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Updated 5:00 PM March 16, 2007




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Arthur Miller expert to share thoughts on the language of theatre

In the world of the theatre a suitcase is not just a prop. It also can be a symbol of universal emotions, says Enoch Brater, the Kenneth T. Rowe Collegiate Professor of Dramatic Literature and professor of English and Theatre.
(Photo by Lin Jones, U-M Photo Services)

The suitcase carried by Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's renowned play "Death of a Salesman" is a symbol of arrivals and departures, the sense of impermanence and dislocation that can touch us all, Brater says.

"This is how the theatre uses its own language to make us recognize something about ourselves."

Brater, recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on contemporary drama and an expert on Arthur Miller, will discuss the language of the theatre at 3:10 p.m. March 29 in the Founders Room of the Alumni Center, when he delivers the Kenneth T. Rowe Collegiate Professorship Inaugural Lecture, entitled "Drama Matters: Suitcases, Sand and Dry Goods."

The lecture is given in conjunction with the University symposium, "Global Miller," March 29- April 1, examining Miller's influence, impact and legacy on international theatre. The symposium, organized by Brater, is part of the celebration of the opening on March 29 of the Arthur Miller Theatre in the Walgreen Drama Center on North Campus.

Brater, who this month is publishing his third book on one of U-M's most famous alumni, "Arthur Miller's Global Theater," also is serving on the advisory committee for the only theater to bear the playwright's name.

Brater's collegiate professorship is named in honor of Rowe, who was an early mentor to Miller when he was a student at the University in the 1930s.

"Professor Rowe represented something very important in the history of Michigan," Brater says. "It was in his playwriting class that Miller first became interested in the discipline."

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