The Creation of the World and Other Business
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The Creation of the World and Other Business is a play by Arthur Miller.
A parable inspired by the Book of Genesis in the Bible, it explores the classic theme of good versus evil by way of a comedic retelling of the story of the creation of man (and woman). Miller's God is powerful but lacks wisdom. He needs Adam and Eve to procreate, but doesn't know how to entice them into starting the process. Onto the scene comes Lucifer, who believes the existence of evil will make sex exciting, a concept God eschews by tossing his black sheep angel into hell.
Miller's first work since The Price five years earlier, Creation stumbled along during rehearsals. Original director Harold Clurman and most of the cast, including Barbara Harris and Hal Holbrook, were replaced, and the playwright rewrote most of what was material possibly better suited for Neil Simon than the man responsible for dramatic classics like Death of a Salesman.
After 21 previews, the Broadway production, directed by Gerald Freedman, opened on November 30, 1972 at the Shubert Theatre, where it ran for 20 performances. The cast included Stephen Elliott as God, Bob Dishy as Adam, Zoe Caldwell as Eve, George Grizzard as Lucifer, and Mark Lamos as Abel.
In 1973 Tangent Theatre, an amateur company from Walsall, won the rights to perform the play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It was a critical success and Don Nunes, the Director accepted the award for best production that year from Esther Rantzen. Tangent Theatre grew out of the West Midlands College of Education Theatre Society and performed all over Britain and Europe between 1969 and 1974.
In 2004, Citizens of the Universe's production of Creation of the World and Other Business was banned from playing at Greenville Technical College.
The play was performed in the early seventies by Walsall based Tangent Theatre at the Edinburgh Festival where the production won a prize presented by Esther Rantzen.