Arthur Miller’s gritty Greek tragedy

Cranbrook Community Theatre opens season with ‘View From The Bridge’

Cranbrook Community Theatre opens its season with the dark, gritty lives of tenement dwelling longshoremen in the 1950s.

Audiences will see significant parallels to today, in Arthur Miller’s “View From The Bridge,” which shines a light on illegal immigration — the more things change, the more they stay the same. In this case, however, it is Italian people who are making their way to America under the cover of darkness.

Longtime local director Paul Kershaw has taken Miller’s script, and has transformed the stage and theatre space of the Studio Stage Door to bring the audience right into the streets of mid-century Redhook, Brooklyn, New York.

“I think it’s a wonderful piece of art,” Director Kershaw said, following a recent rehearsal. “It’s almost Greek in its style. Arthur Miller has given his actors plenty of things to chew on in their character development.”

Miller’s script originated out of a collaboration with filmmaker Elia Kazan on a project addressing corruption in the tough world of the New York docks. Kazan later went on to direct “On The Waterfront,” while Miller created “View From The Bridge,” a story of an Italian-American longshoreman who becomes jealously fixated on his niece, recounted by an Italian American lawyer — Alfieri — the narrator who compares himself to a lawyer in Caesar’s time, powerless to watch as the events of history run their bloody course.

“Hopefully the audience is going to leave the theatre feeling emotionally drained,” Kershaw said. “We have backstage people who’ve been to several rehearsals and still end up in tears at the end.”

Kershaw had great words of praise for his cast.

“Every actor, whether in large roles or small, has been doing a great job.”

“A View From The Bridge,” by Arthur Miller, directed by Paul Kershaw, opens Saturday, October 28, at the Key City Theatre in Cranbrook. It runs Sunday, Oct. 29, then November 1 through 4, and Nov. 8 through 11. All shows are at 7:30 pm. except Sunday, Oct. 29, which is a 2 pm matinee.

The play features Dave Prinn, Michelle McCue, Jelena Jensen, Trevor Lundy, Carter Gulseth, Barry Borgstrom, David Booth, Landon Elliott, Louis Saule, Michael Prestwich, Jack Lindquist, Sean Cloarec, Tace Bradwell and Cedar Gross.

Also in the upcoming CCT season are the musical “The Producers,” Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite,” and Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys.”

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