'We all know that something is eternal' - Arts Administrator, Advocate and Author, Howard Sherman
Summary: A work of startling originality when it debuted in 1938, Thornton Wilder's Our Town evolved to be seen by some as a vintage slice of early 20th Century Americana, rather than being fully appreciated for its complex and eternal themes and its deceptively simple form. Another day's Begun: Thornton Wilder's Our Town in the Twentieth Century is a new book that shines a light on the play's continued impact in the 21st century and makes a case for the healing powers of Wilder's text to a world confronting multiple crises. In this episode I am joined by the author, Howard Sherman. Howard is an arts administrator, advocate and writer based in New York City. He was executive director of the American Theatre Wing from 2003 to 2011 and during that time, his varied responsibilities included incorporating SpringboardNYC, the Theatre Intern Group and The Jonathan Larson Grants into ATW's programming. Howard also conceived the book The Play That Changed My Life; and served on the Tony Awards Management and Administration Committees. During his tenure at the American Theatre Wing, he was executive producer of the company's long running television program Working in the Theatre, hosting 30 panel conversations among the more than 80 shows he produced, and as creator of the audio program Downstage Centre, he interviewed 325 theatre luminaries in a seven-year span. Howard was the first General Manager of Goodspeed Musicals, working on 24 new and classic musicals, including the U.S. premieres of Alan Ayckbourn's work and Andrew Lloyd Webber's By Jeeves. He has moderated artist conversations for public audiences for more than 30 years, having begun by leading post-performance discussions with such noted figures as Athol Fugard and JoAnne Akalaitis at the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia. He currently writes a weekly column on U.S. theatre for The Stage in London and writes monthly for Stage Directions magazine. In January 2021 he releases the book in which he appraises and celebrates Thornton Wilder's classic of American drama; Our Town, through the eyes of the folk 'who have spent time in Grover's Corners'. Howard joined Stages from Manhattan in a fascinating conversation about this classic play, and to ponder the future challenge for the Broadway theatre and stages beyond. The Stages podcast is available from Apple podcasts, Spotify, Whooshkaa and where all good podcasts are found.