A View from the Bridge

by Arthur Miller
Poster photo courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

October 5-7, 12-14 at 8 PM
October 8 & 15 at 2 PM
Trueblood Theatre

background |from our newsletter | press release | program | photographs

Background Information
Born in Manhattan in 1915, Arthur Miller's career as a playwright began at UM, where he received several Avery Hopwood awards for his playwriting. His first play, "The Man Who Had All the Luck," ran for only a week in 1944, but his next play, "All My Sons', was more successful, winning the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award in 1947. On February 10, 1949, "Death of a Salesman" opened at the Morosco Theatre in New York, where it garnered a second New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Miller as well as the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award. Plays to follow include an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People" and "The Crucible." In 1956, "A View from the Bridge" opened in London, a new three-act version of a short play Miller had originally premiered on Broadway. Miller ventured into film with his screenplay "The Misfits," starring Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, his wife at the time. Miller's next play, "After the Fall" (1964), is considered a highly autobiographical account of his life with Monroe. That same year Miller wrote "Incident at Vichy," followed by "The Price" (1968), "The Creation of the World and Other Business" (1972), "The American Clock" (1980), "The Archbishop's Ceiling" (1986), "Ride Down Mt. Morgan" (1991), "The Last Yankee" (1993) and "Broken Glass" (1994). He wrote the screenplay to the 1996 film version of "The Crucible." The Broadway revival of "A View from the Bridge" won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. "Death of a Salesman" received the same award in 1999. In October 1999, the Lyric Opera of Chicago premiered an adaptation of "A View from the Bridge," with music composed by UM's William Bolcom and a libretto by Arnold Weinstien.

From our Newsletter
Guess Who's Coming to Town?
(Hint: "Death of a Salesman," "The Crucible," "All My Sons"...)

U-M alumnus Arthur Miller, "America's greatest living playwright" according to U-M's prolific theatre scholar Enoch Brater, will be in town this October to attend a symposium named in his honor, and to celebrate his 85th birthday. As part of this symposium, the Department of Theatre and Drama is presenting a production of "A View from the Bridge," which the two-time Hopwood Award winner penned in 1956. This drama - which will be directed by Darryl V. Jones at the Trueblood Theatre, October 5-15 - is one of Mr. Miller's finest works for the stage. It's a powerful story about forbidden desires and cruel betrayal set inside a tightly knit Italian community living beneath the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge.

In addition to the play, there is a whole slew of activities being planned around campus from October 26th to 28th in tribute to the venerable dramatist. For instance: the Special Collections unit at the "Grad" library will be displaying its collection of Arthur Miller materials; New York Times critic Mel Gussow will be on hand to tell us about his personal assessment of the Great Man's works; Arthur Miller's wife of many years, Inge Morath (that's post-Marilyn, folks) will be here to guide an exhibit of her famous photography; and our own Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer, Bill Bolcom, will discuss his successful efforts at resetting one of Mr. Miller's works for the operatic stage. Keep your eyes on the local entertainment calendars for dates and times because this is going to be an exciting event. Leading scholars and theatre luminaries are going to be helping us to celebrate Arthur Miller's life and works.

Press Release


The University of Michigan's Department of Theatre and Drama will open its season with a spellbinding American drama by one of the U-of-M's most famous alumni when it presents Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge." This powerful and tragic play will run for eight performances over two weeks from October 5 through October 15, at the Trueblood Theatre in Ann Arbor. In selecting this particular title to open the Theatre Department's 2000-2001 season, consideration was given to the fact that Mr. Miller will be celebrating his 85th birthday at the same time that the show is in performance (Miller was born on October 7, 1915). The production is the first in a series of events including a symposium that is being given in his honor from October 26-28 at the University. Mr. Miller will be in attendance at the symposium.

"A View from the Bridge" premiered at the Coronet Theatre on Broadway in 1955. The show ran for 149 performances and featured Van Heflin as the deeply troubled Red Hook longshoreman, Eddie Carbone. Since that time, the work has received numerous revivals and awards, including the 1998 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. It was re-set last year as an opera by U-of-M's own Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcolm, playing to packed houses at the Lyric Opera in Chicago. In his opening night review, New York Times opera critic Anthony Tommasini commended the new work's "deft libretto" (a collaboration between Arthur Miller and Arnold Weinstein) as being like a "modern-Verdi tragedy (that) ...evokes the sensibility of Italian opera." This praise reflects a telling aspect of Miller's genius. "A View from the Bridge" (like "Death of a Salesman," "The Crucible" and "All My Sons") is a play that openly explores - in an almost operatic fashion - some of humankind's most powerful emotions.

The drama centers on obsession and betrayal. Brooklyn longshoreman Eddie Carbone lives in a tight-knit hardworking Italian neighborhood near the waterfront with his wife Beatrice and niece Catherine. Catherine's emerging independence and womanhood have begun to bother Eddie; he isn't ready to give up his position as the main man in her life. Into this already tense situation enter two of Beatrice's cousins, Marco and Rodolpho, illegal immigrants from the old country. When Catherine falls in love with Rodolpho, Eddie tries everything he can to dissuade her. Driven by an obsession he can neither understand nor acknowledge, Eddie finally reports Marco and Rodolpho to the immigration authorities in a desperate attempt to restore his family. His betrayal has far-reaching effects in the community, leading to tragic circumstances.

Miller's profound understanding of human psychology has a musical quality that underscores his tragedies of the common man. Director Darryl V. Jones, who won a Washington Theatre Lobby Award for his production of "A View from the Bridge" at the Source Theatre, has incorporated this into his sound design. "The rhythms and sounds of Sicilian music are very similar to those of North Africa, " states Jones, "The almost tribal beat of passions, tension, and heat in the music echoes what is happening internally with Eddie. His blind passion for Catherine drives him to unspeakable crimes."

Joining Jones on the production team is lighting designer Rob Murphy whose designs were recently seen in last year's productions of "The Daughter of the Regiment" and "The Tempest." Two students in the Department of Theatre, scenic designer Daniel Rutz and costume designer Neal Somers, complete the team.

Tickets prices are $15 for general admission with students only $7 with ID. Tickets are available at the League Ticket Office, located within the Michigan League on UM Central Campus. The Ticket Office is open from 10am ­ 6pm, Monday through Friday. Reservations may be made by phone at (734) 764-0450 using MasterCard, Visa and Discover. For more information on additional events at the University honoring Mr. Miller, including the Arthur Miller International Symposium, call (734) 615-6744.

The Trueblood Theatre, located within the Frieze Building at the corner of State and Huron Streets, is handicapped accessible.
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Click here to view the A View from the Bridge program as a PDF file

Production Photographs    

Quinn Strassel as Eddie Carbone and Jennifer Lima as Beatrice Quinn Strassel and Boyd White III as Marco Joseph A. Hendriz as Rodolpho and Lauren Spodarek as Catherine