Inspired by Wilder's One-Acts: A Livestream Conversation


A Wilder Family Event NEW YORK, NY | OCTOBER 30, 2017 at 6:30PM ET

Paula Vogel, Laurie McCants & Linda Powell discuss Thornton Wilder’s One-Acts with Mark Blankenship  

The Wilder Family and Samuel French present a conversation with Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Paula Vogel (Indecent), director Laurie McCants (Bloomsburg Theater Ensemble) and actress Linda Powell (NBC’s Chicago Fire) about the influence of Thornton Wilder’s one-acts on their work. The live streamed conversation will be moderated by journalist and theater critic Mark Blankenship, Director of Community and Content for Show-Score. The panel discussion will be held in the Samuel French Event Space on Monday, October 30 at 6:30 PM ET. Facebook will host the FREE live stream, watch HERE.

They rarely get accolades or attention, but in the hands of a master, one-act plays can be revolutionary. Thornton Wilder practically perfected the form, writing over two-dozen short dramas over the course of three decades, from The Long Christmas Dinner, Pullman Car Hiawatha and The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden written in 1931, to his Plays for Bleecker Street, which premiered at Circle in the Square Theatre, directed by Jose Quintero in 1962.  These plays not only pushed American playwriting forward in their time, but also continue to inspire artists around the world. Join us for a conversation about the massive power of these compact works, complete with insights from playwrights, directors, and actors who have been inspired by them.

“My uncle began and ended his life as a dramatist with the one act play,” said Tappan Wilder, Thornton Wilder's nephew and executor of his uncle's literary estate. “Thornton Wilder loved compression and experimenting with theatrical forms. In these mini-masterpieces, he squeezes the universe into twenty minutes and we encounter a first glimpse of Wilder’s Stage Manager, his use of pantomime, minimal scenery and farce, as well as his signature connection between the commonplace and the cosmic dimensions of the human experience. He later develops these dramatic forms in his celebrated full-length works, Our Town, The Matchmaker, The Skin of Our Teeth and The Alcestiad.”

The event, produced in partnership with The Thornton Wilder Society, is the second in a series of special conversations celebrating a year of notable Wilder anniversaries, productions and publications including— the 75th anniversary of Pulitzer Prize-winning The Skin of Our Teeth (1943), the 50th anniversary of The Eighth Day (National Book Award 1968), Theatre For A New Audience’s critically acclaimed production of The Skin of Our Teeth, the musical adaptation of his play The Matchmaker, Hello, Dolly! currently on Broadway, and the publications of the definitive acting edition of The Matchmaker by Samuel French and the first-ever single trade volume of The Matchmaker by HarperCollins. Previous conversation panelists include directors Abigail Adams, Arin Arbus, Mark Cuddy and Gregory Mosher. [separator size="medium" center="false" empty="false" opaque="false" margin_top="" margin_bottom=""]

Photo: Pullman Car Hiawatha, Keen Company, 2004. (Jonathan Hogan, Dan Cordle, Melodie Sisk, Jocelyn Rose, Christa Scott Reed, Martin Carey, Laura Ploufee, Maria Dizzia, Shane McRae, Kristen Bedard, Peter Russon)