After the Fall (play)

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After the Fall is a play by the American dramatist Arthur Miller. The original performance opened in New York City on January 23, 1964, directed by Elia Kazan and starring Barbara Loden and Jason Robards, Jr., along with Ralph Meeker[1] and an early appearance by Faye Dunaway. Kazan also collaborated with Miller on the script. It is one of Miller's most personal plays, a thinly veiled personal critique centered on Miller's recently failed marriage to Marilyn Monroe.

According to Sarah Bradford in her biography America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, “Jackie, who had admired Arthur Miller enough to seat him at her table at the Malraux dinner, turned on him for his betrayal of Marilyn in his play After the Fall, which opened in New York on January 23, 1964. For [Jackie Kennedy] loyalty was the ultimate test of character, and in portraying Marilyn as a self-destructive slut whom he had abandoned for her own good, Miller had dismally failed it.”

The plot takes place inside the mind of Quentin, a New York Jewish intellectual who decides to reexamine his life in order to determine if he should marry his most recent love, Holga.

The play is often criticised for being too similar to Miller's actual life because Maggie's suicide is very similar to the suicide of Miller's former wife, Monroe. In fact the feelings of the protagonist, Quentin, are often believed to be Miller's own reflection about his failed marriage. Although this work remains very unpopular with critics, it is revered in the academic arena as a deep and intellectual play, albeit difficult to follow since it does not follow the conventional sequence of events found in typical works.

The play remains one of Miller's less popular works, often attributed in part to the non-linear, often surrealistic nature of the plot and setting. Indeed, all but the initial and final seconds of the play take place in the protagonist's brain, which is reflected by a set consisting of a single chair before a concentration camp guard tower, which is itself surrounded by a giant, winding ramp made up of crevices, pits, and abutments. The plot unfolds over a period of time, due to the non-linear nature of the story; characters and occurrences appear as the protagonist remembers them, and, reflecting the nature of the mind, they often disappear and their stories remain unresolved until later in the play, when they spontaneously reappear again.

Barbara Loden, Kazan's wife, who had recently attracted attention in his film Splendor in the Grass, won the 1964 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play, and Jason Robards was nominated for, but did not win, the 1964 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play.

A television production of the play was shown in 1974. It starred Faye Dunaway, Christopher Plummer, Bibi Andersson and a young Brooke Shields. [2] The original Broadway production of After the Fall by Arthur Miller opened at the ANTA Washington Square Theatre in New York on January 23, 1964 and ran for 208 performances. Arthur Miller also wrote the teleplay based upon his own original stage play. [3]


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