Tony Award-winner Kenny Leon, who directed the current critically and widely-acclaimed Broadway production of Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch now open at The Music Box Theatre, will direct a new Broadway production of Our Town by Thornton Wilder in the fall of 2024. This will be the first major Broadway revival of the classic play in nearly 25 years. The dates, cast, and a theatre will be announced at a later date.
The design team for Our Town will include scenic design by Tony Award-winner Beowulf Boritt (New York, New York; Act One,), costume design by Tony Award-nominee and Drama Desk Award-winner Dede Ayite (Jaja’s African Hair Braiding; Topdog/Underdog), lighting design by Tony Award-nominee Allen Lee Hughes (Topdog/Underdog; A Soldier’s Play), sound design by Tony Award-nominee Justin Ellington (Ohio State Murders; for colored girls…) and the dialect coach will be Kate Wilson (The Shark is Broken, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window).
Kenny Leon, hailed as a “maestro” by The Washington Post and noted by The New Yorker as having “a flair for showmanship and sizzle” is one of the most accomplished directors of the American stage. In recent years, he has staged powerhouse and highly acclaimed productions of Suzan Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog (Tony Award for Best Revival), Ohio State Murders by Adrienne Kennedy, A Soldier’s Play, Fences, American Son and two revivals of A Raisin in the Sun garnering him a Tony Award for Best Director. In the spring of 2024, he will direct the previously announced Broadway production of Home by Samm-Art Williams presented by Roundabout Theatre Company at the American Airlines Theatre.
Our Town, the timeless drama of life in the mythical village of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, has become an American classic with universal appeal. Thornton Wilder’s most frequently performed play, Our Town appeared on Broadway in 1938 to wide acclaim, and won the Pulitzer Prize. From the very beginning, Our Town has been produced throughout the world.
Our Town explores the relationship between two young Grover’s Corners neighbors, George Gibbs and Emily Webb, whose childhood friendship blossoms into romance, and then culminates in marriage. When Emily loses her life in childbirth, the circle of life portrayed in each of the three acts of Our Town–growing up, adulthood, and death–is fully realized. Wilder offers a couple of chairs on a bare stage as the backdrop for an exploration of the universal human experience. The simple story of a love affair is constantly rediscovered because it asks timeless questions about the meaning of love, life and death. In the final moments of the play, the recently deceased Emily is granted the opportunity to revisit one day in her life, only to discover that she never fully appreciated all she possessed until she lost it. “Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you,” she says as she takes her place among the dead.