“Our Town,” one of the most revered and enduring American dramas, will return to Broadway next fall in a new production directed by Kenny Leon.
Leon has become among the more prolific directors working in New York. Just this year he has directed a revival of “Purlie Victorious,” currently running on Broadway, as well as the summer production of “Hamlet” at Shakespeare in the Park and the spring Off Broadway basketball-fan drama “King James” for the Manhattan Theater Club. He directed two Broadway revivals last season, the Tony-winning “Topdog/Underdog” as well as “Ohio State Murders,” and he has another one coming next spring, “Home.”
Leon said he had long wanted to direct a Broadway production of “Our Town,” a 1938 play by Thornton Wilder. He has tackled the play twice in Atlanta, where he lives, first in 2010 with a full production at the True Colors Theater Company, which he co-founded, and then in 2017 with a one-night reading, starring Scarlett Johansson and the cast of an Avengers movie, to benefit hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.
“I grew up thinking it wasn’t a play for me, but later in life I thought, ‘If you just include more people, it’s a play about our time and our planet and each other,’” he said in an interview.
“The cast will not be all Black and it will not be all white and it will not be all famous,” he said. “I want all of us to feel included, and I want the play to speak to each and every heart in America.”
The lead producer is Jeffrey Richards and no cast or theater has been announced. This will be the sixth production of “Our Town” on Broadway; the last one opened in 2002.