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Posted on February 6, 2013
Watch a Short Film on Our Town’s Legacy
The Wilder Family has released a short film online for all viewers. Read More . . .

Our Town 75th Anniversary LogoPosted on January 30, 2013
February 4 Our Town Anniversary Event
Join us for the 75th anniversary of Our Town at the historic Ford’s Theatre at 7:00 p.m. EST on Monday February 4th. Read More . . .

American Literature Association LogoPosted on January 16, 2013
Call for Proposals: Deadline Extended
The last day to submit proposals for a panel on “Thornton Wilder and the Theater of Engagement” has been extended until January 25, 2013. Read More . . .

Update: We are no longer taking proposals. The cut off date was January 25, 2013. Thanks to all those who contributed their work.

Posted on December 9, 2012
Publication: Intertextuality in American Drama
Intertextuality in American DramaKristin Bennet, a veteran of The College of New Jersey, the Society’s headquarters, has been published in a new book. Intertextuality in American Drama, a publication from McFarland, features new essays on such diverse writers as Eugene O’Neill, Susan Glaspell, Arthur Miller, Maurine Dallas Watkins, Sophie Treadwell, Washington Irving, and Thornton Wilder.

The essayists offer numerous approaches to intertextuality: the influence of the poetry of romanticism and Shakespeare and of histories and novels, ideological and political discourses on American playwrights, unlikely connections between such writers as Miller and Wilder, the problems of intertexts in translation, the evolution in historical and performance contexts of the same tale, and the relationships among feminism, the drama of the courtroom, and the drama of the stage.

Intertextuality has been an under-explored area in studies of dramatic and performance texts. The innovative findings of these scholars testify to the continuing vitality of research in American drama and performance.

Intertextuality in American Drama is now available in print format.

Posted on December 1, 2012
Scholarly Article: Theophilus North added to Works
For the second part of our scholarly article additions, Matthew Angelo has provided a plot summary and critical analysis for Wilder’s final novel, Theophilus North.

You can read these Theophilus North articles and other writings in the Works section of the Thornton Wilder Society website. Thanks to Mr. Angelo for his contribution.

Posted on November 25, 2012
Lecture: Tom Miller presents Thornton Wilder in Arizona
Tom Miller will present Thornton Wilder in Arizona, a lecture on Wilder’s respite in Arizona, at the Sierra Vista Public Library, on December 4.

Miller will explore Wilder’s Arizona sojourn, showing its importance in his literary life and America’s literature. This unknown slice of Arizona’s recent past will reveal the crossroads of a small border town with the American literary establishment.

Visit our Facebook Events area to learn more.

Posted on November 25, 2012
Scholarly Article: The Alcestiad and The Ides of March added to Works
Once again, TWS has added to its Works area. Thanks to contributors Thomas Buck and Stephen Rojcewicz, plot summaries and critical analyses are now available for Wilder’s The Alcestiad and The Ides of March.

To read the plot summary and critical analysis for these plays, please visit the Works area of our website.

Next Saturday, December 1, another plot summary and critical analysis will be added. Stay tuned to TWS to find out which of Wilder’s novels will be included in the Works area.

American Literature Association LogoPosted on November 14, 2012
Call for Proposals: “Thornton Wilder and the Theater of Engagement”
In conjunction with other drama societies the Thornton Wilder Society invites proposals for a panel on Thornton Wilder at the 24th annual American Literature Association Conference. Read More . . .

Update: We are no longer taking proposals. The cut off date was January 25, 2013. Thanks to all those who contributed their work.

Posted on November 12, 2012
Convention: Teaching Wilder to 21st Century Students
HarperCollins Publishers will be hosting a Thornton Wilder Society event on Saturday, November 17, at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention. The event will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

HarperCollins will provide the opportunity for conference-goers to meet experts from the Thornton Wilder Society including Tappan Wilder (Thornton’s nephew and literary executor), Jackson R. Bryer (Society president), and Lincoln Konkle (Society executive director). Additionally, they will be giving away free copies of Our Town to the first 100 people in preparation of its 75th anniversary in 2013.

If you’ll be there on November 17, you can come to Booth 521 to meet the experts between 10am and 12pm, or come to the Premiere Ballroom to hear the experts’ panel, Teaching Thornton Wilder to 21st Century Students, from 2:45pm to 4pm.

The complete convention program is available here on the National Council of Teachers of English website.

Posted on October 29, 2012
Publication: Thornton Wilder: A Life is one of “the best new books”
Publishers Weekly called the new biography, Thornton Wilder: A Life, one of “the best new books for the week of October 29, 2012.”

Additionally, they complimented author Penelope Niven on her use of materials from the rich Wilder archives: “The real value of her extensive research comes in the seamless weaving of letters and journals that make up the full tapestry of the writer’s life.”

The full Publishers Weekly article can be found here on their website.

Thornton Wilder: A Life will be released on October 30, 2012 in both print and digital formats.

Posted on October 13, 2012
Contest: Win $1000 during the Wilder Wilder Everywhere Video Contest
Wilder Wilder Everywhere Video ContestAs part of the ongoing celebration of the 75th anniversary of Our Town, and in recognition of Thornton Wilder’s position as one of the preeminent chroniclers of American life, Playscripts, Inc. and The Wilder Family LLC have created the Wilder Wilder Everywhere Video Contest.

The deadline for submissions is January 28, 2013 at 12:00 PM EST.

For more information, please log in to Facebook and visit the Thornton Wilder Society Events area, or for complete details visit the official Wilder Wilder Everywhere Video Contest page on the Playscripts website.

Playscripts, Inc. is an independent publisher of new plays and musicals, established in 1998 by brothers and playwrights Doug and Jonathan Rand for the mutual benefit of playwrights and theaters worldwide. Visit the Playscripts website. The Wilder Family LLC manages the literary and media rights to Thornton Wilder’s works around the world. Visit the Wilder Family LLC website.

Posted on August 11, 2012
Performance: The Matchmaker
900 Broadway Suite 905, New York, NY, December 7-10, 2012
The Actors Company Theatre (TACT) will perform The Matchmaker, December 7 – 10, 2012. As part of TACT’s Salon Series, tickets for this production are exclusively available to subscribing members. For information on subscribing to TACT, visit the Get Involved page on their website.

To learn more about TACT’s Wilder production, visit The Matchmaker page on their website.

Posted on July 31, 2012
NEA Theatre Grants to Make Your Town “Our Town”

The National Endowment for the Arts ( announced the second annual round of “Our Town” grants. The 80 money gifts total nearly $5 million and will reach 44 states and the District of Columbia. Combined with grants from 2011, the NEA has invested $11.58 million in Our Town projects in all 50 states and DC.

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman drew on his theatre background to label this great initiative after a great Wilder play.
Read More at . . .

Posted on June 19, 2012
Our Town 75th Anniversary Logo Revealed
The Wilder Estate released a celebratory logo to mark the 75th Anniversary of this classic work. Read More . . .

Posted on May 23, 2012
Conference: 23rd Annual ALA Conference Stars Tomorrow in San Francisco
Hyatt Regency, Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA, May 24-27, 2012
Thursday, May 24, marks the first day of the 23rd annual American Literature Association conference in San Francisco, California.

On Friday, May 25, during the 2:10-3:30 PM 11th Session, the Society’s own Park Bucker will chair a panel entitled Uncharted Territories: Thornton Wilder. Presentations include:
Pullman Car Hiawatha As Dance-Theater, Paul Bernstein, Rutgers University
Sex and Religion in Thornton Wilder’s Someone from Assisi, John Brooks, University of South Carolina

Join us for the panel, and the rest of the conference activities from Thursday, May 24 through Sunday, May 27. To download the conference program or for information, please visit the 2012 ALA webpage:

Posted on April 12, 2012
Performance: The Matchmaker
Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Stratford, Ontario N5A 6V2, May 12-October 27, 2012
With his eye ever fixed on the bottom line, wealthy merchant Horace Vandergelder can’t see the value of love – even as he searches for a wife. His matchmaker, Dolly Levi, however, is making her own plans for him, while his clerks pursue their hearts’ desires in the big city. For more info, click here.

Posted on March 10, 2012
Performance: The Skin of Our Teeth
Roselle Center for the Arts, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, April 19-May 5, 2012
Wilder’s groundbreaking, Pulitzer Prize-winning satire is a wild and raucous tour of humanity through the ages. George Antrobus (inventor of the wheel), his devoted family, and his saucy maid find themselves facing one spectacular disaster after another – climate change, war, flood, famine, and economic collapse. From woolly mammoths to an Atlantic City beauty contest to the aftermath of global war, extinction and survival race to the finish line in a joyous, inspiring, and spectacular celebration of humanity’s resilience. Wildly entertaining, this American classic is shockingly contemporary and more pertinent than ever before. For more info, click here.

Posted on February 14, 2012
Performance: 7th Annual Thornton Wilder Short Play Festival
Words Players Theatre, 14 4th ST SW, Rochester, MN 55902, March 23-24; March 30-31, 2012

Seven short plays will be performed this year. Continuing last year’s successful symposium, the March 31 Saturday symposium will include discussions on one of Wilder’s essays and participatory playlet workshops. Like the performances, we strive to make the symposium accessible, educational, and entertaining to all – students, lifelong learners, and professional academics. For more info, click here, or e-mail

Posted on January 17, 2012
Lecture: Thornton Wilder’s Arizona Days, a lecture by Tom Miller
February 28 at 5:30 pm in Copper Queen Library, Bisbee, Arizona
March 8 at 12:00 pm in Hogan Community Library, Willcox, Arizona
Wilder, in 1962, weary of being a public intellectual, settled in Douglas, AZ, where he read voluminously, wrote incessantly, and hit the bars nocturnally. Eighteen months later, rejuvenated by his relative anonymity, he returned east, his literary skills re-energized. The presentation explores Wilder‘s Arizona sojourn, showing its importance in his literary life and America’s literature. This unknown slice of Arizona’s recent past reveals the crossroads of a small border town with the American literary establishment. Drawn from Miller’s July 2009 Smithsonian piece. For more info, e-mail Tom Miller

Posted on December 20, 2011
Performance: Our Town, Starring Helen Hunt
The Broad Stage, Santa Monica, CA, January 13-February 12, 2012
Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe-winner Helen Hunt stars in this groundbreaking new version of Wilder’s iconic American play. This electrifying new production is directed by Broadway director and MacArthur Fellow David Cromer in his LA debut. Most of the seating for this production will be on stage with the actors.

Posted on October 29, 2011
Performance: The Long Christmas Dinner
Fundamental Theater Project, Holiday House, 2 E 63rd St. between 5th and Madison Ave., New York City, December 2, 8, 9, 2011
This very intimate production will take place at Holiday House NYC to benefit the Greater New York affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast cancer awareness organization. Performances will take place in this beautiful UES mansion located at 2 E 63rd St. in the grand dining room at the dinner table and around the fireplace! This limited engagement will take place Friday, December 2 at 2:00 pm; Thursday, December 8 at 2:00 pm; and Friday, December 9 at 2:00 pm. Performance tickets are included in the $30 General Admission ticket to Holiday House. Holiday House is about the celebration of life with each designer selecting a holiday or a special moment in life as an inspiration for their design. Following this ideal of the event, FTP chose this 1931 play, which follows several generations of the Bayard family gathering to celebrate the holidays. This is FTP’s first site-specific production, and has been made possible with the collaboration of designer Felicia Zwebner of Felicia Zwebner Design. We are so excited to be presenting this piece – a first production of this kind for us, and a very special cause we are supporting through our work. We would be so delighted to see you for a spot of afternoon theater, and to see the beautiful house we are lucky enough to be playing in! For more info, go to

Posted on October 20, 2011
Call for Papers on Thornton Wilder: “Uncharted Territories”
The Wilder Society is calling for 15-20 minute paper proposals on “Uncharted Territories” of Thornton Wilder’s works for the 23rd Annual Conference of the American Literature Association. Read More . . .

: We are no longer taking paper proposals. The cut off date was January 27, 2012. Thanks to all those who contributed their work.

Posted on October 5, 2011
Performance: “An Evening with Thornton Wilder”
Eppley Auditorium, Culver Academies, Culver, Indiana, November 5, 11, 12, 2011
“An Evening with Thornton Wilder” will consist of five once-act plays by Mr. Wilder – “Centaurs,” “The Marriage We Deplore,” “The Long Christmas Dinner,” “Queens of France,” and “Love and How to Cure It.” A talkback with Mr. Tappan Wilder, nephew of the American playwright and novelist, will follow the November 11th performance. For more info go to closer to the date.

Posted on October 2, 2011
Lecture: “An Insider’s Perspective on Thornton Wilder,” Talk by Tappan Wilder

Poughkeepsie Public Library, Poughkeepsie, NY, November 11, 2011
Tappan Wilder is Thornton Wilder’s nephew. In an illustrated talk drawn in part from Wilder family records, Tappan introduces us to Our Town and The Bridge of San Luis Rey in the context of Thornton Wilder’s standing as an artist yesterday, today—and
tomorrow. Question and Answer time to follow. Talk and Reception 2:30-4:30 in the Mid-Hudson Auditorium.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. It is designed to encourage literacy and restore reading to the center of American culture by providing opportunities for communities to read, discuss and interpret a selected work of literature.
2011 is the fifth year that the Poughkeepsie Public Library District has been honored with an NEA grant to coordinate a community-wide Big Read project. With the support of local businesses, libraries, Friends groups, arts organizations and educational institutions, an exciting schedule of programs is planned for the month between October 16 and November 13.
For a complete listing of Big Read events, click here or scan the online version of the Big Read insert available from the homepage.
For general Big Read questions, please contact: Jewel Ratzlaff at (845) 485-3445 X3372 or We hope to see you at a Big Read event!

Posted on July 10, 2011
Performance: Our Town
Theatre Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida, August 19-September 3, 2011

For more info click here.

Posted on June 2, 2011
Performance: The Beaux’ Stratagem

Texas Shakespeare Festival, Kilgore, TX, July 1-30, 2011
Adapted from George Farquhar’s Restoration comedy by Wilder and completed by Ken Ludwig. For more info click here.

Posted on May 14, 2011
Contest: Thornton Wilder Playwriting Contest

Submission deadline: June 15 , 2011
A new playwriting contest based on Wilder’s short playlets (“three-minute plays for three persons,” most of which were published by Coward-McCann in the 1928 collection The Angel That Troubled The Waters And Other Plays) is being sponsored by Playscripts Inc. and the Thornton Wilder Estate. Deadline for submission is June 15, 2011. For more information, click here.

Posted on May 2, 2011
Performance: Our Town
Cygnet Theatre Company, San Diego, CA, June 9-July 10, 2011
Wilder’s classic directed by Sean Murray. Cygnet is also hosting a reading of The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. For more info click here.

Posted on April 15, 2011
Performance: Theophilus North
The Organic Theater Company, Chicago, IL, May 26-June 26, 2011
Wilder’s last novel adapted for the stage by Matthew Burnett. For more info click here.

Posted on April 10, 2011
Performance: Our Town, a Ballet
American Repertory Ballet, New Brunswick, NJ, May 21, 22 , 2011
American Repertory Ballet presents: Our Town, a ballet by Philip Jerry based on Thornton Wilder’s classic with music by Aaron Copland. May 21 at 8:00 pm and May 22 at 2:00 pm. Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Tickets: $35 General Public/$25 Seniors and University Students. Call: 732.932.7511 or click here.

Posted on March 6, 2011
Performance and Lecture: Thornton Wilder Short Play Festival
Words Players, Rochester, Minnesota, April 8 & 9, 2011
Join us in April for performances and dynamic discussions of the works of American playwright Thornton Wilder, considered one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Two performances of selected short plays and a one-day literary symposium will introduce Wilder’s works to the newly curious and expand understanding of them to aficionados. Special guest Tappan Wilder, the author’s nephew and literary executor, will be in town to speak on various aspects of the author’s life and works. Guest academic lecturers will focus on the relevance of Wilder’s work to us today. Eleven short plays will be performed this year, all within the framework of a group of traveling actors who will explain the plot throughout. The Saturday symposium will include presentations, discussions, and illustrative lectures – actors showing various aspects of Wilder’s writings being discussed.  Performances of Eleven Short Plays take place April 8 & 9 at 7:00 pm, Studio Academy Theatre, 415 16th St. SW   Rochester, MN. Tickets $6 at the door. Symposium & Illustrative Lectures April 9 at 9:00 am – 5pm. $30 registration fee includes symposium, lunch, performance (Additional family members $10 each). Students $10. For more information, click here.

Posted on March 2, 2011
Lecture: “Thornton Wilder’s Arizona Days” a talk by Tom Miller
Sun Lakes Library, Chandler, Arizona, April 6, 2011
Drawing on his piece in the July 2009 Smithsonian Magazine (click here for article), Tom Miller will discuss Thornton Wilder’s visits to Arizona in the mid-1930s as well as 1962-63.  10:00-11:00 a.m., April 6, 2011. Open to the public, free admission. Sun Lakes Library, 9330 E. Riggs Road, near Chandler, AZ.

Posted on January 15, 2011
Performance: Wild About Wilder
Sauk Prarie Theatre Guild, Sauk Prarie, Wisconsin, February 18-20 , 2011
Sauk Prairie Theatre Guild will be performing three one-act plays by Thornton Wilder. The plays are Infancy, Childhood, and The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden. For more information call 608-448-6770 or visit us at

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