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Arthur Miller Theatre Grand Opening

Playing for Time

By Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller Theatre - Walgreen Drama Center

March 29 - April 8, 2006 


"If we fall below a certain level, anything is possible."

A harrowing true story of the members of the legendary women's orchestra in Auschwitz, Playing for Time is based on the autobiography of Fania Fenelon, a popular half-Jewish Parisian singer, who was sent to 
Auschwitz and recruited for the orchestra. Under the baton of Alma Rose, the orchestra plays marches for the prisoners as they set off to work, welcomes and soothes new arrivals during their selection, and entertains Nazi officials - all aspects that horrifies Fania. Alma tells her that "We must play to please them" to which Fania replies, "I prefer to think I am saving my life rather than trying to please the S.S." Alma's response highlights their shared emotional dilemma; "You think you can do one without the other?" Fania's efforts to maintain hope and dignity and to create beauty in the face of terror is ultimately a 
celebration of life and the power of music.

Arthur Miller made an indelible impact on world theatre as well as American arts and letters. Playing for Time was originally adapted for television in 1980, and won a Peabody and four Emmys, including Outstanding Drama Special and Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series or Special; it also was nominated for a Golden Globe. The play is vintage Miller, touching on the playwright's unique artistic vision — theater about ethics, morals, love and romance, religion, political issues, and the consequences of history. Come experience this rarely performed work written with incredible depth and insight into the human spirit.


Read an interview with Director Robert Chapel about Playing for Time.

Global Miller Symposium

UM Central Campus

March 29 - March 31

Organized by Professor Enoch Brater

Kenneth T. Rowe Collegiate Professor in Dramatic Literature,

Department of English Language and Literature

Click here for more details on the Global Miller Symposium

Click here for additional events surrounding the Grand Opening



Arthur Miller Theatre

Director Robert Chapel
Music Director Bradley Bloom
Orchestrations Jerry DePuit
Scenic Designer Vincent Mountain
Costume Designer Jessica Hahn
Lighting Designer

Gary Decker

Sound Designer Henry Reynolds
Stage Manager Colin Miller

Production Photos

Click here to view photos from Playing for Time



Major support provided by

Arts on Earth logo

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower