Why I Broke Down When Arthur Miller Died

“Shortly after Arthur Miller died, at the age of 89, on 10 February, 2005, I was interviewed about it on a National Public Radio show called WEEKEND AMERICA. They wanted to interview people who had seen the original production of DEATH OF A SALESMAN. In the middle of my reminiscing about that experience . . . I briefly broke down. Ever since, I’ve been trying to figure out why the death of Arthur Miller caused such personal grieving and sadness in me — and still does. . . .” 


 My essay, “Why I broke down when Arthur Miller died,” has just been published in the Arthur Miller Journal (Fall 2018 issue). The essay started as a Miller tribute I gave at The Last Frontier Theatre Conference, Valdez, Alaska, the year Arthur Miller died, 24 June 2005. The tribute (revised and never before published) was developed from the following events: Seeing the original Elia Kazan Broadway production of “Death Of A Salesman;” my first meeting with Miller when I was an “emerging playwright” at New York’s New Dramatists; working with Miller to establish the Arthur Miller Playwriting Award at Miller’s alma mater in Ann Arbor; the influence of Miller’s plays on my writing; being inspired by Miller’s activism.