Academic journal article The Arthur Miller Journal

Broken Glass

Academic journal article The Arthur Miller Journal

Broken Glass

Article excerpt

Broken Glass

Redtwist Theatre

Chicago, IL

14 October-18 November 2012

Directed by Michael Colucci & Jan Ellen Graves

Broken Glass, by Arthur Miller, premiered on Broadway at the Booth Theater and ran 73 performances from 24 April to 26 June 1994. It starred Amy Irving, David Dukes, and Ron Rifkin. LA Theatre Works produced an audio version in 1997 with Jo Beth Williams and Linda Purl, but this late play of Miller's is not his most frequently produced.

The Redtwist Theatre is in the Bryn Mawr area of Chicago, about a block from Lake Michigan and the beach. It started as the Actors Workshop Theater and was an itinerant company in 1994. They moved to their current location in 2002 and changed their name to Redtwist in 2008. It is a forty-seat black box theater in a long narrow storefront about eight seats wide. For this production it was decided to place the action in the middle of this space, with twenty seats on either side. Directed by husband and wife team, Michael Colucci and Jan Ellen Graves, they stage the play so that its two basic scenes can be seen effectively from either side of the theater. Set designer Joe Schermoly and lighting designer Christopher Burpee do their jobs well. It's realism in a hospital and in an office, and it works.

Redtwist mounted Broken Glass with the same cast back in 2004, and this is essentially the same production. It is about the physical dysfunction that occurs in a woman when she is overtaken by traumatic current events. Sylvia Gellburg has essentially had a physical breakdown. She cannot walk, and she and we do not understand why. Her husband Phillip is also in denial, and cannot fully accept her apparent helplessness to her condition. Any conversation even touching on her condition incites Neal Grofman, playing Phillip Gellburg, to anger. Sylvia's doctor, Harry Hyman, played by the co-director Michael Colucci, is concerned that the condition is emotionally induced. She does not see this, but she is also very concerned with the headlines from Europe about Jewish persecution. …

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