On 1941, playwright Thornton Wilder conceived of a eons-spanning play that would follow one family from the Ice Age through to Armageddon. After all, the play was written in the shadow of the attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s entrance into World War II, and the concept of mankind coming to an end felt palpable. But Wilder’s first version of the play was too heavy for already war-weary audiences. Instead, the author did an about-face, changed the play to a silly farce, and everybody was happy — including those on the Pulitzer Prize committee, who gave Wilder an award in 1943 for the work. Overshadowed by Wilder’s wide-reaching and less silly “Our Town,” this farce gets another look starting tonight for a five-week run at OJAIAct.
Director Richard Kuhlman, last seen directing “The Provoked Wife” for Transport Theatre in Ojai, says he’s known the play since high school and has wanted to produce it.