Thoughts on the Resurrection

As difficult as it is, the old saying is true – the show must go on, and for me personally it’s been an important part of the healing process to get back to the work of exploring this challenging and beautiful script. Rehearsals have been going very well this week, and we’re starting to get a sense of what this play needs to be and what we need to be working on over the next four weeks.

I’m working on the Director’s Note for the program now, trying to find a way to articulate the important place that Resurrection Blues has in Arthur Miller’s body of work, and the importance that this story has for me personally.

Since I first found this play at the library downtown, I felt strongly that it needed to begin our Arthur Miller Season. The style of the writing is in some ways very recognizably Miller – the rhythms and language share the technical beauty and emotional resonance of his most popular works, and the ideas are huge and complicated, leaving audiences with a lot to talk about and process on the way home. In many ways, though, this is a very different kind of play from what we traditionally think of as an Arthur Miller play – it is, most obviously, a comedy, and a very funny one, that satirizes politics, religion and media with no punches pulled. It is also a very contemporary play, written in 2002 and set firmly in the present.

What fascinated me the most, though, is that this play is, in my, mind, a mature and reverent exploration of faith from an artist who wrestled with a sense of bitterness towards religion in many of his plays. Despite all the humor (much of which comes in the form of blasphemy), this is a story of our common cultural search for a true and deep sense of the divine and a powerful personal relationship with a faith that feels more universal than any specific religion.

Now more than ever, this is a play that I’m grateful to have the opportunity to explore, for myself and for Arthur Miller fans as we begin the season.

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