Relating the Work to the Audience, Changing American Theater Forever
Traditional theater is simply a portrayal of fictional events through an artistic display. Thornton Wilder, author of Our Town, created a different portrayal of fictional events that captivated the minds of audiences abroad. Utilizing techniques rarely seen before, Wilder connected his works to his viewers in a way never before seen in American Literature. In an effort to eliminate the barrier between actor and audience, Thornton Wilder changes the American theater by using the Stage Manager, as well as themes of simplicity and the importance of life in his play Our Town.
Before looking into the novel itself, one must first understand the characterization. The Stage Manager, one of Thornton Wilder's characters from Our Town, is used primarily as a liaison between the audience and the actors on stage. He talks to the audience for the actors, and has small conversations with the actors themselves, making the audience feel as though they are more like a part of the illusion.
The audience in itself is a single being, a passive object that is both necessary and crucial to the outcome of a great play. In the physical sense, a play is just words and emotions being portrayed on a stage. But in the emotional sense, a play is an experience. An experience for both, the actors and the audience must work together to have a great play. Because a play is not just for the actors, without a great audience who understands the play, there would be no point. Therefore, the more a playwright allows the audience to understand, and feel as though the experience is realnot just words and emotionsthe more people will enjoy the show. That is exactly what Thornton Wilder does in Our Town.
Symbolism one way that Wilder made his audiences feel as though they are part of the show. The first key to breaking down the barrier is to make the audience feel as though they are similar... [continues]
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