Our Town is a 1938 metatheatrical three-act play by American playwright Thornton Wilder. It tells the story of the fictional American small town of Grover's Corners between 1901 and 1913 through the everyday lives of its citizens. Throughout, Wilder uses metatheatrical devices, setting the play in the actual theatre where it is being performed; the main character is the stage manager of the theatre who directly addresses the audience, brings in guest lecturers, fields questions from the audience, fills in playing some of the roles. The play is performed without a set on a bare stage. With a few exceptions, the actors mime actions without the use of props. Our Town was first performed at McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey in 1938, it went on to success on Broadway and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It remains popular today and revivals are frequent; the Stage Manager introduces the audience to the small town of Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, the people living there as a morning begins in the year 1901.
Professor Willard speaks to the audience about the history of the town. Joe Crowell delivers the paper to Doc Gibbs, Howie Newsome delivers the milk, the Webb and Gibbs households send their children off to school on this beautifully simple morning. Three years have passed, George and Emily prepare to wed; the day is filled with stress. Howie Newsome is delivering milk in the pouring rain while Si Crowell, younger brother of Joe, laments how George's baseball talents will be squandered. George pays an awkward visit to his soon-to-be in-laws. Here, the Stage Manager interrupts the scene and takes the audience back a year, to the end of Emily and George's junior year. Emily confronts George about his pride, over an ice cream soda, they discuss the future and they confess their love for each other. George decides not to go to college, as he had planned, but to work and take over his uncle's farm. In the present and Emily say that they are not ready to marry—George to his mother, Emily to her father—but they both calm down and go through with the wedding.
Nine years have passed. The Stage Manager opens the act with a lengthy monologue emphasizing eternity, bringing the audience's attention to the cemetery outside of town and the characters who have died since the wedding, including Mrs. Gibbs, Wally Webb, Mrs. Soames, Simon Stimson. Town undertaker Joe Stoddard is introduced, as is a young man named Sam Craig who has returned to Grover's Corners for his cousin's funeral; that cousin is Emily, who died giving birth to George's second child. Once the funeral ends, Emily emerges to join the dead. Ignoring the warnings of Simon, Mrs. Soames, Mrs. Gibbs, Emily returns to Earth to relive one day, her 12th birthday. Emily watches with joy at being able to see her parents and some of the people of her childhood for the first time in years. However, her joy turns to pain as she realizes how little people appreciate the simple joys of life; the memory proves too painful for her, she realizes that every moment of life should be treasured. When she asks the Stage Manager if anyone understands the value of life while they live it, he responds, "No.
The saints and poets, maybe—they do some." Emily returns to her grave next to Mrs. Gibbs and watches impassively as George kneels weeping over her; the Stage Manager wishes the audience a good night. Stage Manager – a narrator and guide through Grover's Corners, he joins in the action of the play periodically, as the minister at the wedding, the soda shop owner, a local townsman, etc. and speaks directly to Emily after her death. Emily Webb – one of the main characters. George Gibbs – the other main character. Frank Gibbs – George's father, the town doctor. Julia Gibbs – George's mother, she doesn't get there. She saved $350 for the trip from the sale of an antique furniture piece but willed it to George and Emily. Dies while visiting her daughter in Ohio. Charles Webb – Emily's father, Editor of the Grover's Corners Sentinel Myrtle Webb – Emily and Wally’s mother. Secondary characters Joe and Si Crowell – local paperboys. Joe's intelligence earns him a full scholarship to MIT, his promise will be cut short on the fields of France during World War I, according to the Stage Manager.
Both he and his brother Si hold marriage in high disdain. Simon Stimson – the choir director and church organist. We never learn the specific cause of his alcoholism and suicide, although Joe Stoddard, the undertaker, observes that "He's seen a peck of troubles." He remains bitter and cynical beyond the grave. Howie Newsome – the milkman, a fixture of Grover's Corners. Rebecca Gibbs – George's younger sister. Elopes with a traveling salesman and settles in Ohio. Wally Webb – Emily's younger brother. Dies of a burst appendix on a Boy Scout camping trip. Professor Willard – a rather long-winded lecturer Woman in Auditorium – concerned with temperance Man in Auditorium – concerned with social justice Another Woman in Auditorium – concerned with culture and beauty Mrs. Louella Soames – a gossipy townswoman and member of the choir Constable Bill Warren – the policeman Three Baseball Players – who mock George at t
John Sidney Barrymore was an American actor on stage and radio. A member of the Drew and Barrymore theatrical families, he tried to avoid the stage, attempted a career as an artist, but appeared on stage together with his father Maurice in 1900, his sister Ethel the following year, he began his career in 1903 and first gained attention as a stage actor in light comedy high drama, culminating in productions of Justice, Richard III and Hamlet. After a success as Hamlet in London in 1925, Barrymore left the stage for 14 years and instead focused on films. In the silent film era, he was well received in such pictures as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Sherlock Holmes and The Sea Beast. During this period, he gained the Great Profile, his stage-trained voice proved an asset when sound films were introduced, three of his works, Grand Hotel, Twentieth Century and Midnight have been inducted into the National Film Registry. Barrymore's personal life has been the subject of much attention since his death, he struggled with alcohol abuse from the age of 14, was married and divorced four times, declared bankruptcy in life.
Much of his work involved self-parody and the portrayal of drunken has-beens. His obituary in The Washington Post observed that "with the passing of the years – and as his private life became more public – he became, despite his genius in the theater, a tabloid character." Although film historians have opined that Barrymore's "contribution to the art of cinematic acting began to fade" after the mid-1930s, Barrymore's biographer, Martin Norden, considers him to be "perhaps the most influential and idolized actor of his day". Leslie Halliwell of Halliwell's Film and Video Guide has him as a "a splendid if misguided talent". Barrymore was born John Sidney Blyth in Philadelphia, was known by family and friends as "Jack". Although the Barrymore family Bible puts his date of birth as February 15, 1882, his birth certificate shows February 14, he was the youngest of three children. His siblings were Lionel, Ethel, his father was Maurice Barrymore, an Indian-born British actor, born Herbert Blyth, had adopted Barrymore as a stage name after seeing it on a poster in the Haymarket Theatre in London.
Barrymore's mother, Georgie Drew Barrymore, was born into a prominent theatrical family. Barrymore's maternal grandparents were Louisa Lane Drew, a well-known 19th-century American actress and the manager of the Arch Street Theatre, John Drew an actor whose specialty was comedy. Barrymore's maternal uncles were John Drew, Jr. and Sidney. Much of Barrymore's early life was unsettled. In October 1882, the family toured in the US for a season with Polish actress Helena Modjeska; the following year his parents left the children behind. Modjeska was influential in the family, she insisted that all three children be baptized into the Catholic Church. In 1884 the family traveled to London as part of Augustin Daly's theatrical company, returning to the US two years later; as a child, Barrymore was sometimes badly behaved, he was sent away to schools in an attempt to instill discipline. The strategy was not always successful, he attended elementary schools in four states, he was sent first to the boys' annex of the Convent of Notre Dame in Philadelphia.
One punishment. I wanted to be an artist", he was expelled from the school in 1891 and was sent to Seton Hall Preparatory School in New Jersey, where Lionel was studying. Barrymore was unhappy at Seton and was soon withdrawn, after which he attended several public schools in New York, including the Mount Pleasant Military Academy. In 1892, his grandmother Louisa Drew's business began to suffer, she lost control of her theater, causing disruption in the family; the following year, when Barrymore was 11 years old, his mother died from tuberculosis. The loss of their mother's income prompted both Ethel and Lionel to seek work as professional actors. Barrymore's father was absent from the family home while on tour, when he returned he would spend time at The Lambs, a New York actors' club. In 1895, Barrymore entered Georgetown Preparatory School located on Georgetown University Campus, but he was expelled in November 1897 after being caught waiting in a brothel. One of his biographers, Michael A. Morrison, posits the alternate theory that Barrymore was expelled after the staff saw him inebriated.
By the time he left Georgetown he was, according to Martin Norden in his biography of Barrymore, "already in the early stages of a chronic drinking problem". 1897 was an challenging year for Barrymore: he lost his virginity when he was seduced by his step-mother, Mamie Floyd, in August his grandmother, the main female role model in his life, died. Barrymore traveled with his father to England in 1898, where he joined King's College School, Wimbledon. A year he joined the Slade School of Fine Art, to study literature and art. After a year of formal study, he left and "devoted much of his subsequent stay in London to bohemianism and nocturnal adventures", according to his biographer Margot Peters. Barrymore returned to New York in the summer of 1900, by November he found w
Henry Jaynes Fonda was an American film and stage actor with a career spanning five decades. Fonda made his mark early as a Broadway actor, he appeared in 1938 in plays performed in White Plains, New York, with Joan Tompkins. He made his Hollywood debut in 1935, his career gained momentum after his Academy Award-nominated performance as Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, a 1940 adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel about an Oklahoma family who moved west during the Dust Bowl. Throughout five decades in Hollywood, Fonda cultivated a strong, appealing screen image in such classics as The Ox-Bow Incident, Mister Roberts, 12 Angry Men. Fonda moved both toward darker epics such as Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West and lighter roles in family comedies such as Yours and Ours with Lucille Ball, winning the Academy Award for Best Actor at the 54th Academy Awards for the movie On Golden Pond, his final film role. Fonda was the patriarch of a family of famous actors, including daughter Jane Fonda, son Peter Fonda, granddaughter Bridget Fonda, grandson Troy Garity.
His family and close friends called him "Hank". In 1999, he was named the sixth-Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute. Born in Grand Island, Nebraska on May 16, 1905, Henry Jaynes Fonda was the son of printer William Brace Fonda, his wife, Herberta; the family moved to Omaha, Nebraska in 1906. Fonda's patrilineal line originates with an ancestor from Genoa, who migrated to the Netherlands in the 15th century. In 1642, a branch of the Fonda family immigrated to the Dutch colony of New Netherland on the East Coast of North America, they were among the first Dutch population to settle in what is now upstate New York, establishing the town of Fonda, New York. By 1888, many of their descendants had relocated to Nebraska. Fonda was brought up as a Christian Scientist, though he was baptized an Episcopalian at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Grand Island, he said, "My whole damn family was nice." They were a close family and supportive in health matters, as they avoided doctors due to their religion.
Despite having a religious background, he became an agnostic. Fonda was a bashful, short boy who tended to avoid girls, except his sisters, was a good skater and runner, he imagined a possible career as a journalist. He worked after school for the phone company, he enjoyed drawing. Fonda was active in the Boy Scouts of America. However, this is denied elsewhere; when he was about 14, his father took him to observe the brutal lynching of Will Brown during the Omaha race riot of 1919. This enraged the young Fonda and he kept a keen awareness of prejudice for the rest of his life. By his senior year in high school, Fonda had grown to more than six feet tall, but remained shy, he attended the University of Minnesota, where he majored in journalism. He took a job with the Retail Credit Company. At age 20, Fonda started his acting career at the Omaha Community Playhouse, when his mother's friend Dodie Brando recommended that he try out for a juvenile part in You and I, in which he was cast as Ricky, he was fascinated by the stage, learning everything from set construction to stage production, embarrassed by his acting ability.
When he received the lead in Merton of the Movies, he realized the beauty of acting as a profession, as it allowed him to deflect attention from his own tongue-tied personality and create stage characters relying on someone else's scripted words. Fonda decided to go east in 1928 to seek his fortune, he played a minor role at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, Massachusetts. A friend took him to Falmouth, MA where he joined and became a valued member of the University Players, an intercollegiate summer stock company. There he worked with his future wife. James Stewart joined the Players a few months after Fonda left, though they were soon to become lifelong friends. Fonda left the Players at the end of their 1931-1932 season after appearing in his first professional role in The Jest, by Sem Benelli. Joshua Logan, a young sophomore at Princeton, double-cast in the show, gave Fonda the part of Tornaquinci, "an elderly Italian man with a long white beard and longer hair." In the cast of The Jest with Fonda and Logan were Bretaigne Windust, Kent Smith, Eleanor Phelps.
The tall (6 ft 1.5 in Fonda headed for New York City, to be with his wife, Margaret Sullavan. The marriage was brief. Getting contact information from Joshua Logan, Jimmy, as he was called, found Hank Fonda and these small town boys found they had a lot in common, as long as they didn't discuss politics; the two men honed their skills on Broadway. Fonda appeared in theatrical productions from 1926 to 1934, they fared no better than many Americans in and out of work during the Great Depression, sometimes lacking enough money to take the subway. Fonda got his first break in films when he was hired in 1935 as Janet Gaynor's leading man in 20th Century Fox's screen adaptation of The Farmer Takes a Wife. Fonda was making $3,000 a week and dining with Hollywood stars such as Carole Lombard. Stewart soon followed him to Hollywood, they roomed together again, in lodgings next door to Greta Garbo. In 1935, Fonda starred in the RKO film; the New York Times announced him as "Henry Fonda, the most likable
La Jolla Playhouse
La Jolla Playhouse is a not-for-profit, professional theatre on the campus of the University of California San Diego. La Jolla Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, Mel Ferrer. In 1983, it was revived under the leadership of Des McAnuff. Since the Playhouse's repertoire has included eighty-four world premieres, thirty-two West Coast premieres, eight American premieres, has won more than three hundred honors, including the 1993 Tony Award as America's Outstanding Regional Theatre, it is supported, in part, by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the City of San Diego, the County of San Diego. It was announced on April 10, 2007 that Christopher Ashley would succeed McAnuff as Artistic Director. La Jolla Playhouse provides a number of educational opportunities for children and adults interested in theatre arts, both as performers and behind-the-scenes. In addition, the Performance Outreach Program annually brings a professional, world-premiere production to schools and community centers throughout San Diego.
There are additional summer theater opportunities through the La Jolla Playhouse Conservatory, YP@LJP summer camps, student matinees, many other in-school workshops and classes. Among the productions that originated at the Playhouse before finding success on Broadway are The Who's Tommy, Matthew Broderick's revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Jane Eyre, the Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Cry Baby and Clyde, The Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, 700 Sundays, Jersey Boys, Memphis and the Starcatcher, Hands on a Hardbody, Des McAnuff's revival of Jesus Christ Superstar and Zhivago. La Jolla Playhouse began the Page To Stage Play Development Program in 2001 to facilitate the development of new plays and musicals, offering audiences the rare opportunity to experience the "birth" of a play and take part in its evolution; as a Page To Stage workshop, a production will feature minimal sets and costumes, will be revised throughout its entire process, including performances.
After the performance, audience feedback sessions will provide insight and suggestion for both the creative team and the actors. In the five years since the program began, two Page To Stage Productions have gone on to win Tony Awards. Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Leading Actor in a Play. 1981–1991: Alan Levey 1992–2004: Terry Dwyer 2005–2008: Steven Libman 2009–2018: Michael S. Rosenberg 2018–Current: Debby Buchholz 1947–1959: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, Mel Ferrer 1983–1994: Des McAnuff 1995–1999: Michael Greif 1999–2000: Anne Hamburger 2000–2007: Des McAnuff 2007–: Christopher Ashley La Jolla Playhouse has been home to many up-and-coming performers as well as established actors; the Nightingale casting controversy involving the LJP La Jolla Playhouse official website La Jolla Playhouse at the Internet Broadway Database California Arts Council Christopher Ashley, La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director – Downstage Center interview at American Theatre Wing, October 2007
Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis was an American actress of film and theater. With a career spanning 60 years, she is regarded as one of the greatest actresses in Hollywood history, she was noted for playing unsympathetic, sardonic characters, was famous for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films, suspense horror, occasional comedies, although her greatest successes were her roles in romantic dramas. After appearing in Broadway plays, Davis moved to Hollywood in the summer of 1930. However, her early films for Universal Studios were unsuccessful, she joined Warner Bros. in 1932, established her career with several critically acclaimed performances. In 1937, she attempted to free herself from her contract, although she lost the well-publicized legal case against Warners, it marked the beginning of her most successful period; until the late 1940s, she was one of the most celebrated leading ladies of US cinema, known for her forceful and intense style.
Davis gained a reputation as a perfectionist who could be combative and confrontational. She clashed with film directors, as well as many of her co-stars, her forthright manner, idiosyncratic speech, ubiquitous cigarette contributed to a public persona, imitated. Davis was the co-founder of the Hollywood Canteen, a club venue for food and entertainment for servicemen during WWII, was the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, was the first person to accrue 10 Academy Award nominations for acting, was the first woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. Her career went through several periods of eclipse, she admitted that her success had been at the expense of her personal relationships. Married four times, she was once widowed and three times divorced, raised her children as a single parent, her final years were marred by a long period of ill health and a tell-all book, My Mother's Keeper by daughter B.
D. Hyman, but she continued acting until shortly before her death from breast cancer. With more than 100 film and theater roles to her credit during her six-decade-long career. In 1999, Davis was placed second behind Katharine Hepburn on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest female stars of the Classic Hollywood cinema era. Ruth Elizabeth Davis, known from early childhood as "Betty", was born on April 5, 1908, in Lowell, the daughter of Harlow Morrell Davis, a law student from Augusta and subsequently a patent attorney, Ruth Augusta, from Tyngsboro, Massachusetts. Davis' younger sister was Barbara Harriet. In 1915, Davis' parents separated, Davis attended a spartan boarding school called Crestalban in Lanesborough in the Berkshires. In 1921, Ruth Davis moved to New York City with her daughters, where she worked as a portrait photographer. Davis changed the spelling of her first name to "Bette" after Honoré de Balzac's La Cousine Bette. During their time in New York, Davis became a Girl Scout who proved so successful she ranked as a Patrol Leader.
Davis attended Cushing Academy, a boarding school in Ashburnham, where she met her future husband, Harmon O. Nelson, known as "Ham". In 1926, a 18-year-old Davis saw a production of Henrik Ibsen's The Wild Duck with Blanche Yurka and Peg Entwistle. Davis recalled for Al Cohn of Newsday, "The reason I wanted to go into theater was because of an actress named Peg Entwistle." She auditioned for admission to Eva Le Gallienne's Manhattan Civic Repertory, but was rejected by LeGallienne, who described her attitude as "insincere" and "frivolous". Davis auditioned for George Cukor's stock theater company in New York. Ed Sikov sources Davis' first professional role to a 1929 production by the Provincetown Players of Virgil Geddes play The Earth Between. In 1929, Davis was chosen by Blanche Yurka to play Hedwig, the character she had seen Entwistle play in The Wild Duck. After performing in Philadelphia and Boston, she made her Broadway debut in 1929 in Broken Dishes, followed it with Solid South. In 1930, 22-year-old Davis moved to Hollywood to screen test for Universal Studios.
Davis and her mother traveled by train to Hollywood. She recounted her surprise that nobody from the studio was there to meet her. In fact, a studio employee had waited for her, but left because he saw nobody who "looked like an actress", she was used in several screen tests for other actors. In a 1971 interview with Dick Cavett, she related the experience with the observation, "I was the most Yankee-est, most modest virgin who walked the earth, they laid me on a couch, I tested fifteen men... They all had to give me a passionate kiss. Oh, I thought. Just thought I would die." A second test was arranged for the 1931 film A House Divided. Hastily dressed in an ill-fitting costume with a low neckline, she was rebuffed by the film director William Wyler, who loudly commented to the assembled crew, "What do you think of these dames who show their chests and think they can get jobs?". Carl Laemmle, the head of Universal Studios, considered terminating Davis' employment, but cinematographer Karl Freund told him she had "lovely eyes" and would be suitable for Bad Sister, in which she subsequently made her film debut.
Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska and the county seat of Douglas County. Omaha is located in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 10 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River; the nation's 40th-largest city, Omaha's 2018 estimated population was 466,061. Omaha is the anchor of the bi-state Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area; the Omaha Metropolitan Area is the 59th largest in the United States, with an estimated population of 944,316. The Omaha-Council Bluffs-Fremont, NE-IA Combined Statistical Area encompasses the Omaha-Council Bluffs MSA as well as the separate Fremont, NE Micropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of the entirety of Dodge County, Nebraska; the total population of the CSA was 970,023 based on 2017 estimates. 1.3 million people reside within the Greater Omaha area, within a 50 mi radius of Downtown Omaha. Omaha's pioneer period began in 1854, when the city was founded by speculators from neighboring Council Bluffs, Iowa; the city was founded along the Missouri River, a crossing called Lone Tree Ferry earned the city its nickname, the "Gateway to the West".
Omaha introduced this new West to the world in 1898, when it played host to the World's Fair, dubbed the Trans-Mississippi Exposition. During the 19th century, Omaha's central location in the United States spurred the city to become an important national transportation hub. Throughout the rest of the 19th century, the transportation and jobbing sectors were important in the city, along with its railroads and breweries. In the 20th century, the Omaha Stockyards, once the world's largest, its meatpacking plants gained international prominence. Today, Omaha is the home to the headquarters of four Fortune 500 companies: mega-conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire Hathaway is headed by local investor Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, according to a decade's worth of Forbes Magazine rankings, some of which have ranked him as high as No. 1. Omaha is the home to five Fortune 1000 headquarters: Green Plains Renewable Energy, TD Ameritrade, Valmont Industries, Werner Enterprises, West Corporation.
Headquartered in Omaha are the following: First National Bank of Omaha, the largest held bank in the United States. Notable modern Omaha inventions include the following: the bobby pin and the "pink hair curler" created at Omaha's Tip Top Products. S. at Omaha's KOWH Radio. Various Native American tribes had lived in the land that became Omaha, including since the 17th century, the Omaha and Ponca, Dhegian-Siouan-language people who had originated in the lower Ohio River valley and migrated west by the early 17th century; the word Omaha means "Dwellers on the bluff". In 1804 the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed by the riverbanks where the city of Omaha would be built. Between July 30 and August 3, 1804, members of the expedition, including Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, met with Oto and Missouria tribal leaders at the Council Bluff at a point about 20 miles north of present-day Omaha. South of that area, Americans built several fur trading outposts in succeeding years, including Fort Lisa in 1812.
There was fierce competition among fur traders until John Jacob Astor created the monopoly of the American Fur Company. The Mormons built a town called Cutler's Park in the area in 1846. While it was temporary, the settlement provided the basis for further development in the future. Through 26 separate treaties with the United States federal government, Native American tribes in Nebraska ceded the lands constituting the state; the treaty and cession involving the Omaha area occurred in 1854 when the Omaha Tribe ceded most of east-central Nebraska. Logan Fontenelle, an interpreter for the Omaha and signatory to the 1854 treaty, played an essential role in those proceedings. Before it was legal to claim land in Indian Country, William D. Brown was operating the Lone Tree Ferry to bring settlers from Council Bluffs, Iowa to the area that became Omaha. Brown is credited as having the first vision for a city where Omaha now sits; the passage of the Kansas–Nebraska Act in 1854 was presaged by the staking out of claims around the area to become Omaha by residents from neighboring Council Bluffs.
On July 4, 1854, the city was informally established at a picnic on Capital Hill, current site of Omaha Central High School. Soon after, the Omaha Claim Club was formed to provide vigilante justice for claim jumpers and others who infringed on the land of many of the city's founding fathers; some of this land, which now wraps aro