United States author Arthur Miller, new book

This video from the USA says about itself:

Williamstheatre presents THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller. Directed by Omar Sangare. Once emblematic of political persecution in the 1950s, THE CRUCIBLE is an allegory that resonates wherever sanctimony is used as a weapon of oppression and intolerance. In this canonical American drama set during the seventeenth-century Salem witch trials, Arthur Miller explores human cruelty and the manipulations, accusations, and dishonesty that afflict a paranoid community looking for scapegoats.

Saturday, March 9, 2013.

By Gordon Parsons in Britain:

Pointed prose

Thursday 10th December 2015

Essays by US playwright Arthur Miller provide acute insights into the way we live now, says GORDON PARSONS

The Collected Essays of Arthur Miller
Edited by Matthew Roudane
(Bloomsbury, £30)

“HOW may man govern himself so that he may live more humanly, more alive?”

This question, according to one of the acknowledged major dramatists of the age Arthur Miller, is central to all great art.

Matthew Roudane’s “comprehensive selection” of Miller’s essays, covers virtually the whole of his working life from 1944 to 2000.

Not only do they majestically mark the centenary of his birth but they also emphatically establish him as one of the major social, political and philosophical commentators on our modern world.

Apart from perceptive analyses of his own works and the responses of US and foreign audiences to major plays like Death of a Salesman and A View from the Bridge, Miller ranges widely over the domestic and international political scene.

He was of course a central player in the McCarthyite persecution hysteria that swept the US post-1945, defying the Un-American Activities Committee and incensing the Establishment with The Crucible, his Salem witch-trial play.

There is throughout these essays a sense that a better world should, and could, be possible.

Sadly, but realistically, he notes the essential differences between the two near-revolutionary moments of his lifetime in the US, the 1930s depression when talk of “some form of socialist ownership had to be the next step” and the youth ferment of the 1950s and ’60s.

If the former was a revolt based on a social rationalism, the latter was based on individual mysticism — “solidarity,” as Miller would have it, as opposed to “loneliness.”

Although sympathetic, unlike his contemporary Bertolt Brecht, Miller was no Marxist — he was more a fellow traveller on the other side of the street.

While recognising the alienation of man, having become a part of the industrial machine, the dramatic focus of his plays is the search for a middle way.

They are a search for meaning within individual identity and fulfilment through the essential need for social unity with his fellow men.

As the essays proceed through the half century, the early note of almost evangelically naive idealism — “When we find the essence of America, we shall be able to forge a foreign policy capable of arousing the hopes and the love that is neither in governments nor armies nor banks nor institutions, the force that rests in the heart of man” — fades to one of resigned reality.

Yet he still denies the dominant realism of modern theatre which depicts “man’s defeat as the ultimate implication of an overwhelming determinism.”

There is not a great deal of humour here.

But even so Miller reveals a Swiftian satiric edge when he recommends that the prolific US legal execution system should be privatised.

“The condemned would, of course, get a percentage of the gate” from the “immense paying audiences,” he writes.

Anyone who has read his magnificent autobiography Timebends will recognise Miller’s command of language in this collection.

Essay after essay rings with memorable quotations. Informative, provocative, entertaining — I shall return often to Miller’s overview of our world through the vivid lens of his playwright’s perceptions.

American playwright Edward Albee: The character of his opposition to the status quo: here.

Arthur Miller’s play The Hook on stage at last

This video from the USA says about itself:


Arthur Miller reflects on “Death Of A Salesman“, Marilyn Monroe (his 2nd wife), and his life in general. Many clips are shown of him and his personal life and, also, of the different plays he authored. In 1984 he was a recipient of an award from the Kennedy Center Honors show. In a flashback to 1886 he talks to Mike Wallace about his continuing work and then in 1999 talks to Dan Rather about more current events in his life. He and his first wife, Mary Slattery, had two children, Jane & Robert. His third and last wife was Inge Morath, with whom he had Daniel and Rebecca (who is now married to Daniel Day-Lewis).

By Peter Frost in Britain:

A radical view from the waterfront

Thursday 11th June 2015

It’s taken a long time for Arthur Miller’s long-suppressed play The Hook to reach the stage. PETER FROST reckons it’s been well worth the wait

The Hook
Royal and Derngate Theatre,

AS A young man Arthur Miller loved the colour and political excitement of the Brooklyn waterfront. It was there, working nights in the Brooklyn navy yards and writing plays by day, that he honed both his communist politics and the writing skills and power of observation that would make him a legend.

Derived from that experience, The Hook is set amid the political tensions of a 1950s US fixated by red-baiting and witch-hunts. It was long suppressed by the FBI and this is in fact its world premiere, which celebrates the centenary of Miller’s birth in 1915.

Much of the Brooklyn waterfront’s colour and excitement comes alive in this production. That’s due in no small part to a large cast of local people from many backgrounds who, with Patrick Connellan’s dramatic set and Tom Mills’s atmospheric soundscape, fill the stage with a bustling melting pot of life against which the raw confrontations of the New York waterfront are acted out.

Miller’s hero Marty Ferrara (Jamie Sives) is a longshoreman who challenges the criminal gangs on the waterfront and takes a heroic stand against the mobsters who run the docks.

The character is based on Pete Panto, a militant who a very young Miller worked with and admired in his communist cell in the docks. Panto was kidnapped and murdered by the mafia in their battle to corrupt and control waterfront labour unions.

The play tells the story of a close-knit working class community up against a world of crime and political corruption, with the protagonist’s struggle — against mounting unemployment, wage cuts, zero-hours contracts and the scapegoating of immigrants — bearing an uncanny resemblance to those being waged in Britain some 60 years later.

Getting The Hook to the stage has taken a long time, with director James Dacre taking six years to research Miller’s original scripts. He and writer Ron Hutchinson adapted what the playwright described as a screenplay but both insist that “every word of the play is Miller’s.”

At the peak of his creativity and political acumen, what the production demonstrates is that Miller still has the power to surprise.

The Hook is not just a must-see for anyone with an interest in the playwright, left-wing theatre or red-baiting politics in the US.

It’s also an enormously thought-provoking and stimulating evening out, with sharply acute lessons for our own times.

Runs at Royal and Derngate theatre until June 27, box office: royalandderngate.co.uk, then at the Everyman and Playhouse theatre, Liverpool, from July 1-25, box office: everymanplayhouse.com

Unknown Arthur Miller manuscripts discovered

This video from the USA is called Arthur Miller’s The Crucible Act 1.

Translated from The Art Server in Belgium:

Unknown Arthur Miller manuscripts found

In boxes with documents, Christopher Bigsby, a prominent Arthur Miller scholar, has found some manuscripts of stories and novels of the US American author which have never been published before. The handwritten and typescript pages include attacks on racism in the USA. Arthur Miller (New York City, 1915 – Roxbury (Connecticut), 2005) became world famous because of his theatre play ‘Death of a Salesman‘ which won the Pulitzer prize in 1949. Other well known work by Miller is: ‘The Crucible’ (1952), about the Salem with trials [and 1950s McCarthyism], ‘A View from the Bridge‘, ‘All My Sons‘ and ‘Homely Girl’, of which in 2001 a film was made called Eden.

Arthur Miller: a principled playwright: here.

Death of a Salesman memorably exposes the delusion that ‘the only thing you’ve got in this world is what you can sell,’ says GORDON PARSONS: here.