|About the Book|
The Stage Manager conducts the story, taking questions from the audience, describing the locations & making key observations about the world created for the audience. This man of the hour also plays several different but key roles within theMoreThe Stage Manager conducts the story, taking questions from the audience, describing the locations & making key observations about the world created for the audience. This man of the hour also plays several different but key roles within the story, such as a preacher, the owner of a soda shop & an old woman.Act I: Daily LifeThe play begins with the Stage Manager providing the towns description. After this are scenes within the Gibbs & Webbs homes of both preparing kids for school. The Stage Manager then guides the audience thru a day. He also has Prof. Willard, a long-winded local historian, & Mr Webb, editor of the Sentinel, talk about the town. After a scene within the Congregational Church, Mrs Webb, Mrs Gibbs & Mrs Soames discuss Simon Stimson. Hes church organist with a reputation as a drunkard. Due to his nonconformism, hes a subject of gossip. Altho a relatively small role, Stimson is Wilders voice for some of his darker views. The act also includes a scene in which George & Emily discuss school. Emilys agreement to help George with schoolwork foreshadows a relationship. Also on the ladder, Georges younger sister Rebecca, talks about the moon & how it might get nearer until theres a big splosion, showing her a very curious girl. The subject of daily life addressed throughout stereotypes the average American family.Act II: Love & MarriageThree years pass. George & Emily announce wedding plans. The day is stressful, topped off by Georges visit to the Webb home. There, he meets Mr Webb, who tells George of his own fathers advice to him: to treat a wife like property & never respect her needs. Webb continues to say he did the opposite of his fathers advice & has been happy since. Webb concludes by telling George to never take advice from anyone on matters of that nature. Here, the Stage Manager interrupts the scene & takes the audience back a year, to the end of Emily & Georges junior year. Over ice cream, Emily confronts George with his pride & they discuss the future & their love for each other. The wedding follows, where George, nervous, tells his mother he isnt ready to wed. Emily, too, tells her father of her anxiety. However, they both regain composure & proceed down the aisle to be wed by a preacher played by Stage Manager.Act III: Death & LossIn the end tragedies begin to occur. Emily dies giving birth to a 2nd child, which survives. After the funeral, the ghost of Emily learns its possible to relive the past. She goes back to her 12th birthday, realizing just how much life should be valued, minute for minute. She then returns to her grave.