arts

Triad Stage Presents Arthur Miller’s “The Price”

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Emily Cramton
  Staff Writer

 

From the tail end of January through the majority of February, the Pyrle Theater in downtown Greensboro will feature Arthur Miller’s play “The Price”. As a celebration of the play’s 50th anniversary, Triad Stage is putting on a production of the play that the Wall Street Journal calls “the best thing Miller ever wrote.”

Many see Arthur Miller as one of the greatest American playwrights, as some of his plays, including the well-known work “Death of a Salesman”, are considered to be on the short list of  best American plays in the 20th century. He was a major public figure in the 1950s, as he received a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was even married to Marilyn Monroe for a time.

Nominated for two Tony awards, “The Price” premiered on Broadway in 1968 to a receptive audience. The play revolves around the nuances of family dynamics and the price of one’s decisions, particularly at the expense of family.

Brothers Victor and Walter Franz have been estranged for over fifteen years. After their father dies, his old brownstone is set to be torn down. Though he can’t get in touch with his brother, Victor arranges for an appraiser to place an offer on their father’s old furniture. When Victor and the appraiser, Gregory Solomon, agree on a fair price at the brownstone home, Walter walks into the room. What follows is a retelling of the past, bringing to light the decisions the two brothers made after their father lost everything financially.

Christopher Gerson plays Victor, a police sergeant. The character of Victor is loosely based on playwright Miller’s childhood friend, as Victor echoes his intellect, career, and post-retirement aspirations. Gerson is making his Triad Stage debut in this role and has experience in off-Broadway and regional plays as well as on-screen. Victor’s wife, Esther, is played by New York City based actress Dina Ann Comolli, who has collaborated with multiple theaters around the country.

Jim Shankman portrays Walter, a successful surgeon. Shankman has had roles on Broadway and has received awards and features at the New York Fringe Festival for his own plays. Finally, Robert Zukerman plays Gregory Solomon, the appraiser. Zukerman has two dozen Off Broadway credits and has narrated for the Library of Congress and the Air Force bases in Greenland.

When asked what inspired his works, Arthur Miller said that in one way or another, all of his plays are autobiographical. Harold Clurman, a Miller scholar, said, regarding the playwright, that “the artist creates his biography through his work even as the events of his life serve to shape him.” This play serves as a reflection of family dynamics and the long-term effects of decision-making and is, in some way, reminiscent of Miller’s own life and experiences.

Arthur Miller’s “The Price” opens at Triad Stage on January 29, three weeks before the long-awaited Broadway revival. Tickets can be purchased over the phone or on the Triad Stage website.

 

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