“There is an excellent spirit of toleration in the town–an admirable municipal spirit. And it all springs from the fact of our having a great common interest to unite us […]
(An Enemy of the People)
Arthur Miller’s adaptation of “An Enemy of the People” by Henrik Ibsen Is a timely topical drama. What makes this particular production unique is the multi-cultural mix of the actors derived from Norway – Nordic Black Theatre, Sweden – Södra community and Denmark – ACT.
The directors approach, from a diversity perspective, lends some new perspectives to the play which speak to current challenges in the modern world of voluntary and often forced mix of cultures. For instance – the ‘dislike’ for Dr. Stockman in the original, at the time- was, in a way, simplistic. In today’s world, one can premise that there has been an undercurrent of suspicion towards the Doctor- whose origin- in this version- is the fact that the Doctor is married to an immigrant, and they have gone ahead to adopt children from immigrant communities.
The play will premiere in October 24th and run until the 29th at Baltoppen Live, Ballerup.
Arthur Miller was born to a Jewish family in New York in 1915. His grandparents had come to America from Poland. When the family business failed, they moved to Brooklyn, where A View from the Bridge is set. There, Arthur worked in a warehouse to earn money for his university fees. He began to write plays while he was a student at the University of Michigan and continued to do so after he graduated in 1938 and became a journalist.
He received much acclaim from All My Sons in 1947; Death of a Salesman (1949) – which won the Pulitzer Prize – and The Crucible (1952) confirmed him as a great playwright.
Between his years as a journalist and making his name as a writer, Miller worked in the Brooklyn shipyards for two years, where he befriended the Italians he worked alongside. He heard a story of some men coming over to work illegally and being betrayed. The story inspired A View from the Bridge, which was written in 1955. It was originally a one-act play, but Miller re-worked it into a two-act play the following year.
Miller’s first marriage ended in divorce in 1956. He then married the actress Marilyn Monroe, but they divorced in1961. His third marriage was to a photographer, Inge Morath.
Most of his work is set in the America of the day and portrays realistic characters and events. He deals with political and moral issues and weaves in ideas from Greek tragedy. He is interested in how personal relationships dictate the way one leads one’s life and about people’s struggles to do what is right.
Miller died in 2005 at the age of 89. Today, he is regarded as one of the greatest dramatists of the 20th century.