“My first attempt at a play, rather inevitably, had been about industrial action and a father and his two sons, the most autobiographical dramatic work I would ever write.” - Arthur Miller
Following the critically acclaimed, sell-out world premiere at The Old Red Lion Theatre, No Villain transfers to Trafalgar Studios 2 this summer. Over six days during spring break 1936 at the University of Michigan, a twenty year old college sophomore wrote his first play, No Villain.
His aim was to win the prestigious Avery Hopwood award and, more importantly, the $250 prize he needed in order to return to college the following year. Miller won the award, and the subsequent one, but the play was never produced - until now.
Several of our alumni are involved in the production; Sean Turner (the director), Edwina Allen (the Stage Manager), Michael Lyle and George Turvey. Turvey graduated from ALRA in 2007 whilst Turner and Lyle both graduated in 2008. Allen is a recent alumna of our Stage Management and Technical Theatre course, graduating the course just last year.
No Villain tells the story of a garment industry strike that sets a son against his factory proprietor father. Here, Miller explores the Marxist theory that would see him hauled before the House Un-American Activities Committee years later.
This remarkable debut play gives us a tantalising glimpse of Miller’s early life, the seeding of his political values and the beginning of his extraordinary career.
You can read Sean Turner's interview about his experience directing No Villain here.