The Theater Essays Of Arthur Miller

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Although Miller wrote a number of thoughtful and thought-provoking essays — the occasional screenplay and work for television; a novel of 1987 — he engaged unequally in all genres.

Playwriting was his thing; it’s that above all that defines him for posterity.

Thus the possibility of arriving at 100 becomes the next personal frontier.

Winnie Blagden was a Yorkshire widow without children and living alone.

Meanwhile, of course, Miller had become a very public figure outside the theater, and not just because of his 1956 marriage to Marilyn Monroe.

(Real domestic happiness for him seems to have begun only in 1962, after his divorce from Monroe and his marriage to the Austrian photographer Ingeborg Morath, who bore him two children, one of them the film director Rebecca Miller, now married to Daniel Day-Lewis.I’m still disappointed that the trophy on my mantelpiece marks my victory at the age of 12 in “the -yard dash,” so frustratingly short of the gold standard for all would-be sprinters.But of course it’s the larger human dimension of the number 100 that so fascinates us.Even in the West, as we all know, never mind that Japanese island where centenarians sound like the norm, the prospect of reaching 100 becomes more realistic every year, even if its attractiveness is qualified by anxiety about its possible accompaniments.I’m told that, when Harry Truman turned 70 in May of 1954, he declared, “from now on, every day is a blessing.” Some might wish to say that of every day from birth; but we’re probably all willing in 2016 to upgrade Truman’s figure to 80, or even 90.The family lived on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, from where Miller Sr.was chauffeur-driven to work until 1928, when the decline of his prosperous clothing business obliged him to move with his family to humbler circumstances in Brooklyn.¤ Ten years after his death in 2005, Arthur Miller’s centenary proved a bumper year for productions of his work, and not all of it the old familiars.The Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut, for example, a notable regional theater led by Mark Lamos, formerly of Hartford Stage, chose the centenary month of October to revive Miller’s , an important late play that I’ll have more to say about in due course.In all, he wrote about 50 plays, long and short, for stage and radio.Miller’s first major play, , made it to Broadway in 1944, his 30th year.


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