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Our Town: A Play in Three Acts (Perennial Classics) [Paperback]

Our Price $ 12.74  
Retail Value $ 14.99  
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Item Number 424171  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   176
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 23, 2003
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN  0060512636  
EAN  9780060512637  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
The author's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama portrays life in a small New Hampshire town during the early 1900s.

Publishers Description

Our Town was first produced and published in 1938 to wide acclaim. This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of life in the town of Grover 's Corners, an allegorical representation of all life, has become a classic. It is Thornton Wilder's most renowned and most frequently performed play.

It is now reissued in this handsome hardcover edition, featuring a new Foreword by Donald Margulies, who writes, "You are holding in your hands a great American play. Possibly the great American play." In addition, Tappan Wilder has written an eye-opening new Afterword, which includes Thornton Wilder's unpublished notes and other illuminating photographs and documentary material.

Buy Our Town: A Play in Three Acts (Perennial Classics) by Thornton Wilder from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780060512637 & 0060512636

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More About Thornton Wilder

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Thornton Wilder (1897-1975) was an accomplished novelist and playwright whose works, exploring the connection between the commonplace and cosmic dimensions of human experience, continue to be read and produced around the world. His novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey, one of seven, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928, as did two of his four full-length dramas: Our Town (1938) and The Skin of Our Teeth (1943). Wilder's The Matchmaker was adapted as the musical Hello, Dolly!. He also enjoyed enormous success with many other forms of the written and spoken word, among them teaching, acting, the opera, and cinema. His screenplay for Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943) remains a classic psycho-thriller to this day. Wilder's many honors include the Gold Medal for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the National Book Committee's Medal for Literature.

Thornton Wilder was born in 1897 and died in 1975.

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1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > Homeschooling > General   [9269  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
4 and 1/2 Stars -- A Low-Key Masterwork  Feb 17, 2010
Our Town is one of the twentieth century's greatest dramas and one of the most influential of all-time - one of very few plays that truly changed how people think about theater. Thornton Wilder was tired of conventions and boldly tried to write a play that could really stand on its own without a set and with minimal scenery and props. This required miming - a huge gamble that could have come off as disastrously implausible and corny. However, the play became a sensation, won the Pulitzer Prize, and has had a profound influence. As all this suggests, it truly must be seen to be fully experienced and appreciated - not because of theatrical touches, as nearly always in such cases, but because it relies more than nearly any other play on acting power. Indeed, its full strength does not come across even in performance unless the acting is superb. Its many revivals and adaptations have thankfully attracted some of the most talented actors for over seventy years, but this is little help to those merely reading the play. It is all too easy for the play to come off as flat on paper, and the miming instructions can be particularly off-putting. However, though reading can never convey the full gamut, the greatness is such that much of it comes across even here, making the play well worth reading for those unable to attend a performance or who want to read it after seeing one.

The plot is almost as simple as the presentation; it begins by depicting everyday life in a small New England town and proceeds to show representative life events there, namely love, marriage, and death. Characters are archetypes, almost stereotypes, representing time-honored small town American ideals. Much of the play is not dramatic at all in the usual sense, simply showing mundane interactions. Even the ostensibly most dramatic scenes are meant to be very familiar; there is nothing even resembling a twist, and it is safe to say that the whole plot is easily recognizable to nearly all Americans, whether personally or from idealized depictions. All this sounds very boring and almost certainly would be in lesser hands, but Wilder's handling is masterful. The play celebrates the banal - everyday events that few think anything of but that after all make up most of our lives. The message is also equally obvious - we should embrace rather than ignore such moments because life can end at any time; we must make the most of what we have before it is too late, especially as many lives are made of little or nothing more than such moments. This again sounds almost unbearably clichéd, the dramatic equivalent of a Hallmark card, but Wilder's artistry again saves the day. The play is suffused with great emotional intensity that at times becomes near-unbearable; it is one of the most affecting dramas ever despite the lack of highly wrought pathos. It moves us precisely because it is so familiar - or did; many initial viewers were moved precisely because they saw so much of their own lives, reacting - and perhaps afterward adjusting - accordingly. However, the realism is now almost entirely of historical interest, and the play is indeed valuable as a snapshot of rural New England life in the early twentieth century, not least in showing how centuries-old traditions were rapidly changing as well as consequent effects. Urbanization, immigration, commercialization, mass media, technology, and numerous other factors have made Our Town's world all but unrecognizable. It now comes off as almost quaint, which in a way adds a further emotional layer if we see it as an unintentional lament for a dying life. Yet none of this really matters, because such elements are really just vehicles for the profound depiction of elemental human emotions at the play's core. The final scene is one of the most sublimely poignant anyone is ever likely to see, throwing life's ups and downs into stark relief against death's undeniable ubiquity. Different as the characters may seem from us, they have the same basic thoughts and feelings - nay the same that human beings have always had and will continue to have as long as they are human. The play will surely remain relevant and affecting for this long also, regardless of superficial changes.

Yet, for all this, it is easy to exaggerate the simplicity. Wilder has been called an unfashionable optimist, and his work is certainly at least relatively optimistic beside most twentieth century drama and other art. However, he was not blind to life's dark side, as shown here by the drunkard serving as the mouthpiece for views that even the staunchest idealist should not ignore. Also, despite the general primitivism, Our Town is a very modern play in some ways. This is clearest in the important part of the narrator, a character fully aware of his fictional status who interacts with the audience and otherwise behaves in ways distinctly opposed to traditional drama. The last act is also notable for what might be called supernatural elements, dropping realism for a sort of poetic fantasy that, while very different from the first two acts in style, is much the same in spirit. Such things are an interesting contrast to the otherwise mundane realism, making the play significantly more complex than is usually noted.

In the end, though, the intense emotion at the play's heart carries it, making or breaking it onstage depending on acting and working to varying degrees on paper depending on readers' sensibilities. It seems safe to say that the play will touch everyone in some way, but some may not think it lives up to its reputation in purely literary terms. However, everyone interested in drama must experience this supremely influential classic in some form. As in life generally, we must not let the opportunity slip away...
Our Town order completely screwed up  Oct 18, 2009
I ordered the book 'Our Town', and paid for express delivery. The book I got was the wrong one! The vendor says it's due to this site's order entry system. While they did refund everything I paid, including delivery, I still had to go elsewhere because they didn't have this book, and, worse, I lost a bunch of time in eventually getting this book.
Got a book for 1 cent!  Sep 17, 2009
I needed a copy of Our Town in a hurry.
I found one on this site for 1 cent. I chose expedited delivery and got it just in time.
Our Town  Oct 7, 2008

I've enjoyed reading this version of Thornton Wilder's, "Our Town". It's a short, 3 act play but nevertheless is huge in its message. The introduction in this version is helpful and clues the reader to appreciate and look for the deep message of the play. It was through the study of this publication I felt renewed in my love for life! A quick read and well worth the time.
Our Town Script  Feb 8, 2008
What can I say, it is the script to Our Town. I have found a couple of places where it differes from the Samuel French script by a sentence or two.

One VERY GOOD difference is that THIS script also has a lot of background on Thornton Wilder and the times that the existed when the play was writen and first produced.

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