Ciardelli Showcases Play
Brooke Ciardelli’s adaptation of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge had its first public airing last Sunday.
The staged reading at The Public Theater in New York is far from where it was initially slated to be performed, at Northern Stage.
Ciardelli parted ways last fall with the White River Junction theater company she founded in 1997. At the time, she said it was possible that A View from the Bridge would still open in the Briggs Opera House at the end of Northern Stage’s schedule.
But a clause in the contract she signed with Northern Stage said the company would not produce the play, Ciardelli said.
“It was not my choice that the show not happen here,” she said in a phone interview this week.
Messages left for Northern Stage Executive Director Russell Maitland were not returned.
With the blessing of the Arthur Miller Trust, which controls the legendary playwright’s work, Ciardelli has changed the ethnicity of the play’s characters from Italian-American to Arab-American Muslim. View traces the story of of an immigrant family dealing with assimilation into mainstream American culture and the concurrent loss of traditional mores. The main tension revolves around “a father figure worrying about the growing up of a young girl,” Ciardelli said, adding that it’s a universal theme.
“Although the countries and cultures have changed, the issues surrounding immigration are still at the heart of American politics,” she said. Ideally, a production of the play will reach the American cities with the largest Muslim populations, where families are dealing with the issues the play examines, Ciardelli said.
“The best thing this play could do is get people talking about this,” she said.
The staged reading last weekend featured a full cast of Arab-American actors. Ciardelli’s version of the play translated lines of text into Arabic. Dawood Yasin, the Muslim life adviser at Dartmouth College, has served as a cultural adviser.
The reading was a way to get the play seen by producers, and there are theaters considering whether to produce the play, Ciardelli said.
“There’s no doubt that there will be a production,” Ciardelli said. “It’s a matter of the right path and what’s the right theater for that to happen in.”
Alex Hanson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3219.