Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tappan Wilder talks about Thornton Wilder in Pasadena May 5


Sunday, May 5, 2013, 5:30 pm
A Noise Within, Pasadena

Event Held In Conjunction with Celebrated Theatre Company’s
West Coast Premiere of George Farquhar’s Comedy
The Beaux’ Stratagem Adapted by Thornton Wilder and Ken Ludwig

Tappan Wilder, nephew of and literary executor for legendary playwright and author Thornton Wilder, discusses the life and legacy of his celebrated uncle, at a special illustrated talk, “Thornton Wilder’s Versatile Pen,” presented by A Noise Within (ANW), the acclaimed classical repertory theatre company, on Sunday, May 5, 2013, 5:30 pm, at its Pasadena theatre.  Drawing on family records, Wilder discusses Thornton Wilder’s versatility as a writer and the contemporary appreciation of his work, which ranges from the Pulitzer Prize-winning and widely popular play Our Town to novels, librettos, essays, film work, letters, adaptations and translations as well as lectures in English, German and French.

The talk follows a 2 pm matinee performance of ANW’s West Coast Premiere of George Farquhar’s The Beaux’ Stratagem, a hilarious period yet contemporary “buddy road trip” filled with eccentric characters adapted by Thornton Wilder and Ken Ludwig, running through Sunday, May 26, 2013.  Set in the early 1700’s in the English countryside, two girl-crazy young adventurers are on the road-trip of their lives when, out of the blue, they find themselves hopelessly in love.  Co-Producing Artistic Director Julia Rodriguez-Elliott directs the play, which is the remarkable creation of three playwrights working in three different centuries.

Rodriguez-Elliott says, “After a chance meeting several years ago with Tappan Wilder, he introduced me to the Wilder/Ludwig version, and I was enchanted with the way they adapted George Farquar's wonderful Restoration comedy, breathing new life into it with a modern flair."

Tappan has served as the literary executor and manager of Thornton Wilder’s intellectual property since 1995 and speaks widely about his uncle’s life and work.  He plays a similar role for the literary legacies of Thornton Wilder's three sisters and brother, all of whom were also writers.  He has contributed Afterwords to the nine-volume HarperCollins re-issue of Thornton Wilder's novels and major plays.  He has also served as an editor or advisor for editions of Wilder’s short plays, selected letters and the operatic version of Our Town, among a number of special projects.  He is especially proud of assistance given to Penelope Niven, author of the major new (2012) Thornton Wilder biography.  A graduate of Yale College, he holds a Master of Arts degree in American history from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and a Master of Philosophy degree in American Studies from Yale.  He is a member of Pen-American Center, a Trustee of the Yale Library Associates, and an honorary trustee of Long Wharf Theatre (New Haven) and serves as honorary president of the Thornton Wilder Society.  He recently launched the first Thornton Wilder family website:

A NOISE WITHIN is located on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue at 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA  91107.  Tickets for “Thornton Wilder’s Versatile Pen” are $15, and single tickets for The Beaux’ Stratagem currently range from $42 - $60.  For tickets and information, contact the A Noise Within box office in-person, via phone at 626-356-3100, or online

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