Our Town: A Play in Three Acts

by Thornton Wilder (Author)

Our Town: A Play in Three Acts
Reading Level: 8th − 9th Grade
"[Our Town] leaves us with a sense of blessing, and the unspoken but palpable command to achieve gratitude in what remains of our days on earth." -- The New YorkerThornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of life in the mythical village of Grover's Corners, New Hampshire--an allegorical representation of all life--is an American classic. It is the simple story of a love affair that asks timeless questions about the meaning of love, life, and death. Our Town explores the relationship between two young neighbors, George Gibbs and Emily Webb, whose childhood friendship blossoms into romance, and then culminates in marriage. When Emily loses her life during childbirth, the circle of life portrayed in each of the three acts--childhood, adulthood, and death--is fully realized.Widely considered one of the greatest American plays of all time, Our Town debuted on Broadway in 1938 and continues to be performed daily on stages around the world. This special edition includes an afterword by Wilder's nephew, Tappan Wilder, with illuminating documentary material about the playwright and his most famous drama.
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Review quotes

"Taking as his material three periods in the history of a placid New Hampshire town, Mr. Wilder has transmuted the simple events of human life into universal reverie. He has given familiar facts a deeply moving, philosophical perspective....Our Town is one of the finest achievements of the current stage." — Brooks Atkinson

"Its astringent distillation of life and death in the fictional early-20th-century town of Grover's Corners, N.H., is desperately needed. . . so Americans can remember who we are. . . . The true American faith endures in 'Our Town'." — Frank Rich, New York Times

"Wilder's unfashionable insistence on embracing wonders as well as woe is both gallant and exhilarating. . . .[Our Town] leaves us with a sense of blessing, and the unspoken but palpable command to achieve gratitude in what remains of our days on earth" — The New Yorker

"Our Town demonstrates in the most gentle way, the most celebrational way, how difficult it is to be a human being." — Will Eno, American playwright

"Our Town is probably the finest play ever written by an American." — Edward Albee

"In Our Town, [Wilder] cautions us to recognize that life is both precious and ordinary, and that these two fundamental truths are intimately connected." — New York Times

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Harper Perennial
Publication date
July 20, 2020
BISAC categories
DRA001000 - Drama | American | General
DRA003000 - Drama | European | English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Library of Congress categories
City and town life
New Hampshire
Young women
Domestic drama

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