“Our Town” is returning to Broadway. Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon will helm a new staging of Thornton Wilder’s 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, set to open in fall of 2024. The revival is being produced by Jeffrey Richards, Hunter Arnold, Craig Balsam, Irene Gandy, Rebecca Gold, Louise Gund, Willette & Manny Klausner, M/B/P Productions, Daryl Roth and Jayne Baron Sherman.
“Thornton Wilder’s ‘Our Town’ — in my mind — stands at the top of the Mount Rushmore of great American theater,” said Leon in a statement. “I feel blessed and fortunate to have gained the trust of the Wilder estate to present this classic to another generation of theater lovers. It’s long been a burning desire to collaborate on a Broadway production of such magnitude that speaks so beautifully and intimately to all people about our shared time on the planet.”
Speaking for the Wilder family, the playwright’s nephew and literary executor, Tappan Wilder, said, “The Wilders are thrilled beyond measure that the distinguished director Kenny Leon has agreed to direct ‘Our Town’ on Broadway. The stars are truly aligned for Grover’s Corners: the play about everywhere.”
“Our Town” explores the relationship between two young Grover’s Corners neighbors, George Gibbs and Emily Webb, whose childhood friendship blossoms into romance, and then culminates in marriage. When Emily loses her life in childbirth, the circle of life portrayed in each of the three acts of the play — growing up, adulthood and death — is fully realized.
This production will mark the fifth Broadway revival of “Our Town,” the most recent being a 2002 mounting directed by James Naughton and starring Paul Newman in the central role of the “Stage Manager,” the play’s narrator.
Leon, a Tony winner for the 2014 revival of “A Raisin in the Sun,” is currently represented on Broadway as director of “Purlie Victorious” and a co-producer on the Tony-nominated musical “Some Like It Hot.” His other Broadway credits include Tony-nominated direction of “Fences” and “A Soldier’s Play.”
Joining Leon on the “Our Town” creative team will be Tony-winning scenic designer Beowulf Boritt, Tony-nominated costume designer Dede Ayite, Tony-nominated lighting designer Allen Lee Hughes, Tony-nominated sound designer Justin Ellington and dialect coach Kate Wilson.
The news of this revival comes just a few years after the announcement of another in-the-works Broadway staging of “Our Town.” In 2020, producer Scott Rudin announced that he would produce a 2021 revival directed by Bartlett Sher and starring Dustin Hoffman. That production did not surface.
Dates, casting and a Broadway venue for the Leon-directed revival will be announced at a later date.