The University Record, June 19, 2000

Symposium will celebrate Arthur Miller’s life, works

By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services

The University will host the Arthur Miller International Symposium, “Arthur Miller’s America: Theater and Culture in a Century of Change,” Oct. 26–29, in honor of Miller’s 85th birthday. The noted playwright and alumnus (’38) will deliver the keynote address Oct. 26.

Kicking off a year of theater at U-M, the celebration will present a variety of guests, scholars, commentators, critics, practitioners and panel participants from around the world, including Buenos Aires, Tel Aviv and London. Mel Gussow of the New York Times will be part of a panel discussing “Miller and the American Theater” Oct. 28. Gussow’s writing focuses primarily on theater in London and New York, and he has written extensively on major playwrights on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Museum of Art will present a photographic exhibit of work by professional photographer Inge Morath, who also happens to be Miller’s wife. The exhibition, “Arthur Miller at Work,” will include material from her years as a “Magnum” photographer with some photos from the set of The Misfits, as well as many shots of Miller over the years. Though this material has been shown in Barcelona and Paris, this will be the first showing of Morath’s work on this subject in the United States.

Among the activities and events scheduled during the celebration will be a presentation by composer William Bolcom discussing the problems of transforming Miller’s A View from the Bridge into an opera. The Hatcher and Bentley libraries will mount exhibitions illustrating Miller’s years at the University and those immediately after his graduation. Miller’s works that have been adapted for film will be shown before and after the symposium. The Department of Theatre and Drama will stage A View from the Bridge during the symposium at a special performance on Oct. 27. The play also will be presented Oct. 5–8 and 12–15 in the Trueblood Theatre.

English Prof. Enoch Brater, the symposium’s organizer, says Miller’s works and life explored political events, social justice and progressive causes. “Miller has played an enviable role as public intellectual. He has been and continues to be the social consciousness of the America of his times,” says Brater, who also is professor of theatre.

The Arthur Miller Symposium is supported by the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Hopwood Awards, the School of Music, the Department of English, the Department of Theatre and Drama, the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, the LS&A Dean’s Office, the University Library, the Museum of Art, the School of Education through the “Teachers as Scholars” program and the Alumni Association.

For more information about the symposium, contact Brater, (734) 764-6330; by fax, (734) 763-3128; or by e-mail sent to