Portrait of Arthur Miller
|Born||Arthur Asher Miller|
October 17, 1915
Harlem, New York City, U.S.
|Died||February 10, 2005 89) (aged|
Roxbury, Connecticut, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
|Children||4, including Rebecca Miller|
|Relatives||Joan Copeland (sister)|
Arthur Asher Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005) was an American playwright, essayist, and a controversial figure in the twentieth-century American theater. Among his most popular plays are All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953) and A View from the Bridge (1955, revised 1956). He wrote several screenplays and was most noted for his work on The Misfits (1961). The drama Death of a Salesman has been numbered on the short list of finest American plays in the 20th century.
Theatre in the United States is part of the European theatrical tradition that dates back to ancient Greek theatre and is heavily influenced by the British theatre. The central hub of the US theater scene is New York City, with its divisions of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway. Many movie and television stars got their big break working in New York productions. Outside New York, many cities have professional regional or resident theater companies that produce their own seasons, with some works being produced regionally with hopes of eventually moving to New York. US theater also has an active community theatre culture, which relies mainly on local volunteers who may not be actively pursuing a theatrical career.
All My Sons is a 1947 play by Arthur Miller. It opened on Broadway at the Coronet Theatre in New York City on January 29, 1947, closed on November 8, 1949 and ran for 328 performances. It was directed by Elia Kazan, produced by Elia Kazan and Harold Clurman, and won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. It starred Ed Begley, Beth Merrill, Arthur Kennedy, and Karl Malden and won both the Tony Award for Best Author and the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play. The play was adapted for films in 1948 and 1987.
Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. It won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. The play premiered on Broadway in February 1949, running for 742 performances, and has been revived on Broadway four times, winning three Tony Awards for Best Revival. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest plays of the 20th century.
Miller was often in the public eye, particularly during the late 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s. During this time, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee and was married to Marilyn Monroe. In 1980, Miller received the St. Louis Literary Award from the Saint Louis University Library Associates.He received the Prince of Asturias Award, the Praemium Imperiale prize in 2002 and the Jerusalem Prize in 2003, as well as the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize in 1999.
The Pulitzer Prize for Drama is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It is one of the original Pulitzers, for the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year. It recognizes a theatrical work staged in the U.S. during the preceding calendar year.
The House Un-American Activities Committee was an investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives. The HUAC was created in 1938 to investigate alleged disloyalty and subversive activities on the part of private citizens, public employees, and those organizations suspected of having Communist ties. When the House abolished the committee in 1975, its functions were transferred to the House Judiciary Committee.
Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, model, and singer. Famous for playing comic "blonde bombshell" characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and early 1960s and was emblematic of the era's changing attitudes towards sexuality. Although she was a top-billed actress for only a decade, her films grossed $200 million by the time of her unexpected death in 1962. More than half a century later, she continues to be a major popular culture icon.
Miller was born on October 17, 1915, in Harlem, in the New York City borough of Manhattan, the second of three children of Augusta (Barnett) and Isidore Miller. Miller was Jewish,and of Polish Jewish descent. His father was born in Radomyśl Wielki, Galicia (then part of Austria-Hungary, now Poland), and his mother was a native of New York whose parents also arrived from that town. Isidore owned a women's clothing manufacturing business employing 400 people. He became a wealthy and respected man in the community. The family, including his younger sister Joan Copeland, lived on West 110th Street in Manhattan, owned a summer house in Far Rockaway, Queens, and employed a chauffeur. In the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the family lost almost everything and moved to Gravesend, Brooklyn. (One source says they moved to Midwood) As a teenager, Miller delivered bread every morning before school to help the family. After graduating in 1932 from Abraham Lincoln High School, he worked at several menial jobs to pay for his college tuition. After graduation (circa 1936), he began to work as a psychiatric aide and also a copywriter before accepting faculty posts at New York University and New Hampshire University. On May 1, 1935, Miller joined the League of American Writers (1935–1943), whose members included Alexander Trachtenberg of International Publishers, Frank Folsom, Louis Untermeyer, I. F. Stone, Myra Page, Millen Brand, Lillian Hellman, and Dashiell Hammett. (Members were largely either Communist Party members or fellow travelers.)
Harlem is a neighborhood in the northern section of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is bounded roughly by Frederick Douglass Boulevard, St. Nicholas Avenue, and Morningside Park on the west; the Harlem River and 155th Street on the north; Fifth Avenue on the east; and Central Park North on the south. It is part of greater Harlem, an area that encompasses several other neighborhoods and extends west to the Hudson River, north to 155th Street, east to the East River, and south to 96th Street.
Manhattan, often referred to locally as the City, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City and its economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, and historical birthplace. The borough is coextensive with New York County, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers; several small adjacent islands; and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood now on the U.S. mainland, physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.
Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity, nationhood, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the ethnic religion of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance.
At the University of Michigan, Miller first majored in journalism and worked for the student paper, The Michigan Daily . It was during this time that he wrote his first play, No Villain .Miller switched his major to English, and subsequently won the Avery Hopwood Award for No Villain. The award brought him his first recognition and led him to begin to consider that he could have a career as a playwright. Miller enrolled in a playwriting seminar taught by the influential Professor Kenneth Rowe, who instructed him in his early forays into playwriting; Rowe emphasized how a play is built in order to achieve its intended effect, or what Miller called "the dynamics of play construction". Rowe provided realistic feedback along with much-needed encouragement, and became a lifelong friend. Miller retained strong ties to his alma mater throughout the rest of his life, establishing the university's Arthur Miller Award in 1985 and Arthur Miller Award for Dramatic Writing in 1999, and lending his name to the Arthur Miller Theatre in 2000. In 1937, Miller wrote Honors at Dawn, which also received the Avery Hopwood Award. After his graduation in 1938, he joined the Federal Theatre Project, a New Deal agency established to provide jobs in the theater. He chose the theater project despite the more lucrative offer to work as a scriptwriter for 20th Century Fox. However, Congress, worried about possible Communist infiltration, closed the project in 1939. Miller began working in the Brooklyn Navy Yard while continuing to write radio plays, some of which were broadcast on CBS.
The University of Michigan, often simply referred to as Michigan, is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The university is Michigan's oldest; it was founded in 1817 in Detroit, as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the territory became a state. The school was moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet spread out over a Central Campus and North Campus, two regional campuses in Flint and Dearborn, and a Center in Detroit. The university is a founding member of the Association of American Universities.
The Michigan Daily is the daily student newspaper of the University of Michigan. Its first edition was published on September 29, 1890. The newspaper is financially and editorially independent of the University's administration and other student groups, but shares a university building with other student publications on 420 Maynard Street, north of the Michigan Union and Huetwell Student Activities Center. In 2007, renovations to the historic building at 420 Maynard were completed, funded entirely by private donations from alumni. To dedicate the renovated building, a reunion of the staffs of The Michigan Daily, the Michiganensian yearbook, and the Gargoyle humor magazine was held on October 26–28, 2007.
No Villain is a play written by Arthur Miller during his sophomore year of college in 1936, during spring break. This was his first work, reportedly written in six days in the hope of winning a $250 Hopwood Award in drama, the first of two that he won. No Villain explores Marxist theory and inner conflict through an individual facing ruin as a result of a strike.
In 1940, Miller married Mary Grace Slattery.The couple had two children, Jane and Robert (born May 31, 1947). Miller was exempted from military service during World War II because of a high school football injury to his left kneecap. That same year his first play was produced; The Man Who Had All the Luck won the Theatre Guild's National Award. The play closed after four performances with disastrous reviews.
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
The Man Who Had All the Luck is a play by Arthur Miller.
In 1947, Miller's play All My Sons , the writing of which had commenced in 1941, was a success on Broadway (earning him his first Tony Award, for Best Author) and his reputation as a playwright was established.Years later, in a 1994 interview with Ron Rifkin, Miller said that most contemporary critics regarded All My Sons as "a very depressing play in a time of great optimism" and that positive reviews from Brooks Atkinson of The New York Times had saved it from failure.
Broadway theatre, also known simply as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in Midtown Manhattan. The awards are given for Broadway productions and performances, and an award is given for regional theatre. Several discretionary non-competitive awards are also given, including a Special Tony Award, the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, and the Isabelle Stevenson Award. The awards are named after Antoinette "Tony" Perry, co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.
The Tony Award for Best Author is a now retired category once presented to playwrights, authors and librettists of theatrical plays and musicals. Only nine awards were presented from 1947 to 1965, and is often grouped with the category Best Book of a Musical.
In 1948, Miller built a small studio in Roxbury, Connecticut. There, in less than a day, he wrote Act I of Death of a Salesman . Within six weeks, he completed the rest of the play,one of the classics of world theater. Death of a Salesman premiered on Broadway on February 10, 1949, at the Morosco Theatre, directed by Elia Kazan, and starring Lee J. Cobb as Willy Loman, Mildred Dunnock as Linda, Arthur Kennedy as Biff, and Cameron Mitchell as Happy. The play was commercially successful and critically acclaimed, winning a Tony Award for Best Author, the New York Drama Circle Critics' Award, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was the first play to win all three of these major awards. The play was performed 742 times.
In 1949, Miller exchanged letters with Eugene O'Neill regarding Miller's production of All My Sons. O'Neill had sent Miller a congratulatory telegram; in response, he wrote a letter that consisted of a few paragraphs detailing his gratitude for the telegram, apologizing for not responding earlier, and inviting Eugene to the opening of Death of a Salesman. O'Neill replied, accepting the apology, but declining the invitation, explaining that his Parkinson's disease made it difficult to travel. He ended the letter with an invitation to Boston, a trip that never occurred.
In 1955, a one-act version of Miller's verse drama A View from the Bridge opened on Broadway in a joint bill with one of Miller's lesser-known plays, A Memory of Two Mondays . The following year, Miller revised A View from the Bridge as a two-act prose drama, which Peter Brook directed in London.A French-Italian co-production Vu du pont , based on the play, was released in 1962.
In June 1956, Miller left his first wife, Mary Slattery, whom he married in 1940, and married film star Marilyn Monroe. 156They had met in 1951, had a brief affair, and remained in contact since. Monroe had just turned 30 when they married; she never had a real family of her own and was eager to join the family of her new husband. :
Monroe began to reconsider her career and the fact that trying to manage it made her feel helpless. She admitted to Miller, "I hate Hollywood. I don't want it anymore. I want to live quietly in the country and just be there when you need me. I can't fight for myself anymore." 154:
She converted to Judaism to "express her loyalty and get close to both Miller and his parents", writes biographer Jeffrey Meyers. 156 Monroe told her close friend, Susan Strasberg: "I can identify with the Jews. Everybody's always out to get them, no matter what they do, like me." :156 Soon after she converted, Egypt banned all of her movies. :157:
Away from Hollywood and the culture of celebrity, Monroe's life became more normal; she began cooking, keeping house and giving Miller more attention and affection than he had been used to. 157 His children, aged twelve and nine, adored her and were reluctant to return to their mother when the weekend was over. :157 As she was also fond of older people, she got along well with his parents, and the feeling was mutual. :157:
Later that year, Miller was subpoenaed by the HUAC, and Monroe accompanied him.In her personal notes, she wrote about her worries during this period:
I am so concerned about protecting Arthur. I love him—and he is the only person—human being I have ever known that I could love not only as a man to which I am attracted to practically out of my senses—but he is the only person—as another human being that I trust as much as myself...
Miller began work on writing the screenplay for The Misfits in 1960, directed by John Huston and starring Monroe. But it was during the filming that Miller and Monroe's relationship hit difficulties, and he later said that the filming was one of the lowest points in his life.Monroe was taking drugs to help her sleep and more drugs to help her wake up, which caused her to arrive on the set late and then have trouble remembering her lines. Huston was unaware that Miller and Monroe were having problems in their private life. He recalled later, "I was impertinent enough to say to Arthur that to allow her to take drugs of any kind was criminal and utterly irresponsible. Shortly after that I realized that she wouldn't listen to Arthur at all; he had no say over her actions."
Shortly before the film's premiere in 1961, Miller and Monroe divorced after their five years of marriage.Nineteen months later, Monroe died of a likely drug overdose. Huston, who had also directed her in her first major role in The Asphalt Jungle in 1950, and who had seen her rise to stardom, put the blame for her death on her doctors as opposed to the stresses of being a star: "The girl was an addict of sleeping pills and she was made so by the God-damn doctors. It had nothing to do with the Hollywood set-up."
Miller later married photographer Inge Morath in February 1962. She had worked as a photographer documenting the production of The Misfits. The first of their two children, Rebecca, was born September 15, 1962. Their son, Daniel, was born with Down syndrome in November 1966. Against his wife's wishes, Miller had him institutionalized, first at a home for infants in New York City, and then at the Southbury Training School in Connecticut. Though Morath visited Daniel often, Miller never visited him at the school and rarely spoke of him.Miller and Inge remained together until her death in 2002. Arthur Miller's son-in-law, actor Daniel Day-Lewis, is said to have visited Daniel frequently, and to have persuaded Arthur Miller to meet with him.
In 1952, Elia Kazan appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Kazan named eight members of the Group Theatre, including Clifford Odets, Paula Strasberg, Lillian Hellman, J. Edward Bromberg, and John Garfield,who in recent years had been fellow members of the Communist Party. Miller and Kazan were close friends throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, but after Kazan's testimony to the HUAC, the pair's friendship ended. After speaking with Kazan about his testimony, Miller traveled to Salem, Massachusetts, to research the witch trials of 1692. He and Kazan did not speak to each other for the next ten years. Kazan later defended his own actions through his film On the Waterfront , in which a dockworker heroically testifies against a corrupt union boss.
In the play, Miller likened the situation with the House Un-American Activities Committee to the witch hunt in Salem in 1692.The play opened at the Beck Theatre on Broadway on January 22, 1953. Though widely considered only somewhat successful at the time of its release, today The Crucible is Miller's most frequently produced work throughout the world. It was adapted into an opera by Robert Ward in 1961.
The HUAC took an interest in Miller himself not long after The Crucible opened, denying him a passport to attend the play's London opening in 1954.When Miller applied in 1956 for a routine renewal of his passport, the House Un-American Activities Committee used this opportunity to subpoena him to appear before the committee. Before appearing, Miller asked the committee not to ask him to name names, to which the chairman, Francis E. Walter (D-PA) agreed. When Miller attended the hearing, to which Monroe accompanied him, risking her own career, he gave the committee a detailed account of his political activities. Reneging on the chairman's promise, the committee demanded the names of friends and colleagues who had participated in similar activities. Miller refused to comply, saying "I could not use the name of another person and bring trouble on him." As a result, a judge found Miller guilty of contempt of Congress in May 1957. Miller was sentenced to a fine and a prison sentence, blacklisted, and disallowed a US passport. In 1958, his conviction was overturned by the court of appeals, which ruled that Miller had been misled by the chairman of the HUAC.
Miller's experience with the HUAC affected him throughout his life. In the late 1970s, he joined the other celebrities (including William Styron and Mike Nichols) who were brought together by the journalist Joan Barthel whose coverage of the highly publicized Barbara Gibbons murder case helped raise bail for Gibbons' son Peter Reilly who'd been convicted of his mother's murder based on what many felt was a coerced confession and little other evidence.Barthel documented the case in her book A Death in Canaan which was made as a television film of the same name and broadcast in 1978 . City Confidential , an A&E Network series, produced an episode about the murder, postulating that part of the reason Miller took such an active interest (including supporting Reilly's defense and using his own celebrity to bring attention to Reilly's plight) was because he had felt similarly persecuted in his run-ins with the HUAC. He sympathized with Reilly, whom he firmly believed to be innocent and to have been railroaded by the Connecticut State Police and the Attorney General who had initially prosecuted the case.
In 1964 After the Fall was produced, and is said to be a deeply personal view of Miller's experiences during his marriage to Monroe. The play reunited Miller with his former friend Kazan: they collaborated on both the script and the direction. After the Fall opened on January 23, 1964, at the ANTA Theatre in Washington Square Park amid a flurry of publicity and outrage at putting a Monroe-like character, called Maggie, on stage.Robert Brustein, in a review in the New Republic, called After the Fall "a three and one half hour breach of taste, a confessional autobiography of embarrassing explicitness ... there is a misogynistic strain in the play which the author does not seem to recognize. ... He has created a shameless piece of tabloid gossip, an act of exhibitionism which makes us all voyeurs, ... a wretched piece of dramatic writing." That same year, Miller produced Incident at Vichy . In 1965, Miller was elected the first American president of PEN International, a position which he held for four years. A year later, Miller organized the 1966 PEN congress in New York City. Miller also wrote the penetrating family drama, The Price , produced in 1968. It was Miller's most successful play since Death of a Salesman.
In 1969, Miller's works were banned in the Soviet Union after he campaigned for the freedom of dissident writers.Throughout the 1970s, Miller spent much of his time experimenting with the theatre, producing one-act plays such as Fame and The Reason Why, and traveling with his wife, producing In The Country and Chinese Encounters with her. Both his 1972 comedy The Creation of the World and Other Business and its musical adaptation, Up from Paradise , were critical and commercial failures.
Miller was an unusually articulate commentator on his own work. In 1978 he published a collection of his Theater Essays, edited by Robert A. Martin and with a foreword by Miller. Highlights of the collection included Miller's introduction to his Collected Plays, his reflections on the theory of tragedy, comments on the McCarthy Era, and pieces arguing for a publicly supported theater. Reviewing this collection in the Chicago Tribune, Studs Terkel remarked, "in reading [the Theater Essays]...you are exhilaratingly aware of a social critic, as well as a playwright, who knows what he's talking about."
In 1983, Miller traveled to China to produce and direct Death of a Salesman at the People's Art Theatre in Beijing. The play was a success in Chinaand in 1984, Salesman in Beijing, a book about Miller's experiences in Beijing, was published. Around the same time, Death of a Salesman was made into a TV movie starring Dustin Hoffman as Willy Loman. Shown on CBS, it attracted 25 million viewers. In late 1987, Miller's autobiographical work, Timebends, was published. Before it was published, it was well known that Miller would not talk about Monroe in interviews; in Timebends Miller talks about his experiences with Monroe in detail.
During the early-mid 1990s, Miller wrote three new plays: The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (1991), The Last Yankee (1992), and Broken Glass (1994). In 1996, a film of The Crucible starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Scofield, Bruce Davison, and Winona Ryder opened. Miller spent much of 1996 working on the screenplay for the film.
Mr. Peters' Connections was staged Off-Broadway in 1998, and Death of a Salesman was revived on Broadway in 1999 to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. The play, once again, was a large critical success, winning a Tony Award for best revival of a play.
In 1993, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.Miller was honored with the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a Master American Dramatist in 1998. In 2001 the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) selected Miller for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government's highest honor for achievement in the humanities. Miller's lecture was entitled "On Politics and the Art of Acting." Miller's lecture analyzed political events (including the U.S. presidential election of 2000) in terms of the "arts of performance," and it drew attacks from some conservatives such as Jay Nordlinger, who called it "a disgrace," and George Will, who argued that Miller was not legitimately a "scholar."
In 1999, Miller was awarded The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize,one of the richest prizes in the arts, given annually to "a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind's enjoyment and understanding of life." In 2001, Miller received the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. On May 1, 2002, Miller was awarded Spain's Principe de Asturias Prize for Literature as "the undisputed master of modern drama." Later that year, Ingeborg Morath died of lymphatic cancer at the age of 78. The following year Miller won the Jerusalem Prize.
In December 2004, 89-year-old Miller announced that he had been in love with 34-year-old minimalist painter Agnes Barley and had been living with her at his Connecticut farm since 2002, and that they intended to marry.Within hours of her father's death, Rebecca Miller ordered Barley to vacate the premises because she had consistently been opposed to the relationship. Miller's final play, Finishing the Picture , opened at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago, in the fall of 2004, with one character said to be based on Barley. It was reported to be based on his experience during the filming The Misfits, though Miller insisted the play is a work of fiction with independent characters that were no more than composite shadows of history.
Miller died on the evening of February 10, 2005 (the 56th anniversary of the Broadway debut of Death of a Salesman) at age 89 of bladder cancer and heart failure, at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut. He had been in hospice care at his sister's apartment in New York since his release from hospital the previous month.He was surrounded by Barley, family and friends. His body was interred at Roxbury Center Cemetery in Roxbury.
Arthur Miller's career as a writer spanned over seven decades, and at the time of his death, Miller was considered to be one of the greatest dramatists of the twentieth century.After his death, many respected actors, directors, and producers paid tribute to Miller, some calling him the last great practitioner of the American stage, and Broadway theatres darkened their lights in a show of respect. Miller's alma mater, the University of Michigan, opened the Arthur Miller Theatre in March 2007. As per his express wish, it is the only theatre in the world that bears Miller's name.
Other notable arrangements for Miller's legacy are that his letters, notes, drafts and other papers are housed at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin.
Arthur Miller is also a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 1979.
In 1993 he received the Four Freedoms Award for Freedom of Speech.
In 2017 his daughter, Rebecca Miller, a writer and filmmaker, completed a documentary about her father's life, under the title Arthur Miller: Writer.
Minor planet 3769 Arthurmiller is named after him.
The Arthur Miller Foundation was founded to honor the legacy of Miller and his New York City Public School Education. The mission of the foundation is: "Promoting increased access and equity to theater arts education in our schools and increasing the number of students receiving theater arts education as an integral part of their academic curriculum."Other initiatives include certification of new theater teachers and their placement in public schools; increasing the number of theater teachers in the system from the current estimate of 180 teachers in 1800 schools; supporting professional development of all certified theater teachers; providing teaching artists, cultural partners, physical spaces, and theater ticket allocations for students. The foundation's primary purpose is to provide arts education in the New York City school system. The current chancellor of the foundation is Carmen Farina, a large proponent of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Alec Baldwin, Ellen Barkin, Katori Hall, Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, Tony Kushner, Michael Mayer, Jim McElhinney, Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Lynn Nottage, David O. Russell, Liev Schreiber all serve on the Master Arts Council. Son-in-law Daniel Day-Lewis serves on the current board of directors.
The foundation celebrated Miller's 100th birthday with a one-night-only performance of Miller's seminal works in November 2015.
The Arthur Miller Foundation currently supports a pilot program in theater and film at the public school Quest to Learn in partnership with the Institute of Play. The model is being used as an in-school elective theater class and lab. The objective is to create a sustainable theater education model to disseminate to teachers at professional development workshops.
Miller donated thirteen boxes of his earliest manuscripts to the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin in 1961 and 1962.This collection included the original handwritten notebooks and early typed drafts for Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, All My Sons, and other works. In January, 2018, the Ransom Center announced the acquisition of the remainder of the Miller archive totaling over 200 boxes. The full archive will be available for research after it is catalogued, no later than November, 2019.
Miller successfully synthesized diverse dramatic styles and movements in the belief that a play should embody a delicate balance between the individual and society, between the singular personality and the polity, and between the separate and collective elements of life. He thought himself a writer of social plays with a strong emphasis on moral problems in American society and often questioned psychological causes of behavior. He also built on the realist tradition of Henrik Ibsen in his exploration of the individual's conflict with society but also borrowed Symbolist and expressionist techniques from Bertolt Brecht and others. Some critics attempt to interpret his work from either an exclusively political or an exclusively psychological standpoint but fail to pierce the social veil that Miller creates in his work.Miller often stressed that society made his characters what they are and how it dictated all of their fears and choices.
While Miller comes under criticism for his reputation, most critics note him as a dramatist of the family. One of his greatest strengths is his penetrating insight into familial relationships.Often, Miller's characters are living in service of their family. The conventions of the family play, such as patterns, setting, and style of representation were set canonically by Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, and Miller. In these plays, white men are privileged with their family and social responsibility; typically, these men are lower class. Miller maintained that family relationships and families must be immersed in social context.
Miller is known for the consciousness of the characters in his play. In his plays, he confronts a level of banality with the roller coaster of guilt and responsibility. Some strong examples of characters who portray this struggle between their conscious and their social responsibility are Joe Keller in All My Sons and John Proctor in The Crucible .Miller often creates consequences for characters who ignore or violate their social responsibilities.
Miller's determination to deal with the eternal themes of life, death and human purpose is one of his most prominent themes across his works. This theme spans from Willy Loman's dedication to providing for his family and his inherent belief that his death would leave a legacy, to John Proctor's willingness to die to preserve his name. Nearly all of Miller's protagonists struggle with the mark they leave on life and what it means to die.
In Death of a Salesman – originally entitled The Inside of His Head – Miller brilliantly solves the problem of revealing his main character's inner discord, rendering Willy Loman as solid as the society in which he tries to sell himself. Indeed, many critics believe that Miller has never surpassed his achievement in this play, which stands as his breakthrough work, distinguished by an extremely long Broadway run, by many revivals, and by many theater awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1949.Death of a Salesman seems destined to remain an American classic and a standard text in American classrooms.
Willy Loman desperately wants to believe that he has succeeded, that he is “well liked” as a great salesman, a fine father, and a devoted husband. That he has not really attracted the admiration and popularity at which he has aimed is evident, however, in the weariness that belabors him from the beginning of the play. Nearing retirement he suffers a drastic decrease in sales work, a dissatisfying marriage, and a turbulent relationship with his sons which inexorably leads to his suicide with the justification that the insurance will finally provide for his family.
Eddie Carbone is the central character in A View from the Bridge and is not positioned as the protagonist or the antagonist. He is a longshoreman who lives with his wife, Beatrice, and his 17-year-old niece, Catherine. When his family from Italy, Rodolpho and Marco, migrate illegally and begin to live with him, the small world that he operates in is disrupted. Eddie becomes conflicted and ultimately self-destructive over his sexual attraction to his niece and her involvement with one of his Italian tenants. His character arc culminates as he becomes an informer to the immigration authorities which leads to a confrontation with one of his tenants. Marco labels him as an informer and Eddie perceives this as a permanent blemish on his good name. This confrontation ultimately leads to his death, leaving Eddie as one of Miller's examples of tragic figures.
John Proctor is the protagonist of one of Miller's most controversial works, The Crucible . He is a faithful farmer who lives by a strict moral code that he violates by succumbing to an affair with a young girl, Abigail, who serves in his home. After Proctor rejects her, Abigail spitefully accuses John's wife of witchcraft, involving him in a string of affairs that challenge his beliefs and convictions. In his attempts to save his wife, he is convicted of witchcraft as well, and will only be acquitted if he confesses to his crime and signs his name to a piece of paper.Proctor is a strong, vital man in the prime of his life both in his confession of witchcraft and the subsequent passion with which he defends his name at the cost of his life.
Critics have long admired the playwright's suspenseful handling of the Keller family's burden in the play All My Sons . The critical character in this work is Joe Keller, who permitted defective parts to remain in warplanes that subsequently crash. Not only does Joe Keller fail to recognize his social responsibility, but also he allows his business partner to take the blame and serve the prison term for the crime. Gradually, events combine to strip Keller of his rationalizations. He argues that he never believed that the cracked engine heads would be installed and that he never admitted his mistake because it would have driven him out of business at the age of sixty-one, when he would not have another chance to “make something” for his family, his highest priority. Joe's irresponsibility is exposed through his son's questioning of his very humanity.Joe's suicide results from the tremendous guilt and self-awareness that arises during the play.
Christopher Bigsby wrote Arthur Miller: The Definitive Biography based on boxes of papers Miller made available to him before his death in 2005.The book was published in November 2008, and is reported to reveal unpublished works in which Miller "bitterly attack[ed] the injustices of American racism long before it was taken up by the civil rights movement".
In his book Trinity of Passion, author Alan M. Wald conjectures that Miller was "a member of a writer's unit of the Communist Party around 1946," using the pseudonym Matt Wayne, and editing a drama column in the magazine The New Masses .
Two months after Miller died Peter O'Toole called him a "bore"and conservative Roger Kimball, a board member of the Manhattan Institute, went on record saying that Miller's artistic accomplishments were meager.
Elia Kazan was a Greek-American director, producer, writer and actor, described by The New York Times as "one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history".
John Arthur Kennedy was an American stage and film actor known for his versatility in supporting film roles and his ability to create "an exceptional honesty and naturalness on stage", especially in the original casts of Arthur Miller plays on Broadway. He won the 1949 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Miller's Death of a Salesman. He also won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for the 1955 film Trial, and was a five-time Academy Award nominee.
Ingeborg Hermine Morath was an Austrian-born American photographer. In 1953, she joined the Magnum Photos Agency, founded by top photographers in Paris, and became a full photographer with the agency in 1955. Morath was also the third wife of playwright Arthur Miller; their daughter is screenwriter/director Rebecca Miller.
The Crucible is a 1953 play by American playwright Arthur Miller. It is a dramatized and partially fictionalized story of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during 1692/93. Miller wrote the play as an allegory for McCarthyism, when the United States government persecuted people accused of being communists. Miller himself was questioned by the House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956 and convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to identify others present at meetings he had attended.
The Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play has only been awarded since 1994. Prior to that, plays and musicals were considered together for the Tony Award for Best Revival. The award is given to the best non-musical play that has appeared on Broadway in a previous production. The award goes to the producers of the play.
Lee Strasberg was a Polish-American actor, director, and theatre practitioner. He co-founded, with directors Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford, the Group Theatre in 1931, which was hailed as "America's first true theatrical collective". In 1951 he became director of the nonprofit Actors Studio in New York City, considered "the nation's most prestigious acting school," and in 1966 he was involved in the creation of Actors Studio West in Los Angeles.
Lee J. Cobb was an American actor. He is best known for his performances in On the Waterfront (1954), 12 Angry Men (1957), and The Exorcist (1973). He also played the role of Willy Loman in the original Broadway production of Arthur Miller's 1949 play Death of a Salesman under the direction of Elia Kazan. On television, Cobb starred in the first four seasons of the Western series The Virginian. He typically played arrogant, intimidating and abrasive characters, but often had roles as respectable figures such as judges and police officers. He was twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for The Brothers Karamazov (1958) and On the Waterfront (1954).
William "Willy" Loman is a fictional character and the protagonist of Arthur Miller's classic play Death of a Salesman, which debuted on Broadway with Lee J. Cobb playing Loman at the Morosco Theatre on February 10, 1949. Loman is a 63-year-old travelling salesman from Brooklyn with 34 years of experience with the same company who endures a pay cut and a firing during the play. He has difficulty dealing with his current state and has created a fantasy world to cope with his situation. This does not keep him from multiple suicide attempts.
A View from the Bridge is a play by American playwright Arthur Miller. It was first staged on September 29, 1955, as a one-act verse drama with A Memory of Two Mondays at the Coronet Theatre on Broadway. The run was unsuccessful, and Miller subsequently revised the play to contain two acts; this version is the one with which audiences are most familiar. The two-act version premiered in the New Watergate theatre club in London's West End under the direction of Peter Brook on October 11, 1956.
The Crucible is a 1996 American historical drama film written by Arthur Miller adapting his play of the same title, inspired by the Salem witchcraft trials. It was directed by Nicholas Hytner and stars Daniel Day-Lewis as John Proctor, Winona Ryder as Abigail Williams, Paul Scofield as Judge Thomas Danforth, Bruce Davison as Reverend Parris, and Joan Allen as Elizabeth Proctor. Much of the filming took place on Hog Island in Ipswich, Massachusetts.
Morris Carnovsky was an American stage and film actor. He was one of the founders of the Group Theatre (1931-1940) in New York City and had a thriving acting career both on Broadway and in films until, in the early 1950s, professional colleagues told the House Un-American Activities Committee that Carnovsky had been a Communist Party member. He was blacklisted and worked less frequently for a few years, but then re-established his acting career, taking on many Shakespearean roles at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and performing the title roles in college campus productions of King Lear and The Merchant of Venice. Carnovsky's nephew is veteran character actor and longtime "Pathmark Guy" James Karen.
After the Fall is a play by the American dramatist Arthur Miller.
Christopher William Edgar BigsbyFRSA FRSL, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, is a British literary analyst and novelist, with more than fifty books to his credit. Earlier in his writing career, his books were published under the name C. W. E. Bigsby. He has won awards for his work on the American theatre, for his biography of Arthur Miller, for his first novel, Hester, and for his work in study abroad.
David Richenthal is a lawyer and Broadway theater producer. He is the President of Richenthal Productions, Inc. Former companies include Delphi Productions, LLC and Barking Dog Entertainment, Inc.
Let's Make Love is a 1960 musical comedy film made by 20th Century Fox in DeLuxe Color and CinemaScope. It was directed by George Cukor and produced by Jerry Wald from a screenplay by Norman Krasna, Hal Kanter, and Arthur Miller. It starred Marilyn Monroe, Yves Montand, and Tony Randall. It would be Monroe's last musical film performance.
Alex Finlayson is an American playwright whose sly irreverent plays found more success on the English stage than in the United States. After winning Finlayson a Mobil Oil International Playwriting Prize, Winding the Ball was produced by The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, which also commissioned and produced Finlayson's Misfits (1996) and Tobaccoland (1999). All three plays starred American stage and film actress Lisa Eichhorn and were directed by Greg Hersov.
Sheri Wilner is an American playwright.
William Camp is an American actor. He is known for playing Glen McGreavey in 2010 comedy-drama Tamara Drewe, Detective Dennis Box in the HBO limited television series The Night Of, and as David Burton in the HBO drama series The Leftovers.
And in the play's sweetest moments, he's found a new romance – Kitty's tenderhearted secretary, played by Fisher, a union perhaps mirroring Miller's reported new relationship with Agnes Barley, a 34-year-old artist.
Wald discovered that Miller published in New Masses under the pseudonym of “Matt Wayne” from March 1945 to March 1946.
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Victor E. van Vriesland
| International President of PEN International |