Signature Stories: Volume 14 - Page 14

MILLER SPARES NO ONE BUT ALSO WRITES WITH A FINE HUMAN POINT OF VIEW THAT REALLY DIGS DEEP TO REVEAL THE HUMANITY OF ALL THE CHARACTERS IN THIS HORRIFIC SITUATION. S: What attracted you to Incident at Vichy? MW: There are many things that draw me to Incident at Vichy. S: How do you approach this kind of play, one that deals with such a dark period in history? One is the fact that it was a work that was deeply personal and MW: It fascinates me that Miller is considered the “political” urgent to Arthur Miller when he wrote the play. I think to work playwright among the giants of the twentieth century and on a play by Arthur Miller that is not known to audiences – they Tennessee Williams was always considered the playwright of the may have heard of it, perhaps read it, or glimpsed at an early- personal, the sensual, of desire. What’s amazing and fun for me, seventies television production, but have not experienced it having worked on so many Williams’ plays, is always to find the vitally in a recent production – it’s a really exciting opportunity. political in Williams’ personal and then to always see the Also, I’m drawn to the roles he created in the play. This drama, immense personal humanity in Arthur Miller’s plays. I don’t think unlike maybe some of Miller’s other plays, is truly an ensemble they’re agitprop polemics at all. In The Crucible, Elizabeth piece. It’s an opportunity to put together a really distinguished Proctor – having been confronted that her husband has had an company of actors playing a variety of gritty, tenacious, articulate affair, and all the things that could rip a marriage in two – looks men – most of them very young, too, most of them in their twen- at him and says, “You’re a good man, John Proctor. You’re a good ties and thirties – that are at this visceral fulcrum point in their life man.” I think Miller is asking us to really think about what defines and in the life of western civilization... And we see these men in goodness, what does goodness really mean? As a director, particular, not just the ones that are being interrogated, but also I approach this kind of play by getting deep into the characters the ones that are being charged to carry out this inquest, this and the reality of their circumstances, their psychology, their extermination of life – I find it really beautiful that Miller was able history, and finding where that dramatically crashes with the to get inside not only those who are being pressed upo