to present ROBERT MacNEIL with the
"THORNTON WILDER PRIZE"
in association with the THORNTON WILDER SOCIETY
Saturday, May 22 at the Barrow Street Theatre
Immediately following the matinee performance
New York, NY (4/28/10) -Tappan Wilder, nephew of famed playwright Thornton Wilder and literary executor, and cast members of the critically acclaimed (Lucille Lortel Award-winning) David Cromer production of Thornton Wilder‟s Our Town, in association with The Thornton Wilder Society, will present the "Thornton Wilder Prize," to Robert MacNeil on Saturday afternoon, May 22, 2010 at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street). The presentation of the award will take place following the matinee performance. First established in 2008, and given every two years, the first award was given to author Russell Banks.
The Thornton Wilder Prize honors that individual who, in the opinion of the Board, practices his or her calling with the distinction, devotion and zest that characterized the artist for whom the prize is named. The Thornton Wilder Prize was established in 2008 with a donation from June Trolley, a friend of Mr. Wilder‟s. The Prize was first awarded to novelist Russell Banks at the "Wilder in the Twenty-first Century: The First International Thornton Wilder Conference," held at The College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ in October 2008.
Robert MacNeil was a journalist for forty years with, successively, Reuters News Agency, NBC News and the BBC, culminating as executive editor and co-anchor of "The MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour," a 20-year nightly partnership with Jim Lehrer on PBS. He is the author of three novels, Burden of Desire, The Voyage and Breaking News; three memoirs, The Right Place at the Right Time, Wordstruck, and Looking For My Country; and co-author of The Story of English and the sequel, Do You Speak American? Since 1993 he has been Chairman of the MacDowell Colony. He and his wife Donna live in New York City.
In announcing the award, Tappan Wilder stated, "The Thornton Wilder Society and I are so pleased to honor our friend and colleague, Robert MacNeil, with the Thornton Wilder prize."
The Thornton Wilder Society has the twofold purpose of supporting efforts which expand the literary legacy of Thornton Wilder and of encouraging projects which emphasize the timeless importance of literature and drama to world culture. The Thornton Wilder Society appeals to anyone who has an interest in the life and works of Thornton Wilder. The Society is international in its scope, attracting Wilder fans, scholars, critics, educators and theatrical professionals and amateurs from all over the world. The Society, in short, is of interest to all who love Wilder, his work, and his belief in the importance of art as a sustaining influence in the world.
Now in its second record-breaking year, the critically acclaimed David Cromer production of‟ Thornton Wilder‟s Our Town, began performances on February 17, 2009, with an official opening night on February 26, 2009 where it received rave reviews at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street).
The complete cast of Our Town includes (in alphabetical order) Elizabeth Audley as Mrs. Soames, Robert Beitzel as Howie Newsome, Kati Brazda as Mrs. Webb, Will Brill as Joe Crowell, Nathan Dame as Sam Craig, Roger DeWitt as Joe Stoddard, Mark Hatton as Constable Warren, Emma Galvin as Rebecca Gibbs, Jennifer Grace as Emily, Wilbur Edwin Henry as Professor Willard, Seamus Mulcahy as Wally Webb, Ben Livingston as Doc Gibbs, David Manis as Editor Webb, Jonathan Maestro as Simon Stimson, James McMenamin as George, Lori Myers as Mrs. Gibbs, Michael Shannon as the „Stage Manager‟, and Jason Yachanin as Si Crowell with Dana Jacks, Lynn Laurence, Kathleen Peirce, Keith Perry, and Mark Shock.
The New York production of Our Town went on to win the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Direction and Obie Award for Outstanding Director. This current staging of Our Town entered its second year on February 26th and became the longest-running production of the play in its 72-year history with its record-breaking 337th performance on December 16, 2009.
Our Town is produced by Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian, Tom Wirtshafter, Ted Snowdon, Eagle Productions, Dena Hammerstein/Pam Pariseau, The Weinstein Company, and Burnt Umber Productions.
The performance schedule is as follows: Tuesday - Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $69 & $49.50 and are available through SmartTix (212) 868-4444, www.smarttix.com, or at the Barrow Street Theatre box office (open at 1 p.m. daily). Student tickets at $20 are available on the day of performance only at the box office. Tickets now on sale through June 27, 2010.
Barrow Street Theatre is located at 27 Barrow Street at 7th Avenue South in the heart of Greenwich Village. Nearby subway stops are the 1 at Christopher Street (walk 1 block South on 7th Avenue to Barrow) and the A, C, E, B, D, F and V at West 4th (walk West on 4th Street, left on Barrow).
"ETERNALLY RESONANT! THE IDEAL GIFT."
-- Charles Isherwood, The New York Times
"A SHATTERING PRODUCTION. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO BE MOVED. TRUE AMERICAN FAITH ENDURES IN „OUR TOWN.‟"
-- Frank Rich, The New York Times
"AN ENTHRALLING PRODUCTION!"
-- Ben Brantley, The New York Times
"DAVID CROMER‟S RETHINKING OF THORNTON WILDER‟S MASTERPIECE IS A LANDMARK! I DON‟T USE THE WORK „GENIUS‟ CASUALLY BUT MR. CROMER MAY FILL THE BILL. THE BEST SHOW IN NYC - IF NOT AMERICA!"
-- Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal
"STUNNING! A REVOLUTIONARY PRODUCTION!"
-- John Heilpern, New York Observer
"FIVE STARS! BEST OF THE YEAR!"
-- David Cote, Time Out New York