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Creator / Thornton Wilder

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Thornton Niven Wilder (April 17, 1897 – December 7, 1975) was an American playwright and novelist. He won three Pulitzer Prizes, for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and his plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth. His play The Matchmaker was the basis of the musical Hello, Dolly!.

No relation to Billy Wilder or to Gene Wilder (although the latter, born Jerome Silverman, did choose his stage name in Thornton Wilder's honor).

Works by Thornton Wilder with their own pages include:

Other works by Thornton Wilder provide examples of:

  • No Fourth Wall: Wilder disliked realistic theatre where the characters act unaware of the audience, so his plays constantly remind us that we're watching a play; even The Matchmaker, which is more traditional due to being based on an older play, has the characters talk directly to the audience at least once in every act.
  • Refusing Paradise: In "Pullman Car Hiawatha", a one-act existential comedy, a woman named Harriet dies on the titular train and is visited by the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, but initially refuses to go to heaven, saying that she would rather remain on Earth and watch over her husband.