Our Town

Stage Manager Character Analysis

The stage manager begins and concludes the play, and coordinates it throughout all three acts. He is both part of the world of Grover’s Corners and outside of it: he describes himself as a resident of the town and acts as various townspeople such as Mr. Morgan and the minister at Emily and George’s wedding, but he is also conscious of Our Town as a play. This odd combination of perspectives is especially notable when he decides to include a copy of Our Town in the town’s time capsule, as he refers to the very play in which he himself is a character. The stage manager is the main device through which Thornton Wilder breaks the fourth wall in the play, as he often speaks directly to the audience. From his perspective outside the world of Grover’s Corners, the stage manager can also communicate with deceased characters in Act Three, and he is the one who takes Emily back in time to relive her twelfth birthday.

Stage Manager Quotes in Our Town

The Our Town quotes below are all either spoken by Stage Manager or refer to Stage Manager. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Theater Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Perennial edition of Our Town published in 2003.
Act 1 Quotes

This play is called “Our Town.” It was written by Thornton Wilder; produced and directed by A. ... In it you will see Miss C. ...; Miss D. ...; Miss E. ...; and Mr. F. ...; Mr. G. ...; Mr. H. ...; and many others.

Related Characters: Stage Manager (speaker)
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolorLorem ipsLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culp

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris LorLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing eliLorem ipsLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dol

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaeca

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Our Town quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

There’s some scenery for those who think they have to have scenery.

Related Characters: Stage Manager (speaker)
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur si

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui

Nice town, y’know what I mean? Nobody very remarkable ever come out of it, s’far as we know.

Related Characters: Stage Manager (speaker)
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

In our town we like to know the facts about everybody.

Related Characters: Stage Manager (speaker)
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolo

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Du

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Want to tell you something about that boy Joe Crowell there. Joe was awful bright—graduated from high school here, head of his class. So he got a scholarship to Massachusetts Tech. Graduated head of his class there, too. It was all wrote up in the Boston paper at the time. Goin’ to be a great engineer, Joe was. But the war broke out and he died in France.—All that education for nothing.

Related Characters: Stage Manager (speaker), Joe Crowell
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nu

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in re

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt

Y’know—Babylon once had two million people in it, and all we know about ’em is the names of the kings and some copies of wheat contracts... and contracts for the sale of slaves. Yet every night all those families sat down to supper, and the father came home from his work, and the smoke went up the chimney,—same as here. And even in Greece and Rome, all we know about the real life of the people is what we can piece together out of the joking poems and the comedies they wrote for the theatre back then.

So I’m going to have a copy of this play put in the cornerstone and the people a thousand years from now’ll know a few simple facts about us.

Related Characters: Stage Manager (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Time Capsule
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. UtLorem ipLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim ve

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Act 2 Quotes

Almost everybody in the world gets married,—you know what I mean? In our town there aren’t hardly any exceptions. Most everybody in the world climbs into their graves married.

Related Characters: Stage Manager (speaker)
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis a

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

The First Act was called the Daily Life. This act is called Love and Marriage. There’s another act coming after this: I reckon you can guess what that’s about.

Related Characters: Stage Manager (speaker)
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Here comes Howie Newsome delivering the milk. And there’s Si Cromwell delivering the papers like his brother before him.

Related Characters: Stage Manager (speaker), Howie Newsome, Si Crowell
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint o

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

And now they’re bringing in these auto-mo-biles, the best thing to do is to just stay home. Why, I can remember when a dog could go to sleep all day in the middle of Main Street and nothing come along to disturb him.

Related Characters: Stage Manager (speaker)
Page Number: 68
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehende

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occae

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in cul

Act 3 Quotes

This time nine years have gone by, friends—summer 1913.
Gradual changes in Grover’s Corners. Horses are getting rarer.
Farmers coming into town in Fords.
Everybody locks their house doors at night. Ain’t been any burglars in town yet, but everybody’s heard about ’em.
You’d be surprised, though—on the whole, things don’t change much around here.

Related Characters: Stage Manager (speaker)
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteu

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea

Get the entire Our Town LitChart as a printable PDF.
Our town.pdf.medium

Stage Manager Character Timeline in Our Town

The timeline below shows where the character Stage Manager appears in Our Town. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
The Theater Theme Icon
As the audience enters the theater, the stage manager places some tables and chairs on an otherwise empty stage, as well as a bench.... (full context)
The Theater Theme Icon
Community Theme Icon
The Everyday and the Ordinary Theme Icon
The stage manager shows the audience the layout of the city on the stage—almost none of which is... (full context)
Community Theme Icon
Time, Change, and Continuity Theme Icon
...give birth to twins. Mrs. Gibbs walks into her kitchen and begins preparing breakfast. The stage manager tells the audience that Dr. Gibbs died in 1930, long after Mrs. Gibbs had died... (full context)
Time, Change, and Continuity Theme Icon
The stage manager tells the audience that Joe graduated high school at the top of his class and... (full context)
The Theater Theme Icon
The stage manager interrupts the women’s conversation and announces that he wants to give more information about Grover’s... (full context)
The Theater Theme Icon
The Everyday and the Ordinary Theme Icon
The stage manager then invites Mr. Webb onto the stage to give the “political and social report” on... (full context)
The Theater Theme Icon
The Everyday and the Ordinary Theme Icon
The stage manager asks if anyone in the audience has any questions. A woman in the balcony of... (full context)
The Theater Theme Icon
Community Theme Icon
Time, Change, and Continuity Theme Icon
The stage manager says that they will now return to the play. It is early afternoon, kids have... (full context)
The Theater Theme Icon
Community Theme Icon
...she is “pretty enough for all normal purposes,” but dismisses the question as silly. The stage manager interrupts their conversation, telling them that he wants to offer the audience some more information... (full context)
The Everyday and the Ordinary Theme Icon
Time, Change, and Continuity Theme Icon
The stage manager explains some recent developments in Grover’s Corners. A new bank is being built and they’ve... (full context)
Community Theme Icon
As the stage manager finishes his speech, a choir partially off-stage has begun to sing a song called “Blessed... (full context)
The Theater Theme Icon
Community Theme Icon
The Everyday and the Ordinary Theme Icon
...America; Western Hemisphere; the Earth; the Solar System; the Universe; the Mind of God.” The stage manager announces that the first act of the play is now over. (full context)
Act 2
Community Theme Icon
The Everyday and the Ordinary Theme Icon
Marriage and the Family Theme Icon
Time, Change, and Continuity Theme Icon
The stage manager announces that three years have passed since act one. He says that the first act... (full context)
The Theater Theme Icon
Time, Change, and Continuity Theme Icon
Mrs. Webb returns and tells George to leave so Emily can come eat breakfast. The stage manager then interrupts and tells the audience that he wants to show them how George and... (full context)
The Theater Theme Icon
Community Theme Icon
Time, Change, and Continuity Theme Icon
Emily and George enter the local drugstore, where the stage manager plays Mr. Morgan, the owner of the store. He notices that Emily looks upset and... (full context)
The Theater Theme Icon
Community Theme Icon
...embarrassingly doesn’t have any money on him to pay for the ice cream sodas. The stage manager (still “Mr. Morgan”) trusts George to go get money from home and bring it back.... (full context)
The Theater Theme Icon
Marriage and the Family Theme Icon
The stage manager says that he will play the minister at the wedding. He speaks about the importance... (full context)
The Theater Theme Icon
The Everyday and the Ordinary Theme Icon
The stage manager says that he’s performed hundreds of marriages, and that “once in a thousand times it’s... (full context)
Act 3
The Theater Theme Icon
Time, Change, and Continuity Theme Icon
...Stimson, Mrs. Soames, and Wally Webb, all dead, go on-stage before the act begins. The stage manager finally begins the act, announcing that nine years have gone by since act two. (full context)
Time, Change, and Continuity Theme Icon
The stage manager describes some of the changes coming to Grover’s Corners. Cars are replacing horses on the... (full context)
Time, Change, and Continuity Theme Icon
The stage manager talks about the cemetery and points out the older gravestones from the 17th century, as... (full context)
Time, Change, and Continuity Theme Icon
...and relive her life. Mrs. Gibbs says she can, but advises her not to. The stage manager tells her that it is painful because if she relives her life, she will watch... (full context)
Time, Change, and Continuity Theme Icon
Emily tells the stage manager that she can’t go on reliving her life, because “it goes so fast. We don’t... (full context)