The First International Thornton Wilder Conference at The College of New Jersey has come and gone with great success but for those interested in learning about the panels, papers, and presenters, read on for a detailed schedule of events as well as brief biographies of conference participants.
Thursday October 2, 2008
8:30-9:00 Registration Library Auditorium Lobby
9:00-10:30 Panel 1: Biographical Approaches Library Auditorium
Moderator: Michele Tarter, The College of New Jersey
“Thornton Wilder and His Remarkable Family”
Dennis Loyd, Lipscomb University
“The Naked Stage: Gertrude Stein, Thornton Wilder, and the Modernist Impulse”
Edward Journey, Alabama A&M
“Vis-Comica on the Lake: The Chicago Roots of Wilder’s Scheme to Reform American Comedy”
Arvid Sponberg, Valparaiso University
10:45-10:50 Welcome from The College of New Jersey Library Auditorium
Dr. Carol Bresnahan, Provost and Executive Vice President, The College of New Jersey
10:50-12:30 Plenary Session I (Open to the Public) Library Auditorium
Moderator: Jackson R. Bryer, University of Maryland
“On Trying to Like Our Town”
Christopher Bigsby, University of East Anglia
“The Wide World of Wilder’s Fiction”
Scott Donaldson, College of William & Mary
“From the Podium: Thornton Wilder as Teacher, Lecturer, and Spokesman”
Tappan Wilder, Chevy Chase, Maryland
12:35-1:25 Lunch and Teaching Wilder Seminar I Eickhoff Hall 158
1:30-3:00 Panel 2: Thornton Wilder’s Influence on Arthur Miller Library Auditorium
Moderator: Jan Balakian, Kean University
“‘Cut Out the Town and You Will Cut Out the Poetry’: Thornton Wilder and Arthur Miller”
Stephen Marino, St. Francis College
“Historicizing the Great Depression with Histrionics from Redemptive Vaudeville: Wilder’s Heaven’s My Destination and Miller’s The American Clock”
Lew Livesay, Saint Peter’s College
“Miller’s Debt to Thornton Wilder: To The American Clock by The Skin of Our Teeth––Concocting the Right Recipe for Survival”
Susan C. W. Abbotson, Rhode Island College
“Bending Time and Place: Structure in Wilder’s and Miller’s Drama”
Jane Dominik, San Joaquin Delta College
3:15-4:45 Panel 3A: The View from Abroad I Library Auditorium
Moderator: Ashley Gallagher, The College of New Jersey
“‘It’s been a dream of my life to see Paris’: Pleasures and Challenges of Translating Our Town into French”
Julie Vatain, Sorbonne University
“Early Critical Reception of Thornton Wilder in Italy”
Dianna Pickens, University of Naples, Federico II and Suor Orsola Benincasa
“The Reception of Thornton Wilder in Japan”
Hachiya Mizutani, Waseda University
3:15-4:45 Panel 3B: The View from Abroad II Eickhoff Hall 158
Moderator: Diane Steinberg, The College of New Jersey
“A Wilderian Nirvana of Western Allegorical Mode: Theophilus North and the Traditions of Ancient Chinese Allegory”
Dan Hansong, Nanjing University
“Wilder’s Influence on American Drama”
Sanja Nikcevic, The Academy of Arts and University of Osijek, Croatia
5:00-7:30 Dinner 1855 Room
8:00-11:00 Performance of The Skin of Our Teeth Kendall Auditorium
Followed by Talkback with Director, Cast
Friday October 3, 2008
8:30-9:00 Registration Library Auditorium Lobby
9:00-10:30 Panel 4: Wilder as Fiction Writer Library Auditorium
Moderator: Mary Biggs, The College of New Jersey
“Religion and Historical Crisis”
Christopher J. Wheatley, Catholic University
“Wilder’s Midwest: Heaven’s My Destination and The Eighth Day”
Nancy Bunge, Michigan State University
“Thornton Wilder’s ‘The Warship’: A Warning Against Unilateral Disengagement and Sociopolitical Entropy”
Bill Waters, The College of New Jersey
10:45-12:15 Panel 5A: Lesser-known Works Library Auditorium
Moderator: David Blake, The College of New Jersey
“The Alcestiad, or A Life in the Sun: Thornton Wilder’s ‘Unsung’ Treasure”
Mary C. English, Montclair State University
“Wilder’s Cosmology According to The Angel That Troubled the Waters”
David Garrett Izzo, American Public University
“‘Carving Some Cherry Stones’: The Role of Disparities in Thornton Wilder’s The Angel That Troubled the Waters and Other Plays”
Edyta K. Oczkowicz, Salem College
10:45-12:15 Panel 5B: Wilder as Librettist and Screenwriter Eickhoff Hall 158
Moderator: Anthony Giffone, SUNY Farmingdale
“Wilder’s The Long Christmas Dinner as Hindemith Opera”
Janie Caves McCauley, Bob Jones University
“The Origins of The Alcestiad: From Voi che sapete to Apollo’s Tone Row”
Kendra Preston Leonard, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania
“Without a Doubt: Looking at Shadow of a Doubt as a Work of Thornton Wilder”
Donna Green, The College of New Jersey
12:25-1:25 Teaching Wilder Seminar II Eickhoff Hall 158
1:30-3:00 Playwrights on Wilder (Open to the Public) Music Building Concert Hall
Edward Albee, Lee Blessing, Tina Howe, Donald Margulies
Introduction: Deborah Compte, Interim Dean, School of Culture and Society, TCNJ
Moderator: Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, New York University
3:15-4:45 A Reading by Marian Seldes and Edward Albee (Open to the Public) Music Building Concert Hall
Introduction: Dr. Elizabeth Paul, Vice Provost, The College of New Jersey
Moderator: Tappan Wilder
4:45-5:30 Reception (Open to the Public) Music Building Concert Hall Lobby
5:30-7:30 Dinner & Wilder Society Membership Meeting 1855 Room
8:00-9:30 Directing Wilder (Open to the Public) Library Auditorium
Carl Forsman, Keen Company, New York City
Irene Lewis, CENTERSTAGE, Baltimore
Emily Mann, McCarter Theatre, Princeton
Introduction: Taras Pavlovsky, Interim Dean, School of Arts and Communication, TCNJ
Moderator: Terryl Hallquist, Vanderbilt University
Saturday October 4, 2008
8:30-9:00 Registration Library Auditorium Lobby
9:00-10:30 Panel 6: Wilder’s One-act Plays Library Auditorium
Moderator: Susan Thomas, Bard College
“Directing Pullman Car Hiawatha”
Henry Wishcamper, Katharsis Theater Company
“‘A Discreet [Replete] Ballet’: A Production Approach to Wilder’s One-Acts”
Terryl Hallquist, Vanderbilt University
“In the Moment with Thornton Wilder: Contemplating Some of the Short Plays”
Anne Fletcher, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
“The Dark Vision of Thornton Wilder”
Yvonne Shafer, St. John’s University
10:45-12:15 Plenary Session II Library Auditorium
Moderator: Michael P. Parker, United States Naval Academy
“Wilder and Proust Revisited”
Christopher Benfey, Mount Holyoke College
“Thornton Wilder: Becoming a Novelist”
J. D. McClatchy, Yale University
“The Wilder West: A Cultural Geography of Our Town”
Joseph Roach, Yale University
12:15-1:30 Wilder Exhibit and Lunch Social Science Building Atrium
Sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society, and Alpha Psi Omega, the Theatre Honor Society
1:30-3:00 Plenary Session III Library Auditorium
Moderator: George Monteiro, Brown University
“Wilder, Kazan, and Hurricane Tallulah: The Original Production of The Skin of Our Teeth”
Brenda Murphy, University of Connecticut
“‘Biographizing’: Thornton Wilder on How to Write Biography”
Penelope Niven, Salem College
“Spalding Gray’s Stage Manager: New England ‘Metaphysics’ in Our Town”
William W. Demastes, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
3:15-4:45 Panel 9A Our Town Library Auditorium
Moderator: Michael Robertson, The College of New Jersey
“The Outsider: Contextualizing Simon Stimson in Our Town”
Kenneth Elliott, Rutgers University-Camden
“Through the Years with Our Town”
Richard A. Davison, University of Delaware
“Possibilities: The Intersection of Process Thought and Thornton Wilder’s Our Town”
Dorothy Leifheit, Marietta College
3:15-4:45 Panel 9B Wilder and Production Eickhoff Hall 158
Moderator: David Radavich, Eastern Illinois University
“‘Always beginning again’: Sabina as Actress, Lilith as American in The Skin of Our Teeth”
Ronald J. Zank, University of Missouri-Columbia
5:00-6:30 Panel 10 Wilder’s Varying Texts Library Auditorium
Moderator: Jo Carney, The College of New Jersey
“‘All the Little Things’ in Our Town: Thornton Wilder’s Evolving Values and Stagecraft as Revealed by a Collation and Concordance of the Play’s Three Published Versions”
Park Bucker, University of South Carolina Sumter
“Wilder and Ibsen: The Three Texts of A Doll’s House”
David Hammond, Guilford College
6:30-7:30 Cash Bar Brower Student Center, 202E (Registration Required)
7:30-9:30 Banquet/Presentation of Thornton Wilder Prize to Russell Banks (Registration Required) Brower Student Center, 202E
Introduction: Dr. R. Barbara Gitenstein, President, The College of New Jersey
Presentation of The Wilder Prize: J. D. McClatchy
Sue Abbotson is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Drama at Rhode Island College and author of Masterpieces of 20th-Century American Drama, Thematic Guide to Modern Drama, Student Companion to Arthur Miller and Critical Companion to Arthur Miller, as well as Understanding Death of a Salesman(co-authored with Brenda Murphy). A specialist on Arthur Miller, she is currently the Performance Editor for the Arthur Miller Journal, and was one of a panel of experts to discuss the playwright on Tom Ashbrook’s NPR show, On Point.
Edward Albee has written more than thirty plays, including The Zoo Story, The American Dream, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Tiny Alice, A Delicate Balance, All Over, Seascape, Marriage Play, Three Tall Women, The Play About the Baby, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, Occupant, Peter and Jerry, and Me, Myself, and I. He has won three Pulitzer Prizes for Drama; three Tony awards; Tony, Obie, and Lucille Lortel Awards for Lifetime Achievement; the Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Lucille Lortel Award, London Evening Standard Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award; as well as the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, The Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, the William Inge Award, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award. He is a member of The Dramatists Guild Council and The American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Jan Balakian is Professor of English at Kean University, where she teaches dramatic literature with a specialization in American drama. She also teaches a broad range of fiction, poetry, and writing. Her book-length study of Wendy Wasserstein’s plays in historical context is forthcoming in 2009. Everyone’s Depressed, a film for which she wrote the screenplay, is now available on Netflix.
Russell Banks is an American writer of fiction, essays, and poetry. A graduate of the University of north Carolina at Chapel Hill, his novels include Snow, Trailerpark, The Relation of My Imprisonment, Continental Drift, Family Life, The Book of Jamaica, Hamilton Stark, Affliction, The Sweet Hereafter, Rule of the Bone, Cloudsplitter, The Darling, and The Reserve (2008). His short story are collected in Searching for Survivors, The New World, Success Stories, and The Angel On the Roof: The Stories of Russell Banks. He has also contributed poems, stories and essays to The Boston Globe Magazine, Vanity Fair, The New York Times Book Review, Esquire, Harper’s, and other publications. In 1997, The Sweet Hereafter and Affliction were made into feature films. His work has been translated into twenty languages and published in Europe and Asia. Banks has received many awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, Ingram Merrill Award, The St. Lawrence Award for Short Fiction, O. Henry and Best American Short Story Award, The John Dos Passos Award, and the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Continental Drift and Cloudsplitter were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in 1986 and 1998 respectively; and Affliction was a finalist for both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Irish International Prize. He has taught at Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence, University of New Hampshire, New England College, New York University, and Princeton University
Christopher Benfey is Mellon Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College and the author of four books about the American Gilded Age: The Double Life of Stephen Crane, Degas in New Orleans, The Great Wave, and A Summer of Hummingbirds. A frequent contributor to The New Republic and The New York Review of Books, he is also the regular art critic for Slate. He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies.
Mary Biggs is Professor of English at The College of New Jersey, where she teaches courses in literary theory; sex and gender theory and literary representations; poetry; and American literature, including, among works by other authors, those of Thornton Wilder
Christopher Bigsby is Professor of English at the University of East Anglia, UK. He has published more than forty books on American theater, popular culture, and British drama, among which are A Critical Introduction to Twentieth-Century American Drama (3 vols.), Modern American Drama, 1945-1990, David Mamet, Modern American Drama, 1945-2000, Contemporary American Playwrights, Neil LaBute, Arthur Miller: A Critical Study, Confrontation and Commitment: A Study of Contemporary American Drama, and Remembering and Imagining the Holocaust. Among the books he has edited are Remembering Arthur Miller, Arthur Miller & Company, The Cambridge Companion to Arthur Miller, The Cambridge Companion to David Mamet, and The Cambridge Companion to August Wilson, The Cambridge History of American Theatre (3 vols.), which he co-edited, won the Bernard Hewitt Award in Theatre History. He is also an award-winning novelist (Hester; Pearl; Beautiful Dreamer; and One Hundred Days, One Hundred Nights) and regular radio and television commentator.
David Blake is Associate Professor of English at The College of New Jersey. He is the author of Walt Whitman and the Culture of American Celebrity.
Lee Blessing is the author of the plays A Walk in the Woods, A Body of Water, Going to St. Ives, (Outer Critics’ Circle Award, Best Play, Obie for ensemble performance), Thief River (Drama Desk nomination, Best Play), Cobb (Drama Desk award, best ensemble), Chesapeake, Eleemosynary, Down The Road, Fortinbras, Lake Street Extension, Two Rooms, Patient A, Great Falls, Lonesome Hollow, Flag Day, Whores, The Scottish Play, Black Sheep, The Winning Streak, Riches, Independence, Oldtimers Game, Nice People Dancing To Good Country Music, Perilous Night and When We Go Upon The Sea. Among his honors are The American Theater Critics’ Circle Award, the L.A. Drama Critics Award, The Great American Play Award, The Humanitas Award, and the George and Elisabeth Marton Award. He has been nominated for Tony and Olivier Awards, as well as for the Pulitzer Prize. He is married to playwright and TV writer Melanie Marnich and lives in New York. He heads the graduate playwriting program at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.
Jackson R. Bryer is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Maryland, and President of the Thornton Wilder Society. He is the co-editor of The Selected Letters of Thornton Wilder and editor of Conversations with Thornton Wilder.
Park Bucker is an Assistant Professor of English at University of South Carolina Sumter. He earned his B.A. in Theatre from Oklahoma State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of South Carolina. He has authored and/or edited books on Thomas Wolfe, Joseph Heller, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. He is the drama editor of and a major contributor to The Student’s Companion to American Literary Characters. For USC Sumter he has directed Bus Stop, Our Town, and Suddenly Last Summer. He is also active as an actor with USC’s Department of Theatre.
Nancy Bunge is a professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures at Michigan State University. She has held senior Fulbright lectureships at the University of Vienna, the Free University of Brussels, the University of Ghent, and the University of Siegen (Germany). She is the author of Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Study of the Short Fiction, the editor of Conversations with Clarence Major, of Finding the Words: Conversations with Writers Who Teach, and of Master Class: Lessons from Leading Writers, and the author of articles on Thornton Wilder.
Jo Carney chairs the Department of English at The College of New Jersey. She teaches courses in Shakespeare, early modern British literature, and children’s and adolescent literature. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Her current research interests include Shakespeare, early modern literature, early modern women rulers and writers, and the narrative tradition in folk tales and fairy tales.
Richard A. Davison is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Delaware. He has published widely on such figures as Albee, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Frank and Charles and Kathleen Norris, and Steinbeck. His latest books are (with Jackson R. Bryer) The Actor’s Art: Conversations with Contemporary American Stage Performers and The Art of the American Musical: Conversations with the Creators. Davison’s works-in-progress include a book on 1958 theatre and (with Bryer) “The Art of the American Musical: Conversations with the Performers.”
Bill Demastes is Professor of English at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. He is author of numerous books and articles on modern and contemporary theatre, including Theatre of Chaos, Staging Consciousness, and, most recently, Comedy Matters and Spalding Gray’s America.
Scott Donaldson is Louise G. T. Cooley Professor of English, Emeritus, at the College of William and Mary. One of the nation’s leading literary biographers, he is the author of Poet in America: Winfield Townley Scott, By Force of Will: The Life and Art of Ernest Hemingway, Fool for Love: F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Cheever: A Biography, Archibald MacLeish: An American Life (Ambassador Book Award), Hemingway vs. Fitzgerald: The Rise and Fall of a Literary Friendship, and Edwin Arlington Robinson: A Poet’s Life. He has edited books on or by Fitzgerald, Cheever, Hemingway, and Robinson. He has been a Fulbright lecturer in Finland and Italy and has received major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the American Philosophical Society. His book ‘Fitzgerald and Hemingway: Works and Days” will appear in 2009.
Jane K. Dominik is on the English faculty at San Joaquin Delta College faculty, where she founded Delta Winds, a student essay magazine, has written program notes for more than two dozen theatre productions, and has designed five courses. She wrote her dissertation, Image and Word: The Stages of Arthur Miller’s Drama, at the University of East Anglia, has delivered numerous conference papers, and published “A View from Death of a Salesman” in Stephen Marino’s The Salesman Has a Birthday: Essays Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, as well as articles and reviews in The Arthur Miller Journal. She served as the founding editor of the Arthur Miller Society Newsletter, hosted the seventh Miller Society conference, and is the current president of the Arthur Miller Society.
Kenneth Elliott has directed many off-Broadway plays and musicals, including the original productions of Charles Busch’s Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and Psycho Beach Party, among others. He has also directed at regional theatres across the country and in London’s West End. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA, and is currently Assistant Professor of Theatre at Rutgers University, Camden.
Mary C. English is Associate Professor of Classics and General Humanities at Montclair State University. She has written numerous articles and book chapters on the staging of ancient comedy and the reception of Greek drama by contemporary American playwrights. Since the Fall of 2003, she has been Editor of Classical Outlook, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Classical League. In 2006, the journal won the Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement given by the Council for Editors of Learned Journals.
Anne Fletcher is Associate Professor of Theater at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Her most recent work appears in Brecht, Broadway and United States Theatre, and in Interrogating America Through Theatre and Performance. She has published in Theatre History Studies, Theatre Symposium, and The Eugene O’Neill Review. Her book on Broadway scene designer Mordecai Gorelik is forthcoming in 2009, and her essay on Thornton Wilder’s Our Town has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming “Corpses, Ghosts, and the Reanimated Dead: 20th Century American Texts and Performances.”
Carl Forsman is the Artistic Director of New York’s Obie and Drama Desk Award-winning off-Broadway theater, The Keen Company. For Keen, he has directed Wilder’s The Happy Journey to Camden and Trenton and the New York premiere of Matthew Burnett’s adaptation of Theophilus North. He is also the Artistic Director of the Dorset Theatre Festival in Dorset, Vermont, a summer theater dedicated to the American dramatic canon. His direction of The Voice of the Turtle received an Obie nomination, and his other credits include the Obie-winning Sin (A Cardinal Deposed) for The New Group, and productions at the Asolo, Merrimack Rep, Atlantic Theatre Company, and the Long Wharf. He is a graduate of Middlebury College.
Ashley Gallagher is a senior majoring in Secondary English Education at The College of New Jersey, with a minor in Art History. She is the Student Assistant to the Executive Director of the Thornton Wilder Society and dramaturge for the fall 2008 Shakespeare ’70 production of The Skin of Our Teeth. For the 2008-2009 academic year, she is the President of the Alpha Gamma Sigma chapter of the Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Honor Society.
Anthony Giffone is Professor of English and Humanities at Farmingdale State College/SUNY. He has published on a variety of topics including detective fiction, presidential houses, Victorian novels, and contemporary Chinese literature. He has presented papers at the William Inge Festival Conference in Independence, Kansas, and at the Popular Culture Conference in Malaga, Spain, among others.
Donna Green is an English graduate student at The College of New Jersey where she also works as the Development Assistant in the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. She received her undergraduate degree from TCNJ in 2005 with a major in English and a minor in Creative Writing. Her interests include literature, film, and writing fiction. She has published short fiction in Northeast Magazine, the Sunday magazine of the Hartford Courant.
Terryl Hallquist is an Associate Professor and Co-director of Theatre at Vanderbilt University. Specializing in acting and directing, he has staged over forty plays including the Nashville premiere of Angels in America, Part I.
David Hammond is Artistic Director Emeritus of PlayMakers Repertory Company, the professional theatre at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was Artistic Director for fourteen seasons. A former resident director for the American Conservatory Theatre and the Yale Repertory Theatre, he has taught on the faculties of the Juilliard School, the Yale School of Drama, the A.C.T. Advanced Training Program, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He currently teaches for the New York University Graduate Acting Program and the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard and is Professor of Theatre Studies at Guilford College.
Dan Hansong is a doctoral candidate at Nanjing University, China. He is preparing a dissertation on Thornton Wilder’s plays and fiction. He has contributed to Foreign Literature Review and Foreign Literature, two leading literary journals published in China.
Tina Howe is the author of, among others, the plays Birth and After Birth, Approaching Zansibar, Museum, The Art of Dining, Painting Churches, Coastal Disturbances and Pride’s Crossing. Among her many awards are an Obie for Distinguished playwriting, a Tony nomination for Best Play, an Outer Circle Critics Award, a Rockefeller Grant, two N.E.A. Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, the Sidney Kingsley Award, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, and the William Inge Award .A two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, she has been a Visiting Professor at Hunter College since 1990 and has also taught master classes at NYU, UCLA, Columbia, and Carnegie Mellon. Her works can be read in numerous anthologies as well as in Coastal Disturbances: Four Plays by Tina Howe, and Approaching Zanzibar and Other Plays. Grove Press recently published her translations of Eugène Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano and The Lesson. She has served on the council of the Dramatists Guild since 1990. Her most recent play, “Chasing Manet,” opens at Primary Stages in spring 2009.
David Garrett Izzo is a Professor of English and Director of English and Humanities for American Public University. He has published fourteen books (including Thornton Wilder: New Essays) and sixty scholarly essays (four on Wilder), as well as three novels and two plays.
Jeffrey Eric Jenkins teaches theater studies at New York University. He is the editor of The Best Plays Theater Yearbook, an annual collection of commissioned critical essays and the comprehensive reference on the theater season. He is the editor of Under the Copper Beach: Conversations with American Theater Critics; and he has contributed essays, articles, and reviews to publications ranging from newspapers such as the New York Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer to journals such as American Literary History and Theatre Journal. He has taught at SUNY-Stony Brook, the University of Washington, and Carnegie-Mellon University; and he has directed more than thirty productions at theaters around the U.S.
Edward Journey is Assistant Professor of English, Foreign Languages and Telecommunications at Alabama A&M University. He has taught at colleges and universities around the country including the University of Alabama, UAB, the University of Southern Indiana, Galveston College, Oakwood University, and Longwood University. He worked as an artist, administrator, director, stage manager, and educator in professional regional theatres throughout the U.S. from 1989 to 2002.
Lincoln Konkle is Executive Director of the Thornton Wilder Society and Professor of English at The College of New Jersey where he teaches courses in dramatic literature and coordinates the minor in Theatre and Drama. He has published two books—Thornton Wilder and the Puritan Narrative Tradition and Stephen Vincent Benét: Essays on His Life and Works (co-edited with David Garrett Izzo)—and articles in books and journals on Wilder, Benét, Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, Edward Taylor, Christine Brooke-Rose, and others.
Dorothy Leifheit has an M.A. in Religious Studies from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Her thesis explored the possibility of a process theology in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and this presentation is a continuation of that exploration. She is currently employed as a secretary for the School of Fine Arts at Marietta College.
Kendra Preston Leonard is a member of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars, and is a musicologist specializing in the music and musical culture of twentieth-century America, France and Britain; women and music; and music and film. She is the author of The Conservatoire Américain: A History, and has presented her research regularly in scholarly journals and at conferences including those of the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, and the International Association of Women in Music.
Irene Lewis is in her seventeenth season as Artistic Director of Center Stage in Baltimore, and has recently returned from Yale Rep where she remounted her revival of Alice Childress’s Trouble in Mind, seen in Baltimore last season. She has directed an extensive range of classic and contemporary plays—Shakespeare, Moliere, and Chekhov to Wallace Shawn, August Wilson, and Peter Weiss. Prior to coming to Center Stage, she did a variety of producing and directing for Hartford Stage, becoming Associate Artistic Director there. She has also directed at many of the major regional theaters around the country including the Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Rep, Sundance, Berkeley Rep, Williamstown, NYSF, Glimmerglass, and Yale Rep. She has also been a guest faculty member and director at Cornell University, NYU, and Juilliard.
Lewis Livesay has been at Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City for over two decades, teaching composition and literature to students in a program called the Educational Opportunity Fund. E.O.F. at Saint Peter’s has garnered a reputation for its graduation rate and success with developing many non‑traditional, socially emerging students into honor students. He is a long-time member of the Arthur Miller Society. His recent publications include work on Conrad, Kafka, and Miller.
Dennis Loyd earned a Ph.D. from George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville. His dissertation topic was “The Shudder of Awe: A Study of the Novels of Thornton Wilder.” In the course of that work, he began a correspondence with Isabel Wilder that lasted for more than a decade. He retired from Lipscomb University in Nashville as Professor of English after 41 years. He participated in two MLA seminars on Wilder and contributed two essays to Thornton Wilder: New Essays.
Emily Mann is in her nineteenth season as Artistic Director of the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey, which was honored with the 1994 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater. Her directing credits include Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics (also on Broadway), the world premiere of Christopher Durang’s Miss Witherspoon (also off-Broadway), Uncle Vanya (also adapted), All Over (also off-Broadway; 2003 Obie Award for Directing), The Cherry Orchard (also adapted), Three Sisters, A Doll House, and The Glass Menagerie. Her plays include the award-winning Execution of Justice; Still Life (six Obie Awards); Greensboro (A Requiem), and Annulla, An Autobiography.. She wrote and directed Having Our Say, adapted from the book by Sarah L. Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany with (Tony nominations, Best Director and Play; NAACP Award; Joseph Jefferson Award; Peabody and Christopher Awards for her screenplay). A winner of the Dramatists Guild/Hull-Warriner Award, she is a member of the Dramatists Guild and serves on its Council. In 2002, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Princeton University. A collection of her plays, Testimonies: Four Plays, has been published, and her latest play, “Mrs. Packard,” was the recipient of the 2007 Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award and will be published in spring 2008. Most recently, she directed the world premiere of Edward Albee’s Me, Myself & I, as well as her latest adaptation, A Seagull in the Hamptons.
Donald Margulies received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2000 for Dinner with Friends as well as the American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, Dramatists Guild/Hull-Warriner Award, Lucille Lortel Award, and the Outer Critics’ Circle Award. His other plays include Brooklyn Boy, Sight Unseen, Collected Stories, The Loman Family Picnic, Model Apartment, and What’s Wrong with This Picture? His plays have been performed at major theatres across the United States and around the world and five volumes of his work have been published. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and Guggenheim Foundation. He was the recipient of the 2000 Sidney Kingsley Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Theatre. In 2005, he was honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters with an Award in Literature and by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture with its Award in Literary Arts. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists and serves on the council of The Dramatists Guild of America. He is an Adjunct Professor of English and Theatre Studies at Yale University.
Janie Caves McCauley holds a Ph.D. degree from Miami University of Ohio, and is an arts critic and educator specializing in theater and music. She has published over 350 journalistic reviews in the arts, numerous reviews in Shakespeare Bulletin, and articles in such journals as Hamlet Studies, Shaw Review, George Herbert Journal, and Shakespeare Yearbook. Having taught Renaissance literature at the college level for 20 years, she currently teaches dramaturgy and theater history at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. She has twice held NEH fellowships for Shakespeare studies at Princeton University.
J. D. McClatchy is the author of five collections of poems, including Hazmat, which was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. A new collection, “Mercury Dressing,” is forthcoming. His selected poems, entitled Division of Spoils, appeared in England. His literary essays are collected in three volumes, the first of which, White Paper, was given the Melville Cane Award by the Poetry Society of America. He has also edited many other books, including Thornton Wilder’s Collected Plays & Writings on Theater, Poets of the Civil War, James Merrill’s Collected Prose, Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Selected Poems. Horace: The Odes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Poetry and Other Writings, Woman in White: Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Vintage Books of Contemporary American Poetry, Anne Sexton: The Poet and Her Critics, and several others. He also edited the acclaimed Voice of the Poet series of audio books, which includes the work of nineteen poets. His work appears regularly in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Paris Review, The New Republic, and many other publications. He teaches at Yale, where he is a Professor of English, and since 1991 has served as editor of The Yale Review. He has written eight libretti, including for Ned Rorem’s opera, Our Town. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2000, he was awarded the Governor’s Arts Medal by the State of Connecticut. Among his other honors, he has been awarded the Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets, and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Stephen Marino is the founding editor of The Arthur Miller Journal. His work on Arthur Miller has appeared in Modern Drama, The Journal of Imagism, and The South Atlantic Review. He is the editor of The Salesman Has a Birthday: Essays Celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and the author of A Language Study of Arthur Miller’s Plays, The Poetic in the Colloquial. His recent work on Miller appears in Miller and Middle America: Essays on Miller and the American Experience. His essay on “The Misfits” is forthcoming in The Nevada Historical Quarterly.
Hachiya Mizutani is a Professor of Drama in the School of Culture, Media and Society at Waseda University in Tokyo. He translated and published Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth and The Matchmaker. He has also translated Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden, Widows, and The Other Side for performance as well as his essay Desert Memories.
George Monteiro is Professor Emeritus of English and of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at Brown University. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Robert Frost & the New England Renaissance, The Correspondence of Henry James and Henry Adams, Stephen Crane’s Blue Badge of Courage, The Presence of Pessoa, Conversations with Elizabeth Bishop, and, forthcoming, “Native Speaker,” a collection of essays, and an edition of the contemporary reviews of Stephen Crane’s work.
Brenda Murphy is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Connecticut. Among her books are The Provincetown Players and the Culture of Modernity, O’Neill: Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Congressional Theatre: Dramatizing McCarthyism on Stage, Film, and Television, Miller: Death of a Salesman, Tennessee Williams and Elia Kazan: A Collaboration in the Theatre, American Realism and American Drama, 1880-1940, and, as editor, the Cambridge Companion to American Women Playwrights.
Sanja Nikcevic is Associate Professor and the Head of the Drama Department and The Academy of Arts in Osijek, Croatia, the Head of Department of Theatre Studies at the same academy, and the Head of the drama module for the doctoral program in Literature at the University of Osijek. She teaches courses on American drama, British drama, theater criticism, and history of theater and drama. She was a Fulbright scholar twice (New York in 1995, and UCSB in 2002) and has taught at the University of Zadar in Croatia and the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has published more than a hundred articles in journals. She edited Anthology of American Plays, Anthology of Contemporary Croatian Drama, as well as a collection of essays in English, Theatre Criticism Today, in Croatia. She has published three books on American drama: The Subversive American Drama or Sympathy for Losers, Affirmative American Drama or Long Live the Puritans, and Losers’ Genius in Our Town in Croatia. For her book New European Drama of Great Deception, she has received the Petar Brecic Award, a prestigious Croatian award for theater writing.
Penelope Niven is the author of Carl Sandburg: A Biography and Steichen: A Biography, and co-author, with James Earl Jones, of Voices and Silences. Her forthcoming biography of Thornton Wilder will be published by HarperCollins. Her honors include three NEH Fellowships, two fellowships from Yale’s Beinecke Library, and the North Carolina Award in Literature.
Edyta K. Oczkowicz is an Associate Professor of English at Salem College, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she teaches American and Ethnic Literatures as well as Contemporary Literary Theory. Her research interests include modern American drama, the work of Gao Xinjian, contemporary fiction by ethnic and immigrant writers in the U.S. and the Anglophone Caribbean, postcolonial theory, and multiculturalism. Her articles have been published in MELUS: The Journal of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States and MaComere: The Journal of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars.
Michael P. Parker is Professor of English at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He earned his Ph.D. from Yale University and has written extensively on seventeenth-century English poetry and on Maryland history. He is currently working with Timothy Raylor of Carleton College on an edition of the poet Edmund Waller, to be published by Oxford University Press.
Dianna Pickens is a translator, a Lecturer at the University of Naples, Federico II, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Naples, Suor Orsola Benincasa. She earned her Ph.D. from the Scuola Europea di Studi Avanzati in 2006 with a thesis on Thornton Wilder’s relationship with Italy, Student, Liberator, Author: Thornton Wilder in Italy, and is currently writing a book on the same subject.
David Radavich is Professor of English at Eastern Illinois University. He has published a variety of essays on American drama, particularly that connected with the Midwest. His poetry collections include By the Way, Greatest Hits, and, most recently, America Bound: An Epic for Our Time. His plays have been performed across the U.S., including five off-off-Broadway, and in Europe.
Joseph Roach is Charles and Dorathea Dilley Professor of Theater and English at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University. His work has addressed theater history, acting, stage design, ritual, cultural memory, embodiment, race, and the layered presence of the past in everyday life. His first book, The Player’s Passion: Studies in the Science of Acting, won the Barnard Hewitt Award in Theatre History; and his second, Cities of Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance, won the MLA’s James Russell Lowell Prize and the Calloway Prize from New York University. His most recent book is entitled It. He is also the co-editor of the collection of essays Critical theory and performance, and he is the author of numerous articles in collections and in such journals as Theatre Journal, The Drama Review, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Discourse, and the South Atlantic Quarterly. He has also received numerous honor, including the prestigious Andrew Mellon Foundation Distinguished Scholar Award, a Lifetime Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Society for Theatre Research, and a Senior Fellowship from the NEH.
Michael Robertson is Professor of English at The College of New Jersey. He is the author of Worshipping Walt: The Whitman Disciples and Stephen Crane, Journalism, and the Making of Modern American Literature, and co-editor of Walt Whitman, Where the Future Becomes Present.
Marian Seldes is one of the leading performers of the American stage. She is a recipient of the Tony Award (A Delicate Balance), two-time winner of the Obie Award (The Ginger Man and Isadora Duncan), winner of the Drama Desk Award (Father’s Day), the Outer Critics Circle Award (Painting Churches), the Drama League Award (Ivanov), and the Ovation (L.A.) Award (Three Tall Women). She has also been nominated four times for a Tony Award (Father’s Day, Deathtrap, Ivanov, and Dinner at Eight). In 1996, she was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame. She has also received the Dramatists Guild Foundation Sidney Kingsley-Madge Evans Award, the Sustained Achievement Obie Award, the Sustained Achievement Lucille Lortel Award, and an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the Juilliard School. She is the author of a memoir, The Bright Lights: A Theatre Life, and a novel, Time Together.
Yvonne Shafer is Professor Emerita at St. John’s University. She has directed productions of Thornton Wilder’s plays in China and in universities in this country. She is the author of eleven books, including American Women Playwrights. She has taught at American universities and abroad and spent a year as a Fulbright Professor in Brussels. She has lectured on Thornton Wilder at Chautauqua and elsewhere.
Arvid Sponberg is Professor of English and Director of American Studies at Valparaiso University in Indiana. As the twentieth-century drama scholar in the English Department, he focuses his research on American playwriting and the practices and institutions that have evolved to support it. He is the author of two books: Broadway Talks: What Professionals Think About Commercial Theater in America and A. R. Gurney: A Casebook. In 2007, he became the first recipient of Valparaiso University’s $10,000 Philip and Marian Kapfer Family Faculty Research Award and is using the prize to conduct and stimulate research into an important story in the history of English-speaking theater: the robust growth of professional nonprofit theater in Chicago within the last forty years.
Diane Vanner Steinberg is an Assistant Professor of English at The College of New Jersey, where she teaches courses in the English language and in early European literature. She is the advisor to the local award-winning chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International Honor Society in English. She holds degrees from Harvard College, St. John’s College, and Indiana University.
Michele Tarter is Associate Professor of English and the Coordinator of Graduate Studies at The College of New Jersey. She has published and presented papers extensively on early Quaker women’s writing, Quaker pedagogy, and on Quaker texts and the expansion of the American literary canon. She is co-editor of “A Centre of Wonders”: The Body in Early America and is currently working on a book titled “The Body as Testimony: Quaker Women’s Prophesyings in Early American Culture and Text.” She has also established a volunteer program in which she takes her students into New Jersey’s only maximum-security prison for women to assist the inmates in writing and editing their own life stories.
Susan D. Thomas teaches writing for Bard College; previously she has taught at X, Y, and Z after earning her Ph.D. in X at Stanford University. She became the founding Executive Director of the Thornton Wilder Society in 2000, moving up to the Board of Directors in 2005; she was also editor of the first two issues of the Thornton Wilder Society Newsletter.
Tazewell Thompson directed Wilder Rediscovered, the world premiere of four Wilder one-acts at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. He has also directed plays ranging from The Skin of Our Teeth, M. Butterfly, The Crucible, Fences, The Glass Menagerie, and Yellowman to The Tempest, Iphigenia in Aulis & Taurus, The Bloodknot, Phaedra, A Flea in Her Ear, and Yerma at theaters across the U.S., including, among many others, Arena Stage, Manhattan Theatre Club, Seattle Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Guthrie Theatre, Hartford Stage, Huntington Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, and San Jose Rep. He has also directed operas at La Scala, Paris Opera Bastille, San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and elsewhere. His own plays have received fourteen national productions. He has served as the Artistic Director of Syracuse Stage and of Westport Country Playhouse. His production of Constant Star received nine Barrymore Awards, five NAACP Awards, and three Carbonell Awards.
Julie Vatain is pursuing a Ph.D. at the Sorbonne (Paris 4 University), where she also teaches translation and literature. Her research focuses on the translation of theater, its theory and practice, and Thornton Wilder is one of the dramatists she studies. She has written a complete new French translation of Our Town.
Bill Waters is Senior Copywriter at Films for the Humanities & Sciences, a division of Facts on File. As a part-time graduate student in English at The College of New Jersey, Waters has cultivated a special interest in the less well known writings of Thornton Wilder—particularly his one-act plays and short fiction.
Christopher J. Wheatley is Professor of English at the Catholic University of America. He is the author of Without God or Reason: Secular Ethics in the Restoration and the Plays of Thomas Shadwell, “Beneath Ierne’s Banners”: Protestant Irish Drama of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Poland is not yet Lost: Heroic and Tragic Tales for the Polish Diaspora, and he co-edited with Kevin Donovan Irish Plays of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, 2 vols. He edited three volumes of the Dictionary of Literary Biography on twentieth-century American drama. He has also published three articles on Thornton Wilder and is working on a book on Wilder, tentatively entitled “Amos and Thornton Niven Wilder: Writing Religion in Twentieth-Century America.”
Tappan Wilder is Thornton Wilder’s nephew and Literary Executor. He has overseen the publication of and contributed notes and Afterwords to twelve new editions of Thornton Wilder’s novels and plays. He speaks often at theaters and colleges and universities about his uncle’s works and family. He holds graduate degrees in History and American Studies from, respectively, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Yale University.
Henry Wishcamper is a freelance director and the Artistic Director of Katharsis Theater Company in New York City. His production of Thornton Wilder’s one-act play Pullman Car Hiawatha for Keen Company was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best Revival and named one of the Top Ten Productions of 2004 by Time Out New York.
Ronald Zank is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He received his M.A. from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Current research interests include dramatic adaptations of early to mid-twentieth- century literatures and radical stagings of canonical American plays.