Arthur Miller Collected Plays, 1964-1982

ISBN-10: 1598531476

ISBN-13: 9781598531473

Edition: 2012

Authors: Tony Kushner, Arthur Miller

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Description:

This second volume of Arthur Miller's collected plays opens with After the Fall(1964), his much-anticipated return to the theater after an eight-year hiatus. A tour-de-force exploration of guilt, responsibility, and history, the play opened a window on the playwright's marriage to the late Marilyn Monroe. Incident at Vichy(1964) dramatizes the round-up of Jews in Vichy France in a vivid single act. The Price(1968), a Broadway hit, follows two brothers, a successful surgeon and a struggling policeman, as they figure out how to dispose of their dead father's belongings. The Creation of the World and Other Business(1972) and Up from Paradise(1974) treat characteristically grand themes in uncharacteristically comedic and musical forms. The American Clock(1974) is a "vaudeville" about the Depression years, while The Archbishop's Ceiling(1977), set in a room in Soviet-era Prague that may or may not be bugged, is a meditation on trust and betrayal. The tele-play Playing for Time(1980) tells the story of the Women's Orchestra of Auschwitz. Here, too, are several shorter one-act plays and sketches-among them The Reason Why(1970), published for the first time-along with a selection of Miller's introductions and other writings about his plays.
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Book details

List price: $42.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Library of America, The
Publication date: 2/2/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 848
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 1.30" tall
Weight: 1.584
Language: English

Playwright Tony Kushner was born in New York City and raised in Louisiana. In addition to his plays, Kushner teaches at New York University and has co-written an opera with Bobby McFerrin. Kushner is best known for Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, a two-part seven-hour play that has won many awards (two Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, two Drama Desk Awards, the Evening Standard Award, the New York Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award). It was also selected one of the ten best plays of the 20th century by London's Royal National Theatre.

The son of a well-to-do New York Jewish family, Miller graduated from high school and then went to work in a warehouse. He was born on October 17, 1915, in Harlem, New York City. His plays have been called "political," but he considers the areas of literature and politics to be quite separate and has said, "The only sure and valid aim---speaking of art as a weapon---is the humanizing of man." The recurring theme of all his plays is the relationship between a man's identity and the image that society demands of him. After two years, he entered the University of Michigan, where he soon started writing plays. All My Sons (1947), a Broadway success that won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1947, tells the story of a son, home from the war, who learns that his brother's death was due to defective airplane parts turned out by their profiteering father. Death of a Salesman (1949), Miller's experimental yet classical American tragedy, received both the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1949. It is a poignant statement of a man facing himself and his failure. In The Crucible (1953), a play about bigotry in the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692, Miller brings into focus the social tragedy of a society gone mad, as well as the agony of a heroic individual. The play was generally considered to be a comment on the McCarthyism of its time. Miller himself appeared before the Congressional Un-American Activities Committee and steadfastly refused to involve his friends and associates when questioned about them. His screenplay for The Misfits (1961), from his short story, was written for his second wife, actress Marilyn Monroe (see Vol. 3); After the Fall (1964) has clear autobiographical overtones and involves the story of this ill-fated marriage as well as further dealing with Miller's experiences with McCarthyism. In the one-act Incident at Vichy (1964), a group of men are picked off the streets one morning during the Nazi occupation of France. The Price (1968) is a psychological drama concerning two brothers, one a police officer, one a wealthy surgeon, whose long-standing conflict is explored over the disposal of their father's furniture. The Creation of the World and Other Business (1973) is a retelling of the story of Genesis, attempted as a comedy. The American Clock (1980) explores the impact of the Depression on the nation and its individual citizens. Among Miller's most recent works is Danger: Memory! (1987), a study of two elderly friends. During the 1980s, almost all of Miller's plays were given major British revivals, and the playwright's work has been more popular in Britain than in the United States of late. Miller died of heart failure after a battle against cancer, pneumonia and congestive heart disease at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut. He was 89 years old.

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