Raise your hand if you’ve read, seen, or been in a production of Our Town.
If you’re a lover of theatre then I’m guessing your hand is up. No, I’m not a psychic.
Our Town has just passed its 72nd birthday and continues to be one of the most popular plays in the US. 4,000 prouductions in the last decade alone. Why?
Theatre is supposed to be about the extraordinary; nobody wants to see a play about people going about their ordinary lives. We want to see plays about people in pivotal moments of their lives, at a crossroads, on the precipice.
So why does this simple little play about an unremarkable place filled with unremarkable people continue to resonate? I think it’s because Wilder makes the ordinary look extraordinary and asks us to see how wonderful day-to-day life can be. Boring can be exciting.
Mo Rocca reported for CBS Sunday Morning about the continuing popularity of the play. There are excerpts from the current Barrow Street Theatre production. It looks like an incredible production.