© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Our Town

Our Town


by Thornton Wilder

Stage Manager Timeline and Summary

  • The Stage Manager sets up the stage with minimal props.
  • The Stage Manager breaks the fourth wall and says hi to the audience. He introduces the play and Grover’s Corners to the audience.
  • The Stage Manager shows us the gardens and the houses of the Webb and Gibbs families.
  • The Stage Manager tells us how Doc Gibbs and Mrs. Gibbs died.
  • As an eleven-year-old Joe Crowell delivers milk, the Stage Manager tells us of Joe’s future: he graduates high school at the head of his class, gets a scholarship and graduates at the head of his class at MIT… all that, only to die fighting in France during WWI.
  • The Stage Manager asks Professor Willard and Mr. Webb to give more information about Grover’s Corners.
  • The Stage Manager says that a new bank is being built in Grover’s Corners. A friend of his is compiling things to put in a time capsule in the cornerstone of the building. The Stage Manager is determined to have a copy of Our Town put in the cornerstone so people know about the day-to-day workings of a small American town.
  • The Stage Manager invites those who smoke to do so, leading into the first pause of the performance.
  • The Stage Manager takes us back to when Emily and George first knew that they were meant for each other.
  • When Emily and George go to Morgan’s drugstore, the Stage Manager adopts the role of Mr. Morgan.
  • The Stage Manager returns us to the day of Emily and George's wedding. He now plays the role of the minister.
  • The Stage Manager offers his opinion that weddings are rarely interesting.
  • The happy newlyweds run down the aisle, and the Stage Manager calls for intermission.
  • The Stage Manager shows us the cemetery, especially the new part with Mrs. Gibbs, Simon Stimson, Mrs. Soames, and Wallace Webb in the ground.
  • The Stage Manager goes back with Emily as she revisits her old house and life and watches her parents interact.
  • At the play’s end, the Stage Manager bids the audience a good night.