Michael Olmert Speaks at Talk-Back for "Our Suburb"

January 23, 2014

On January 12, 2014, Michael Olmert spoke at the talk-back after a performance of Darrah Cloud's 2013 play "Our Suburb" at Theatre J in Washington, D.C.

The talk-back centered on the debt "Our Suburb" owes to Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" (1938). Among other matters, Olmert's comments concerned the famous "Urbs antiqua fuit" passage from "The Aeneid." Wilder knew his Virgil. And this famous passage deals with the loss of Carthage, a "town" beloved by Juno and Dido. It's all to do with lost possibility and nostalgia and regret. Just like "Our Town." It's also where Wilder may have got his title. It's also the same quote that Brian Friel used in 1980 to drive his great play, "Translations." Professor Judith Hallett, of Maryland's Department of Classics, was also on the panel.