Theophilus North

Monday, June 1, at 7:30 P.M.

By Matthew Burnett | based on the novel by Thornton Wilder
Directed by Benjamin Cole

Theophilus NorthWelcome to the World of Thornton Wilder! This time – Summer, 1926 – it’s not Our Town, it’s Newport, Rhode Island, and our story is that of Theophilus North (more about the name later). Our young Mr. North has decamped from his teaching position at a New Jersey prep school and set off on a quest to find himself, his curiosity about what to do with his life combining with his rich educational knowledge and very little money. A quirk of fate – his jalopy of a car breaks down in the tony town of Newport – and that’s enough of a sign to Theophilus that he should explore Life Among The Rich (and Not-So-Rich).

Soon he’s a tennis coach, a French tutor, a professional reader, romance counselor and all-around problem solver for the fine citizens of this little town, upper crust and non-aristocratic as well. Determined to be a “free man,” Theophilus is part actor, magician, detective and rascal, leaving his newfound clients with a sense of hope, making this story a fairy tale for adults. And eventually Theophilus sees his way to a life for himself by dabbling in the lives of others.

The story about his name is poignant: Thornton Wilder was born a twin, but his brother died at birth. This is the imagined story of the playwright’s lost brother. Wilder wrote, “I was born an identical twin; he lived an hour; if he had survived his name would have been Theophilus…I wrote his memoirs.” The last name North is an anagram of the first five letters of Thornton. What a whimsical, playful, loving tribute this is to his little brother who never was. This was the last book Wilder wrote. It was published in 1973, two years before his death. Thornton Wilder was awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times – The Bridge of San Luis Rey (novel), Our Town (play) and The Skin of Our Teeth (play).

“Five stars…sparkles with intelligence, wit and humanity…a play both for the head and the heart.”

“Imaginative, charming and breathtaking all at once. The play turns large-hearted living into art.”

“Rich in dry humor and in Wilder’s philosophy that the cosmic permeates the quotidian. Gently funny, spryly wise.”

“Stargazing meditations about the mystery of who we are. A delightful evening of theatre.”

Nominee Helen Hayes/Charles MacArthur Award Outstanding New Play


For up-to-date information about our season, casting, and auditions visit us on Facebook at:

Casting of Carlsbad Playreaders productions usually is done at the discretion of the director.  Occasionally the director will hold limited, by-invitation-only auditions.  Rarely does Playreaders hold open auditions for any one particular production.  Information regarding future auditions will be posted on this website and our Facebook page.

All Carlsbad Playreaders events are held in the Schulman Auditorium at the Carlsbad City Library: 1775 Dove Lane, Carlsbad, CA 92011

From Interstate 5, exit La Costa Avenue, going east for approximately 1 mile. Turn left on El Camino Real and travel north for approximately 1.5 miles. At the light after the light at Alga/Aviara, turn left onto Dove Lane and into the library parking lot. Schulman Auditorium is on the left at the entrance of the library.

There is no set charge for attendance at Carlsbad Playreaders performances.
Suggested Donation:
$5 General Admission
$1 Students

No reservations necessary