The Rivers Under the Earth

The Rivers Under the Earth

by: Thornton Wilder

by: Thornton Wilder

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The Rivers Under the Earth

The Rivers Under the Earth

by: Thornton Wilder

by: Thornton Wilder

Overview

This play is thought to represent middle-age, in Wilder's unfinished cycle of The Ages of Man.

On a point of land jutting into a lake in southern Wisconsin, the Carter family enjoys a summer's eve. It's an evening like many others: Nothing happens and everything happens. Each member of the family - sixteen year-old Tom, his seventeen-year-old sister Francesca and their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carter - shares different memories somehow connected with their surroundings. These memories color the mood of the evening. Young Tom nearly gets into a fight over a girlfriend, whose name, Violet, recalls a key image from his childhood. Francesca never liked this promontory and though she's not sure why, her parents recall their daughter burying a dead robin in that very spot. Mr. and Mrs. Carter struggle with their middle-age in the context of poignant personal memories of moments experienced on that section of rock. Throughout the action, Wilder weaves a tapestry of animosities and affections, memories and confessions, conscious and unconscious behavior and the unfathomable formation of identity.

SubGenre

Ready to perform?

The Rivers Under the Earth is available to license!

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Details

  • Genre: Not Applicable
  • Time Period: 1960s
  • Cast Attributes: Ensemble cast, Non-Traditional casting, Roles for Teens, Multicultural casting
  • Target Audience: Appropriate for all audiences, Adult, Senior, Children (Age 6 - 10), Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Authors

Thornton Wilder

Thornton Wilder (1897-1975), born in Madison, Wisconsin, and educated at Yale and Princeton, was an accomplished novelist and playwright whose works explore the connection between the commonplace and the cosmic dimensions of human experience.

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