Literary legend's nephew will attend Culver theatre performances this wkd

Culver Academies' fall theatre production of "An Evening with Thornton Wilder," which opened Friday at Eppley Auditorium and will continue this weekend with 7:30 p.m. performances both Friday and Saturday evenings, has special meaning for those familiar with Wilder's legacy. That's because the legendary playwright's nephew and literary executer, Tappan Wilder, will be on hand this weekend for the performances.

The Pulitzer prize winning Wilder, who died in 1975, is perhaps best known for his play, "Our Town," which happens to have another Culver connection: one of the Academy's most famous graduates, Hal Holbrook, starred in a film production of the classic drama.

This weekend's production, which consists of five one-act plays (“Centaurs,” “The Marriage We Deplore,” “The Long Christmas Dinner,” “Love and How to Cure It,” and “Queens of France”) came about partly due to another decades-spanning Culver connection: a friendship made as college roommates at Yale University between B.B. Culver and Tappan Wilder, the latter of whom is also manager of his uncle's literary and dramatic properties.

B.B. Culver recently approached Culver theatre teacher, director (and playwright himself) Richard Coven, who shared Culver's interest in facilitating a Wilder production on campus, and began conversations with "Tappy" (as he prefers to be called). As a result of the connection, Wilder will attend both closing performances (November 11 and 12) this weekend, which will include a post-performance "talkback."

Coven's wife Marsha, also a theatre teacher who shares his efforts in facilitating Culver's Huffington Concert Series and other Eppley Auditorium-based activities, says, "We are thrilled to have this opportunity, and want to share it with the community. There is no charge to the public for student productions, and all of our student productions are open to the public."