Our Town




July 18, 1985

The Concord Players
P.O. Box 22
Concord, Ma. 01742

Tappan Wilder
5535 Warwick Place
Chevy Chase MD. 20815

Dear Tappy,

I appreciated the opportunity to explain over the telephone that the Concord Players were seeking permission to perform scenes of Our Town and I am grateful to your aunt and yourself for your sympathetic interest in our request.

Concord, founded in 1635 as the first inland settlement on the Eastern Seaboard, celebrates its 350th birthday during the week Sept. 12-19. I was charged by the Board of the Concord Players to decide how best we could contribute to the town's celebrations and it was my recommendation that the experience, the values, the identity of this historic town were epitomized in your uncle's play.

We have permission to give six performances during the period Sept. 12-21. We also requested that on Sept 14, the day of celebration for the actual birthday, scenes be performed at various sites within the town --- the drugstore scene outside the drugstore, the graveyard scene in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery near the graves of Emerson, Thoreau and company, and so on. This latter request was denied. We do understand the need for a general embargo preventing theatrical companies from violating the integrity of authors' plays.

Our request for an exception in this case is as follows. The maximum audience for the theatrical performances is 2500: by taking the play to the town, we would reach an audience of 20,000, many of whom will never have set foot inside a theater. In this way we would contribute to the celebrations more vividly than any parade or formal ball. My own view is that, in an age depressingly devoid of faith, the unique qualities of Our Town would provide an inspiration for the whole celebration.

The credentials of the Concord Players are secure. Our origins derive from Louisa May Alcott S family theatricals. We have won the New England Theater Conference Award for Best Play more times than any other community theater - and again this year. On several occasions we have won the Moss Hart Award, presented annually by Kitty Carlisle. Virginia Kirschner, who will direct Our Town, is the past national president of the American Community Theater Association, and herself won the Moss Hart Award this past year for her direction of Ah! Wilderness

The company that would perform the scenes would be identical to that now in rehearsal for the theatrical performances. As the dates given above indicate performance of the scenes would occur dunn the run. As time is short and the staging of scenes 'on location' is a challenge, we really need a response by early August if we are to proceed.

You are a dear, sweet fellow to concern yourself with our endeavors and I thank you for it.


With all best wishes,

Michael Henchman