2 males, 3 females
In this provocative, sometimes chilling comedy, Wilder renders a child’s-eye view of the grown-up world, as a father, a mother and their three children play a revealing game of make-believe in which the children pretend to be orphans. Startling truths emerge on both sides, as pretense challenges the family to discard the traditional roles of parent, spouse, child, and sibling–blurring the lines between perception and reality, artifice and innocence.
Childhood was first produced at the Circle in the Square Theater in New York January 10, 1962, as one of three plays grouped as “Plays for Bleecker Street. It was televised by the CBC in 1966 and 1969, and by an educational television channel in 1966 and 1970.
A note on publication:
Childhood was first published in November 1960 in The Atlantic Monthly and later in 1997 by TCG in The Collected Short Plays of Thornton Wilder, edited by Donald Gallup and Tappan Wilder. It is also included in Collected Plays & Writings on Theater edited by J. D. McClatchy, published by The Library of America in 2007.
Professional and Amateur Productions:
Samuel French Inc.
UK and International:
Alan Brodie Representation Ltd.