October 10, 2011
What's a Playlet?

A playlet is a very short play. Thornton Wilder described almost all of his playlets as "three-minute plays for three persons".

These snapshots of the creative spirit at play explore a variety of complex characters that range from the ordinary to the biblical, the haunted to the mystical. From the tale of a conflicted composer with a strangely familiar tune stuck in his head (The Song of Maria Bentedos), to a pair of newlyweds who find themselves bizarrely affected by the color of their hotel's tea room (Flamingo Red: A Comedy in Danger), all these tales -- many told with great wit and humor -- ask the thought-provoking questions of mortality, morality, and faith that Thornton Wilder is famous for asking.

"Several critics have suggested that Wilder's work is informed by a kind of vague pseudo-Christian Platonism, but even this might be too reductive a categorization. It makes more sense to say that he is religious in a general way, in that he is constantly implying a higher order, a world beyond this world, a "something" which seems to be "pushing and contriving " human events so that mankind might reach a higher plane of existence. This vision is articulated with particular power in Our Town, but it seeps through most of his other works as well."
--A.R. Gurney, 1998.

"Mr. Wilder's miniature plays will yield most to those readers who bring the most to their reading of them. They have the perfection of intaglios, the delicate beauty of finest lace, the spiritual significance of poetry, the elusive music of the distant bird. In them the author of The Bridge of San Luis Rey offers more than is apparent at first glance."
--New York Times Book Review, November 18, 1928

Nascuntur Poetae...

Proserpina and the Devil

Fanny Otcott

Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came

The Penny that Beauty Spent

Brother Fire

The Angel on the Ship

The Message and Jehanne



Now the Servant's Name was Malchus

And the Sea Shall Give Up Its Dead

Hast Thou Considered My Servant Job?

Mozart and the Grey Steward

The Flight into Egypt

The Angel that Troubled the Waters

The Acolyte

The Christmas Interludes

The Song of Maria Bentedos

The Marriage We Deplore

Flamingo Red: A Comedy in Danger

Our Town 75th Anniversary Events

Our Town 75th Anniversary Events
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