The Big Read Blog (Archive)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey/Our Town

Part of the compact we make when we go to the theatre is to shut out the outside world and completely immerse ourselves in the world displayed before us by artists, by actors. We can’t shut out our own thoughts of course, our memories and associations, but our gaze is directed, what we see...
Rope Bridge by Vera Kratochvil In this audio excerpt, we take a brief look at the deceptively simple, yet heartbreaking plot in The Bridge of San Luis Rey . The opening of our Big Read audio guide features actress Marian Seldes, Sister Maureen Fiedler, JD McClatchy, Russell Banks, and the voice of...
Image of Penelope Niven (right) and her new biography about Thornton Wilder. Used courtesy of Harper Collins, Louis Kapeleris Hark! The clock is ticking. Ford Theatre's 75th anniversary production of Thornton Wilder’s play, Our Town , wraps in four days on February 24. Let’s turn to biographer...
The cover of Thornton Wilder: A Life . Image used courtesy of HarperCollins This week, Penelope Niven’s new biography of Thornton Wilder hit the shelves, the first biography of the author and playwright to be published since 1983. Drawing on Wilder’s letters, journals, manuscripts, and personal...
As part of the Big Read, Dr. Zipf leads a walking tour, which began outside St. Mary’s Church. Photo courtesy of the Preservation Society of Newport County No one understands the power of place better than the Preservation Society of Newport County . The not-for-profit is charged with maintaining...
Thornton Wilder, courtesy of Yale Collection of of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library The prolific and exuberant Thornton Niven Wilder died on this day 36 years ago. Today, we're paying homage to the man behind American classics such as The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Our...
Washington, DC Produced by Josephine Reed. Posted by Adam Kampe. Playwright Edward Albee. Thornton Wilder?s novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey , is a Big Read selection. But we also wanted to explore Wilder?s influence as a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. Who better to discuss this with than...
Woodstock, Georgia Erin McCarthy as Emily Webb and her real dad, Mark McCarthy, as Mr. Webb rehearse a scene from Our Town with the Elm Street Players. Photo courtesy of Elm Street Cultural Arts Village When organizations choose to read Thornton Wilder?s The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Our Town for...
Washington, DC Thornton Wilder in the role of George Antrobus in his play, The Skin of Our Teeth. Image courtesy of the Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library . On the first page of The Bridge of San Luis Rey--- which is set in 18th century Peru---we learn...
Monroe, Michigan The Foundation at Monroe County Community College has been immersed in The Big Read since its kick-off on March 26 with the production of Our Town. At the kick-off, more than 200 copies of The Bridge of San Luis Rey were distributed to community members with an additional 300...

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