensing situation would be, but I might be able to get it posted somewhere. -Fadookie Talk 06:16, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

The play is still under copyright, so you would have to get permission from the playwright's estate, which I am doubtful they would be willing to give. I'm afraid renting/library borrowing are your choices--Natcase 13:16, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

No spoilers follow the warning; in fact, not much seems to follow the warning at all. Vivacissamamente 03:06, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Sorry for adding my edits in three different segments instead of all at once. I kept noticing more things after I edited. omtay38 23:24, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Plot summary changes[edit]

I made a few changes to the plot summary- there were some details out of order and some that didn't do a good job of telling what really happens in the play. The end of Act 3 was especially confusing. They were errors that to me seemed obvious to someone who's read or seen the play. There were also a few minor grammar prokblems. I am a very new Wikipedian so I hope there's not a protocol or something on how to edit plot summaries-- I thought I'd just throw this out there. TysK 02:43, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

also there is no act three summary! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:11, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Factual Changes[edit]

Please see the reference I added to the Afterword by Tappan Wilder. The play was not finished at the MacDowell Colony but at Columbia University Club in NYC. The play was first perfomed (once) in Princeton and then subquently in Boston before moving to New York. Early reviews were unfavorable. JJ 16:38, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Honors of the Play[edit]

Before I delete this latest addition, can someone tell me what "Honors of the Play" is supposed to mean? JJ 23:05, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Historical Background[edit]

I've been compiling a bit of information about the relationship between Thornton Wilder and Samuel Steward during the run of a production of Our Town at Ohio State, and the following references may be of some interest to other students interested in the history of the work. They may be helpful in resolving the question of where the work was "completed" as well (there appears to be some argument above, these are primary sources).

The Letters of Gertrude Stein and Thornton Wilder ISBN: 0300067747 Pages 168-72: a conversation where Wilder first mentions "Our Town", a work in progress, to Stein. Stein repeatedly encourages Wilder to meet Samuel Steward, then traveling to Zurich to meet with Thomas Mann.

Dear Sammy: Letters from Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas ISBN: 0395253403 Page 32: A conversation about Steward's influence on Wilder during the drafting of the third act. GS: "Sammy, do you know he liked you? [...] You walked all night in the rain with him and he struck a match on you, he said, and wrote the whole third act the next day while you were sleeping." SS: "I might have guessed that, from the way he kept pumping me."

Steward was a professor of English at Ohio State University, the library there has a number of Steward's works available for review among their rare books and manuscripts special collections. [1] Dhimelright 17:56, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Addendum: Steward was on the faculty at OSU during the final year of his PhD, but never held a post as a professor at OSU. --Dhimelright 02:53, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Many schools enjoy reacting this play, and do it very well. My friends that were in it had their lives changed. Their eyes were opened to the world, as they said.

You might consider adding a sentence or two about the period during which the play was written & first produced -- the Great Depression along with the totalitarian violence in Germany, Italy, Japan & Russia, especially the rise of Hitler and the USSR famine & the purges of Stalin, all very anxious-making, even on this side of the pond. This adds an extra yearning for the "simpler" times, though they were perched in 1913, as Wilder & his audience well-knew, on the verge the horrific trench slaughter of WWI. Oh, by the way, I added that the music for the movie was written by Aaron Copeland. He wrote an orchestral suite from this music, which has been often recorded, and is written in the same style as his 3rd symphony & Appalacian Spring. Rather nice. Dave Young, 6/6/08. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:12, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Mention of Specific Performances[edit]

To the authors of these edits: thank you for your input! One aspect of the value that Wikipedia brings as an encyclopedia is that anyone can freely edit articles, contributing to the dissemination of knowledge. To aid in this end, Wikipedia has generally accepted policies that all information must be both verifiable and notable; these standard policies were adopted to keep Wikipedia from becoming little more than a newspaper or public announcement board. After some basic searching, we could not find any information from a verifiable source that confirmed the factuality and/or notability of this information. If you can confirm both the fact of this information and its notability through a reliable source, feel free to edit the article to reflect this, adding back the deleted information and appropriately citing the source. If you need help to do this, please leave a note here and someone will be glad to assist!

Instance #1: The edits made from IP address (talk) refer to a specific performance that does not fulfill the standards of Wikipedia:Notability. I have reverted these edits. Ibadibam (talk) 20:18, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Instance #2: The edit made from IP address (talk) on 22:09, 8 July 2011 (UTC) refers to a specific performance that does not fulfill the standards of Wikipedia:Notability and Wikipedia:Verifiable. I have reverted this edit.  Jim Reed (Talk)  22:08, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Instance #2.2: This material was re-posting by Creed90952 (talk) on 14:27, 14 July 2011 (UTC). I have reverted this edit and left a message on the user's talk page explaining Wikipedia's notability policy. This appears to be an account created for the sole purpose of re-posting this material. This is the 2nd revert of this material.  Jim Reed (Talk)  20:32, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Character List[edit]

I am relatively new to Wikipedia editing and standards, but should the character list for plays utilize some form of bulleting or some other method so that there is more distinction between the characters in the list? For some of them are hard to tell whether the next line is a continuation of the previous line, or a new character. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gbmodern (talkcontribs) 01:09, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


The last three paragraphs of the Background section read like the user who wrote them applied his/her own interpretations, which would either be synthesis or original research, since there is no citation. Therefore, I deleted it. Also, this is called the Background section but most of it is actually the Synopsis, and should be separated out at such. Mmyers1976 (talk) 20:49, 7 October 2011 (UTC)


I recall seeing Our Town produced in the second incarnation of the Circle in the Square theatre. It was notable for having Frank Craven repeat his performance as the Stage Manager. Cannot find a reference. Did I dream it? Anyone? Bluefox79830 (talk) 08:37, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

New Edits Coming Soon[edit]

Hello, I am a college student who is going to edit this page as an assignment for one of my classes. I will leave a link to my sand box here:

If anyone has any comments then please let me know. Colterlena (talk) 19:46, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Welcome, User:Colterlena! Feel free to edit boldly, but be aware that this page is well-watched; some users may not always agree with individual edits. The normal process here (in the case of disagreement) is something we call bold, revert, discuss. I've left a few links on your talk page which gives a new user information about pillars, policies and guidelines. Please feel invited to visit the teahouse, a talkspace devoted to welcoming new editors and helping them get started. BusterD (talk) 21:25, 13 October 2014 (UTC)