Home Arts There’s something about Miller

There’s something about Miller

by The Concordian January 10, 2012
There’s something about Miller

“I could not imagine a theatre worth my time that did not want to change the world.” Who would write such a quote? Clearly someone who has a sharp passion for theatre. Someone who appreciates the art of theatre for the beauty it has to offer.
The quote is by one of the most inspiring literary geniuses of the 20th century, Arthur Miller. His plays have been acclaimed worldwide and appreciated by millions throughout the decades. This is why the Montreal Theatre Ensemble (MTE) will gather their talented actors and director Terry Donald to perform Miller’s 1947 play, All My Sons.
MTE is a theatre company that recently partnered with John Abbott College in the Stage II initiative, providing theatre students a chance to learn and work with professional actors.
“It’s a good way to connect the students with what would happen afterwards,” said Donald. “They get to observe professional actors at work, and the best way of learning is through observation.”
All My Sons will be the second Miller play MTE will perform under the Stage II initiative, the first one being A View from the Bridge in 2010, which was widely acclaimed by local critics and pushed the MTE into the top 10 theatre companies in Montreal. This year, they’re hoping to gain the same recognition for All My Sons. A cast consisting of 10 actors will take on Miller’s first famous play.
“I’m really excited for this one. It should be amazing. We really have a great team and rehearsal was fantastic,” said Christopher Moore, an actor as well as MTE’s media director. He will be taking on the role of Frank Lubey in the upcoming play.
Difficulties did arise during rehearsal despite this theatre company’s solid reputation. Moore explains that practicing a play from the great Arthur Miller is extremely hard work.
“Every single line counts and every character is fighting for something,” said Moore. “He’s a hard and brilliant writer to follow, and it is hard work, but the results are better at the end.”
The play is set in the late ’40s, not long after World War II. It’s the dramatic story of a man who sold faulty parts to the US military during the war, leading to the deaths of many pilots. This portrays Miller’s own left-sided morals and a certain dislike for the concept of the American Dream.
One extremely interesting aspect of a play set in the ’40s is the difference in wardrobe. Donald knew it would be a challenge to find the perfect outfits, but a challenge he was willing to take on nonetheless. Melanie Michaud was in charge of costumes. Interestingly enough, she made every single one from scratch, defining every single costume to strengthen every character. As Moore said, every character is focused on their own fears and wants, but it’s always geared towards a general goal.
“Every character is different, and Melanie really tries to define that as much as possible. Every costume shows us a particular trait of every character. You really won’t see any jeans in this play,” said Moore.
So put on your shiny shoes, ladies and gentlemen, and get ready to be transported into the days of the great Arthur Miller.

All My Sons runs Jan. 12 to 18 at John Abbott College’s Casgrain Theatre (21275 Lakeshore Rd., Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue). Student tickets are $20. For more information, visit mtlte.wordpress.com.

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