From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Our Town

Our Town


by Thornton Wilder

Challenges & Opportunities

Available to teachers only as part of the Our Town Teacher Pass

Our Town Teacher Pass includes:

  • Assignments & Activities
  • Reading Quizzes
  • Current Events & Pop Culture articles
  • Discussion & Essay Questions
  • Challenges & Opportunities
  • Related Readings in Literature & History

Sample of Challenges & Opportunities

Our Town is on pretty much every list of all-time famous American plays. (Well, we can't actually check that, but it's a fairly safe bet.) It's widely considered one of the true American classics and is thought to capture the essence of the nation's spirit. But to frame Our Town as an "American" play only, is to sell it short. According to Tappan Wilder, Thornton Wilder's nephew, this play has been translated into 22 languages and is performed somewhere around the world every single day. (Okay, that last part might be an urban myth, but there have been "tens of thousands" of productions.)

Even if you're not from a small town in New Hampshire, or a small town anywhere—and most of us aren't—you can sympathize with the lives and deaths of Grover's Corners's inhabitants. These are archetypal characters whose trials and tribulations represent what is universal about human existence.