A Journey Into Our Town: Washington D.C.

I’m a regular traveler on the Amtrak route from New York to D.C., but last year, the trip became more than a weekend visit with friends. On a Monday in February, I could feel the train carrying me toward something historic.

I’m not saying I’m historic myself. Not at all. But that’s what made the trip even more powerful. Because here I was, just a random passenger in coach, who was being asked to leave a small impression on some major national artifacts.

Everything started with Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town, a rumination on life, death and gratitude that’s become a touchstone of American drama. It turned 75 last year, and I was asked by the Wilder family to make a documentary film about its legacy. What’s more, I was told that the film would premiere at Ford’s Theatre, where John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln.

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