Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Our Town

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Town

One year the High School Drama Club staged “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder.  In previous years they had performed ambitious edgy projects (The Crucible and Inherit the Wind).  Those may have been too edgy for a rural town where the local movie theater showed one movie on weekends only and at only one show time.

Thornton Wilder
This play, however, requires minimal staging and props.  It does require serious thought, about serious subjects.  Wilder once said that it is a small play about big ideas. 

 “Our Town”:  it could actually have been a story about our own town.  Small town, church picnics, choir practice, sweethearts, gossip and town secrets, etc.  This was the grist and gristle of small town life.  The performances at my school were well received and praised.  

The main character is Emily Webb, whose life we follow through each act.  In Act III, she dies in childbirth.  She is granted her desire to review one day of her life, and she chose her twelfth birthday.  In her memory, that day was the best day of her life.

At the age of 16, I watched and wondered why-the-heck-did-she-choose-that-day?  Now, I wonder what day I would choose.  For that matter, if I could go back in time and spend time with someone, talking and asking questions, whom would I choose?  What day?  

What about you?  What day would you choose?  Who is important enough in your life that you would want to see?  Would this person be one from history, or your experiences?

Note:  If you would like to view the movie, visit this archive site.

20 comments:

  1. Hmmm not sure I could pick one day, if I could pick any day though i'd go as far backas possible just for the heck of it.

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    1. Pre-embryonic? Pre-birth? You give a wide range here, Pat.

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  2. I'll have to put some thought into that one.

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  3. i can't tell you how much i love this play---esp. the made for tv version with "robby benson" as george---these are wonderful questions you pose, but very hard!

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    1. Delores--I hope you let me know what day/person you would choose.

      Lynn--I would love to see that version. I didn't know one existed!

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  4. I have been thinking of your sock drawer. I want more stories from there, I really care about them all.

    I don't like to think back on a special day. But I have to tell you, I just read a book called - before i fall - by Lauren Oliver. In it a young girl dies and then gets to relive the last day of her life seven times. It was pretty interesting and certainly unusual. You may like it.

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    1. I will check it out; sounds intriguing.

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  5. I would take an hour with my paternal grandparents, who I never knew. Why did she marry a man so old. Why did she leave him. Why did he abandon five children. But, I'll never know, so on with what I do understand.

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    1. Good choice...get some questions answered and see the why of it all.

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  6. Our Town is a wonderful play! If I could go back in time, I would want to visit with relatives.

    Julie

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    1. I would want to talk with my mother back in 1953, I think. Have questions and things to ask and tell.

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  7. Our Town is my all-time favorite play. What a difficult question to answer. I'm going to have to think about it.

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    1. Hope you come up with an answer! Then post about it!

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  8. Wilder has always been one of my favorites. Great post!

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah With Joy)

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    1. I am hoping a whole new generation of actors and viewers re-discover Our Town.

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  9. I would like to know more about my father. Much more. Did he have siblings? Why did his mother leave him in Germany and escape to the US. How did he get out. So I would need many days. Perhaps I should just respect his wishes and let it go...

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    1. If you are granted a wish to visit with your father, it can be for more than one day...your questions are important and need answers.

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  10. So many days, events, times I would like to relive and change just a little. To pick one I'd probably choose an event when I was 8, year 1938. It was in the zenith of the depression and so many men were without a job (my father included) but most of my friend's fathers were merchants and they had a steady income. My father got a temporary job with the WPA building sidewalks. I was walking home from school with my "wealthy" friends and saw my father working. I walked right by him and pretended I didn't see him so my friends wouldn't know it was my father. That Judas act has haunted me all my life. I could never bring myself to talk to him about it after I was an adult. Perhaps it was just as well.

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  11. Hi Susan,

    A thoughtful posting that gets my mind ticking over. Well, sort of ticking over. If I could choose one day, it would be the day my son was born, hearing him breathe that first breath, cradling him in my arms as we made our first eye contact.

    Be well, Susan.

    Gary :)

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  12. I think I'd like to spend at day with my paternal grandmother---as long as she was willing to talk all day, answer hundreds of questions! My grandfather was about twenty years older than her, marrying her only when his first love, her sister, died! But she was not an object of pity. I remember her as a very tall, aloof woman, totally unlike my other granny. She always wore tweed skirts and jackets and she smoked and wore racy hats. She died when I was about eight and as she lived all the way on the other side of Ireland from us (about 90 miles!) I only met her a few times in my life. Yes, I have loads of questions to ask her....

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!