Our Town

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Our Town is a play by American playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder [1] (1897-1975). Immensely popular play about life in a small town, one of the most frequently staged American plays.

The original text

It opened on January 22, 1938 at the McCarter Theater, Princeton, New Jersey, produced and directed by Jed Harris. The play moved to New York, where it opened at the Henry Miller Theater on February 4, 1938.

Translations and adaptations

Translated by Ulrich Stark into Afrikaans with the title Ons Dorp, DALRO, 1970. This version was presented by Teater Aktief in 1988, directed by Danie Burger.

Translated by Roelf Laubscher into Afrikaans with the title Ons Dorp, 1976.

See also Robert Mohr's adaptation Our Town/Ons Dorp.

Performance history in South Africa

1945: Produced in South Africa in 1945. Directed by Taubie Kushlick for the Johannesburg Reps, starring Enid Grünewald,

1947: Presented by the UCT Speech-Training Department, produced by Joyce Burch in the Little Theatre, March 1947. The cast: Michael Watermeyer, Zea Lurie, Ashné Kretzmar, Joyce Pienaar.

1951: Ons Dorp was presented by K.A.T. in the Labia Theatre in Cape Town, opening 25 September, directed by Hermien Dommisse starring Enone van den Bergh. The name of the translator in not known.

1960: Our Town 1960 with André Huguenet.

1976: Danny Keogh starred in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, together with Diane Wilson and Michael McCabe for PACT at the Alexander in 1976. It was directed by John Hussey.

1977: The Port Elizabeth Shakespearean Festival Young 'uns presented Our Town at the Port Elizabeth Opera House on July 3 & 4, 1977. A Themi Ventura Production. Themi Venturas (Producer and Narrator), Hercules Pitsiladis (Doc Gibbs), William O'Driscoll (Joe Crowell). Gary Carter (Howie Newsome), Edna Wright, (Mrs Gibbs), Lorraine Young (Mrs Webb), Patrick Scott (George Gibbs), Julie Belgrove (Rebecca Gibbs), Martina Riebol, (Emily Webb), Mauro Putigna (Wally Webb), Anthony Mundell (Simon Stimson), Emmanuel Fokos (Constable Warren), Gary Carter (Professor Willard), Barry Peart (Mr Webb), Janis Harvey (Mrs Soames), Theo Rijs (Si Crowell), Robert Watkins (Sam Craig), William O'Driscoll (Joe Stoddard), Anthony Mundell, Robert Watkins (Baseball Players), Alexia Michaelides, Amber Cummins, Nadia Putigna, Leigh Ann Shamley, Gene Young, Carol Anne Kelleher (Ladies).


South African Opinion, 4(2):19, 1947.

Supplement to Die Burger, 22 September 1951.

Our Town Theatre programme, 1977.

Tucker, 1997. 26, 336.

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