Brooklyn Boy Made Good
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ARTHUR MILLER: PLAYWRIGHT, PUBLIC INTELLECTUAL, HUMAN BEING.
Rehearsed reading in English
"The mission of the theater, after all, is to change, to raise the consciousness of people to their human possibilities." Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller was born to a Jewish family in New York in 1915. His grandparents had emigrated from Poland to the United States. When the family business failed, they moved to Harlem and later Brooklyn, where A View from the Bridge is set. There, he worked in a warehouse to earn money for his university fees. He began to write plays while he was a student at the University of Michigan and continued to do so after he graduated in 1938 and became a journalist. After graduating and marrying his college sweetheart, Mary Slattery, Miller returned to Brooklyn in 1940, where he lived until 1955. He received much acclaim for All My Sons in 1947, Death of a Salesman (1949) - which won the Pulitzer Prize - and The Crucible (1952) confirmed him as a major playwright.
The Crucible , his play on McCarthyism, did not attract much positive criticism in the first instance. Later, it acquired, as Miller reflects, a timeless status in its analysis of "individual conscience as the ultimate defence against a tyrannical authority" and it became Miller's most successful play. Further reflecting whether such paranoia, the subject of his play, could arise again, he meant: "I?m of the belief that paranoia is just beneath the skin of almost all of us. We can be persuaded without too much difficulty that hidden, undefined dangers are imminent and can overwhelm us." Miller?s insights into the human psyche are relevant to us today.
His numerous essays, articles and open letters also underline his role as an engaged and engaging public intellectual. His essays reaffirm what his fellow playwright Tony Kushner viewed as "his sympathy, his affinity for the disinherited, the marginal and the powerless". Miller experienced first-hand the cruel vagaries of McCarthyist suspicion: FBI surveillance and the denial of a passport on the grounds that his "presence abroad was not in the best interests of the USA". In 1956, when he was due to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee , the chairman sent word that he would be inclined to cancel the hearing if Marilyn Monroe, then Miller's wife-to-be, "would consent to have a picture taken with him" (she refused). On Monroe he later wrote: "She was a whirling light to me then, all paradox and enticing mystery, street-tough one moment, then lifted by a lyrical and poetic sensitivity that few retain past early adolescence?..."
This rehearsed reading directed by Thierry Mousset, including excerpts from the playwright's autobiography, essays, open letters and interviews accompanied by live music, completes the month-long focus on Arthur Miller's work at the Théâtres de la Ville.
Isaac Bush, Elisabet Johannesdottir & Leila Schaus
Musicians Claire Parsons & Margaux Vranken Director Thierry Mousset
Selection of texts Marc Limpach Production Les Théâtres de la Ville de LuxembourgMardi 25 AVRIL 2017 à 20h00 (tickets)
Mercredi 26 AVRIL 2017 à 20h00 (tickets)
DURÉE approx. 1 hour
Adultes 20 €, 15 €, 8 € / Jeunes 8 € / Kulturpass bienvenu
Lieu: Théâtre des Capucins