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An Interview with Arthur Miller

“I generally work because I am struck by something that someone has said. Playwriting is an oral art; it’s not an art of a writer expecting to be read but a writer expecting to be heard. And so I think that if I hear a character speaking, either one I’ve invented or one I’ve confronted, it starts a process of creating which I can’t control or even describe properly. If I could describe it I probably wouldn’t do it.”

Tableau Vivant, Part III: Dear Old Bookcase

* Gina Balibrera *

GAYEV: “‘Dear old bookcase! Wonderful old bookcase! I rejoice in your existence. For a hundred years now you have borne the shining ideals of goodness and justice, a hundred years have not dimmed your silent summons to useful labor. To generations of our family (almost in tears) you have offered courage, a belief in a better future, you have instructed us in ideals of goodness and social awareness….’


Tableau Vivant, Part II: Leftovers

* Gina Balibrera *

A wild idea occurred to me as I made my way through Chekhov’s plays this spring. If I asked nicely, would my friends agree to stage some modern tableaux vivants from Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard? I had been thinking about how silence and stillness work in these plays, and how humor and misunderstanding creep into moments of deliberate pause in these plays. I wanted to study these moments in the paused, familiar faces of my friends in the roles of Chekhov’s most familiar characters. This is the sort of idea that appears lucid in a dream, that most sensible people dismiss after waking.

Fall 1998 Cover

MQR 37:4 | Fall 1998

This special issue pays tribute to a University of Michigan alumnus. In advance of the 50th anniversary (in February of 1999) of his most famous play, Death of a Salesman, this 300+ page issue illuminates Miller’s life and work from a variety of perspectives.