Theater: Torn Apart and Pulled Together the American Clock

by Arthur Miller

The hearth dominates American playwriting. Of the nation's foremost dramatists -- the likes of Thornton Wilder, Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams and the early Edward Albee -- only Arthur Miller has consistently reached out beyond domestic grief to comment on public life. For that aspiration, Miller has often been rebuked and advised to return to family melodrama. Probably no rejection hurt more than the fate of his The American Clock, a poignant panorama of what the 1930s did to the country's psyche; it opened on Broadway in November 1980 and lasted barely two weeks. Miller has not brought a new play there...

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