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Thornton Wilder: Collected Plays and…

Thornton Wilder: Collected Plays and Writings on Theater (Library of…

by Thornton Wilder

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The working title of "The Skin of Our Teeth" was "The Ends of the Worlds." But, the end of Wilder's world is the threat of an ice age coming down from the chilly Canadian north (in act I). In fact, the entire play takes on a chronological time warp through Biblical, prehistoric and postwar environments. George and Maggie Antrobus, their children and house maid are the central characters of this play within a play. While the Antrobus characters remain constant, the house maid, Sabina does not. It is interesting to note that for the first and third acts she remains their maid and yet in the second act she is a femme fatale of sorts. Another inconsistent is the time line. Periods in history are jumbled together and stretched apart. Characters like Homer and Moses come to visit. A mammoth and dinosaur are the family pets. In the end the punchline is Mr. Antrobus, turning the fate of life over to us, the audience of this play within a play. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Apr 29, 2011 |
A "must" for classic theater shelves: The most comprehensive one-volume edition of dramatist Thornton Wilder's work published to date, Thornton Wilder Collected Plays & Writings on Theater is an 800 page compendium of plays Wilder wrote throughout his career, essays that reveal Wilder's reflections on his own plays, an epistolary account of the film adaptation of the classic play "Our Town", a chronology, notes, and much more. Of special interest to literati is material that has never before been published: scenes from "The Emporium", an ambitious yet unfinished play that evolved out of Wilder's involvement with existentialist philosophy in his postwar years, as well as the complete screenplay that Wilder wrote for Alfred Hitchcock's movie "Shadow of a Doubt" just prior to reporting for military service in 1942. Like all Library of America editions, Thornton Wilder Collected Plays & Writings on Theater features a sturdy hardcover binding, a compact, relatively lightweight design, and an inset ribbon bookmark. A "must" for classic theater shelves, and recommended for college and public library collections.
  mugwump2 | Nov 29, 2008 |
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This collection takes the measure of Wilder's extraordinary career as a dramatist by presenting the complete span of his achievement, beginning with his early expressionist experiments and daring one-act plays, ranging through the full flowering of maturity, and encompassing the intriguing dramatic projects of his later years, such as his adaptation of the ancient story of Alcestis (The Alcestiad) and plays written for dramatic cycles based on the Seven Deadly Sins and the varied ages of an individual's life. Complementing the selection of plays is an illuminating group of essays that captures Wilder's reflections on his plays and contains a revealing epistolary account of the film adaptation of Our Town, as well as evaluations of dramatists such as Sophocles, George Bernard Shaw, and the Austrian satirist Johann Nestroy (whose farce Einen Jux will er sich machen Wilder brilliantly transformed into The Matchmaker).--From publisher description.… (more)

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