Our Town is a play that has three acts and it was first produced in 1938. The play was written by an American playwright Thornton Wilder. The play surveys the lives of people who live in a small American town. It is divided into three parts that explains human experience. The play exposes an American family’s close and routine lives by beginning with the routines and necessities of daily life. The two families in the play are; Gibbs family, that is, Dr. Gibbs, Mrs. Gibbs, George their son, Rebecca who is a sister to George. The second family is Webb family, which includes Mr. Webb, Mrs. Webb, Emily, a daughter and Wally, a younger brother to Emily. As stated earlier, the play is divided into three acts.
The first act is about the daily life. The play starts by the stage manager explaining the nature of the town. It is followed by a scene that shows the homes of Gibb and Webb’s families, where children in the two families are being prepared to go to school. Thereafter, the audience is guided through a day in the town’s life by the stage manager. In this act, Professor Willard who is the stage manage, and Mr. Webb, who is an editor, talks about the town. In this scene, Mr. Webb is seen answering some questions that have been asked by actors who have been lodged in the audience. Mrs. Gibbs, Mrs. Webbs, and Mrs. Soames are seen after a scene within the Congregational Church discussing a church organist, Simon Stimson who is considered as being a drunkard, (Wilder, pp 55-70). Besides, this act as well includes a scene where Emily and George are discussing about school experience. In addition, Rebecca is shown talking about the moon and the letter that a girl received from her minister. In this scene, the way people are connected to humanity is clearly shown. As such, the “daily life” subject in the average American family is well addressed.
The second act is about love and marriage. After three years, George and Emily brings out their intentions to get married. George gives the Webb family a visit, where he meets Mr. Webb, who gives him a piece of advice on how he (George), should treat his wife. Mr. Webb shares his experience with George on how he went against the advice of his father about marriage life and he has been living a happy married life (Wilder, pp 100-135). Finally, he tells George never to follow any advice from anybody as far as marriage life is concerned. At this point the stage manager interrupts the scene by taking the audience back to Emily and George’s life experience a year back. Thereafter, a wedding comes next where both George and Emily are seen as being nervous of getting married.
The third and last act is about death and eternity. This act is set in a cemetery setting near the Grover’s Corners. The stage is opened by the stage manager who emphasizes eternity, which is expressed by the survival of the second child of Emily after the death of Emily in the process of delivering the child. After she has been buried in the cemetery, she emerges as a spirit from the mourners and joins her relatives and other members of the town in the graveyard, (Wilder, pp 160-181). At this point, the death explains to her that it is important to wait and forget the life that came before, but she refuses to believe it. As such, Emily’s ghost discovers that it is possible to re-live parts of her past. On her 12th birthday, she returns to the living and discovers the importance of life and why it should be highly valued. Finally, the Stage manager concludes the play by wishing the audience a good night.