Theatre group takes on gritty Arthur Miller drama

Timely themes explored in 1950s masterwork

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Salt Spring Community Theatre will showcase one of the most influential American playwrights of all time for its fall production, with a presentation of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge opening Friday, Nov. 2 at Mahon Hall. 

Miller’s groundbreaking play from the 1950s is set in an Italian-American neighbourhood on the waterfront near the Brooklyn Bridge. The characters are members of a working-class family, and their illegal immigrant relatives who are trying to reach a better life. This simple framework is the basis for a powerful story about human actions and motivations that has as much relevance today as when it was first staged on Broadway and in London’s West End during the mid 1950s.

“Arthur Miller is sort of the champion of American literature from a theatre perspective. Everyone always talks about Death of a Salesman and All My Sons, but I think this play is just as good, if not better,” said director Damian Inwood.

“It has all the emotional touch points — love, lust, jealousy, revenge. It’s got a lot of meat to it and the actors are having a lot of fun with it.”

With connection to topical themes from the illegal immigrant crisis in the United States to #MeToo and the reckoning with systemic sexual assault, there is plenty to tie in for modern audiences. The most recent stagings in London and New York earned best revival, director and actor awards.

SSCT will be offering audience talk-backs on some nights after the show for people who want more time to chew on the challenging material.

“It will be fascinating to see how people react to it,” Inwood said.

A View from the Bridge runs Nov. 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. plus a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 4.

For more on this story, see the Oct. 24, 2018 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.

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