From July 11 – 14, I attended the Third International Thornton Wilder Conference given by the Thornton Wilder Society, the Wilder family, and the Monadnock Center for History and Culture. The conference was in Peterborough, New Hampshire, the town which is said to be the inspiration for Grover’s Corners, the town in Wilder’s famous play Our Town. I consider myself a die-hard Thornton Wilder fan and had been looking forward to attending a Thornton Wilder conference for quite some time. After a very long train ride and taxi, I arrived at the opening reception at Keene State College. Then it was off to Peterborough for an amazing few days. Check out the article in the local paper about the conference. Here are some of my highlights:
- Giving my presentation titled “New Audiences: Bringing Thornton Wilder into New Spaces”
- Introducing everyone to my Flat Thornton
- Playing the role of Genevieve in Wilder’s one-act play The Long Christmas Dinner to much acclaim.
- Touring Peterborough and seeing all the sites that inspired Our Town and where Wilder would have walked and frequented.
- Visiting Wilder’s studio at the MacDowell Colony
- Seeing a production of The Skin of Our Teeth at the Peterborough Players
- Walking through the cemetery that is said to be the inspiration for the cemetery at the top of the third act of Our Town.
- Getting to know Tappan Wilder (Thornton’s nephew) and all the other wonderful people at the conference.