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A. Tappan Wilder 

Penelope Niven 

Robin Wilder 
A.Tappan Wilder 
Penelope Niven 

Don Wolfe 
Sarah Feider 
Penelope Niven 
Barbara Hogenson 
Harold Tedford 


September 25 – 26, 1998

Friday, September 25, 1998 

3:00 PM Lecture  
A. Tappan Wilder 

"Wilder Then, Wilder Now"

A. Tappan Wilder is Thornton Wilder’s nephew and literary executor, and the manager of his literary and dramatic properties. He is also involved with the literary legacies of Thornton’s three sisters and older brother. Mr. Wilder is a graduate of Yale College and holds an M.A. in American History from the University of Wisconsin and a M. Phil in American Studies from Yale. 

4:00 PM Reception 

8:00 PM Performance, The Matchmaker  
Wake Forest University Theater Mainstage 

10:00 PM Opening Night Reception, Scales Lobby 

 Saturday, September 26, 1998 

8:30 AM Registration, coffee and Danish 

Penelope Nevin 

"Signposts, Footprints, Clues: Thornton Wilder in His Work"

Penelope Niven is the author of Carl Sandburg: A Biography (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1991; University of Illinois Press, 1994; co-author with the actor James Earl Jones of James Earl Jones: Voices and Silences (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1993; Simon and Schuster Touchstone, 1994) and author of Steichen: A Biography (Clarkson Potter/Crown/Random House, 1997). This book has been featured in The New Yorker and other publications, and selected by Library Journal as one of the thirty-two Best Books of 1997. 

Mrs. Niven recently signed a contract with Henry Holt to write a biography of Thornton Wilder, was the Thornton Wilder Visiting Fello at the Beinecke Library at Yale University for 1997-1998, and has received a 1998 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship to support her work on Wilder. 

Dr. Robin G. Wilder 

"Wilder in Letters, Wilder in Life"

Dr. Robin G. Wilder, co-editor of The Selected Letters of Thornton Wilder, in progress. Independent scholar Robin Wilder is married to A. Tappan Wilder, and knew Thornton Wilder during the sixties and seventies, the last decades of his life. 

10:30 AM: Mid-morning Break 

11:00 AM Session II: WILDER, LIVE! 

Tazewell Thompson 

"In Search of Wilder"
 Tazewell Thompson is a noted theatrical director. His productions include Porgy and Bess at the La Scala, Paris and Tokyo Opera Houses. He directed the world premiers Goodman Theatre production of Black Star Line. He has many international, national and regional credits. He also directed several Wilder one-act plays at the Brown-Forman Classics in Context Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, 1997.

David Finkle 

"Hello, Thornton!"

David Finkle, critic and freelance journalist who writes regularly about the arts [The Village Voice, The New York Times, American Theatre and In Theatre, Publishers Weekly and others]. He is an author, librettist, lyricist, and performer. 

12:30 noon Lunch recess  


Introduced by Robert N. Hamilton, (WFU ’98) 

 Barbara Hogenson 

"Meet Thornton Wilder’s Literary Agent"

Literary, theater and television agent Barbara Hogenson of the Barbara Hogenson Agency in New York discusses everything you’ve always wanted to know about agents – how they work, what they charge, what they are looking for, how to find one, what they do, etc. 

A. Tappan Wilder 

"Meet Thornton Wilder’ Literary Executor"
A. Tappan Wilder discusses the challenges and complications of literary executorship. See Mr. Wilder’s biography beneath the listing above at 3:00 PM, Friday.

2:45 PM: Afternoon break & Refreshments 

 3:00 PM Session IV: WILDER STILL 

Panel Discussion: 

 "Wilder Then and Wilder Now, and Even Wilder Tomorrow"

Don Wolfe, Tappan Wilder, Barbara Hogenson, David Finkle and others discuss the permanence of Wilder’s contribution to American drama and literature. 

4:30 PM Closing remarks 

Wake Forest University Homepage by Jon Christman 8/20/98