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Another Day's Begun By Howard Sherman (Independent scholar, USA)

Another Day's Begun by Howard Sherman (Independent scholar, USA)

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Another Day's Begun Summary

Another Day's Begun: Thornton Wilder's Our Town in the 21st Century by Howard Sherman (Independent scholar, USA)

A work of startling originality when it debuted in 1938, Thornton Wilder's Our Town evolved to be seen by some as a vintage slice of early 20th Century Americana, rather than being fully appreciated for its complex and eternal themes and its deceptively simple form. This unique and timely book shines a light on the play's continued impact in the 21st century and makes a case for the healing powers of Wilder's text to a world confronting multiple crises. Through extensive interviews with more than 100 artists about their own experience of the play and its impact on them professionally and personally - and including background on the play's early years and its pervasiveness in American culture - Another Day's Begun shows why this particular work remains so important, essential, and beloved. Every production of Our Town has a story to tell beyond Wilder's own. One year after the tragedy of 9/11, Paul Newman, in his final stage appearance, played the Stage Manager in Our Town on Broadway. Director David Cromer's 2008 Chicago interpretation would play in five more cities, ultimately becoming New York's longest-running Our Town ever. In 2013, incarcerated men at Sing Sing Correctional Facility brought Grover's Corners inside a maximum security prison. After the 2017 arena bombing in Manchester UK, the Royal Exchange Theatre chose Our Town as its offering to the stricken community. 80 years after it was written, more than 110 years after its actions take place, Our Town continues to assert itself as an essential play about how we must embrace and appreciate the value of life itself. Another Day's Begun explains how this American classic has the power to inspire, heal and endure in the modern day, onstage and beyond.

Another Day's Begun Reviews

The early chapters are full of fascinating 'Our Town' factoids, but the heart of 'Another Day's Begun' is the more than a dozen chapters outlining major productions of 'Our Town,' which Sherman presents as oral histories. * Hartford Courant *
If you love the play, you'll love the book. If you have believe it or not, never really even seen a production of Our Town, you'll love the book, because this book, as much as the play, is the story about people, and how we fit each other into our lives and what we mean to each other. One of the things you're struck by as you read about production after production, is that every production becomes its own small town, and you are inevitably touched by the lives that are uplifted. It's a great book. * Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday *
With the country splintered, its institutions shaken, a book documenting a classic American play affirming shared life experiences and bedrock values seems especially timely. * The Washington Post *
[Our Town] has gained a reputation for fusty sentimentality, a misperception that Howard Sherman's new oral history, "Another Day's Begun: Thornton Wilder's 'Our Town' in the 21st Century"... debunks through discussion of a dozen productions. * The New York Times *
[A] new history of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town." * The Boston Globe *
A compendium of newly created oral histories about some key productions from the past two decades...The result is not just an intimate look at the theatermaking process, but an enlightening examination of a play that isn't what it appears to be. * TheaterMania *
A captivating history of Our Town... In this time of dark stages and unemployed thespians, Sherman's reflections will enchant all theater buffs. * Library Journal *
Our Town reminds us of what unites, rather than divides, humanity. Howard Sherman has provided a valuable current portrait of the play's ever timely and timeless testimony to our better selves. * Tappan Wilder *
I love this book! Howard Sherman delivers a fresh, witty, engaging, exhaustively researched, up to the minute backstage tour into one of America's very greatest and perhaps most underestimated plays. An excellent must-have book to own and cherish. * Stephen Adly Guirgis *
What an immense pleasure to read Another Day Begun: Thornton Wilder's Our Town in the 21st Century. Howard Sherman has crafted a comprehensive overview of Our Town that traces the play's journey from inception to reception, its acceptance and then the interrogations that surround such success. Sherman places Thornton Wilder firmly where he belongs, in the pantheon of the most significant American playwrights. And he makes a compelling case for how the play speaks directly to the complexities our current century * Anne Bogart *
To explore the pages of this book is to rediscover the joy and wonder of theatre itself. Our Town is arguably the greatest American play, and Howard Sherman helps us understand how it retains that power for new generations, new visions of America, and communities around the globe. The stories he tells, like Wilder's play itself, make their gentle and mysterious way into our hearts, until we too are transformed by a bigger and more generous vision of our world. * David Henry Hwang *
If Thornton Wilder ever wondered: "What difference will it make if I write this play?", Howard Sherman's Another Day's Begun answers him. Sherman's book is a remarkable case study of Our Town in multiple contexts. We are given testimony from all involved in how one play makes an enormous difference in appreciating our time on earth and realizing our connection to each other. A must-read for all who love theatre, and an eloquent gift for all of us who wonder what difference it makes to write during our allotment of days * Paula Vogel *
Howard Sherman has crafted an entertaining and enlightening appreciation of what is arguably the greatest American play ... Another Day's Begun is not only a colorful companion to Our Town, but a worthy addition to the study of American theater. * Donald Margulies *

About Howard Sherman (Independent scholar, USA)

Howard Sherman is a theatre administrator, writer, and advocate. He has been executive director of the American Theatre Wing and the O'Neill Theater Center, managing director of Geva Theatre, general manager of Goodspeed Musicals and public relations director of Hartford Stage. He has also interim director of the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts. Since 2012, he has been the US columnist for The Stage newspaper in London, and in 2018 was named Contributing Editor of Stage Directions magazine. His writing has appeared in a number of publications including Slate, The New York Times, the Guardian, and American Theatre Magazine. He was cited as one of the Top 40 Free Speech Defenders in 2014 by the National Coalition Against Censorship and received the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund's "Defender" Award in 2015; he frequently consults, writes and speaks on issues of censorship in both academic and professional theatre.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Name of this Book is Another Day's Begun 2. Building Grover's Corners 3. Expanding Grover's Corners 4. The David Cromer productions 5. Westport Country Playhouse and Broadway 6. Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre 7. Montgomery County Emergency Services 8. Theatre Baton Rouge and Louisiana State University 9. Lookingglass Theatre 10. Intermission: The Church of Grover's Corners 11. Theatrical Outfit 12. Miami New Drama 13. Oregon Shakespeare Festival 14. Deaf West and Pasadena Playhouse 15. Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park 16. Sing Sing Correctional Facility 17. Epilogue: 11 O'Clock in Grover's Corners i. Notes and Sources ii. Thanks and acknowledgments

Additional information

Another Day's Begun: Thornton Wilder's Our Town in the 21st Century by Howard Sherman (Independent scholar, USA)
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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