This classic American play, performed on an almost-bare stage, is about the mundane but rather pleasant lives of the Gibbs family, the Webb family, and their neighbors in Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, early in the 20th century. Act 1 presents an ordinary day in the life of the town. Act 2 carries the story forward with the courtship and marriage of George Gibbs and Emily Webb. Act 3 makes everything that has gone before seem pointless, but at the same time, ironically, it validates the earlier scenes. Emily has died while giving birth to her second child. During and after her funeral, she converses with other dead persons in the cemetery. She then gets permission to return briefly to life but finds it's not what she thought it would be. It goes too fast, and people don't have time to look at one another. "This is the way we were: in our growing up and in our marrying and in our living and in our dying." That's how the Stage Manager, an all-knowing character who serves as the ... Written by
Did You Know?
The production was nominated for five Tony Awards on Broadway, and received one for Best Revival. Spalding Gray, who played the Stage Manager, received notably bad reviews for his performance, and was not nominated. He speaks about his experience in the play in his monologue film, "Monster in a Box". See more
What did she die of, Julia?
Childbirth. I'd forgotten all about that. My, wasn't life awful--and wonderful.