Radavich, David. “Wilder’s Dramatic Landscape: Alientation Effect Meets the Midwest.” American Drama, vol. 15, no. 1, 1 Jan. 2006, pp. 43–61.
Radavich’s article examines numerous Wilder plays, including Our Town. His claim is that Wilder’s works combine the qualities of Midwestern drama with the qualities of Brechtian drama. Wilder lived and traveled all over the world, but his time in the Midwest impacted his writing style. For example, in Our Town, showing the characters’ daily routines and speech pattern are staples of Midwestern drama, and therefore, Our Town has Midwestern influence even though it takes place in the Northeast. On the other hand, Brechtian drama seeks to distance the the audience from the characters in the play through “defamiliarization” (44-45). This is employed in Our Town through the use of the Stage Manager, the iconic, almost cliche roles, and the lack of setting and props. Wilder used these “Brechtian” techniques to stress the messages of human nature in his stories, not to stress Marxist ideals like Brecht did, which differentiates the two playwrights. And so, it certainly seems that Wilder sought to use both techniques of drama in his plays.
Because it is so close to the end of the year and this article was not exciting and I don’t really have anything else to say about it, here is what happens if you drop Our Town’s Stage Manager into other plays.
Source: Academic Article TBA