The Guthrie Theatre of Minneapolis will host the premiere production of a new Arthur Miller play, Resurrection Blues, in September.
David Esbjornson, who helmed Miller's The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, will direct the new work, characterized as a satiric comedy. Blues will be Miller's first new play since Mr. Peter's Connections bowed at Off-Broadway's Signature Theatre a couple seasons back. Connections ran at the Guthrie in 1999.
(Though Mt. Morgan had its New York debut after Mr. Peter's Connections, the former play was penned years before the latter.)
Resurrection Blues is "a response to the politics of money and economics," Esbjornson told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I guess it questions whether we're beyond salvation."
Esbjornson and James Houghton, the artistic director of the Signature, were instrumental is guiding Miller to the Guthrie. Esbjornson has directed at the Minnesota theatre, most recently Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee, another towering playwright with whom the director has a steady relationship. (Esbjornson is currently piloting Albee's The Goat on Broadway.) And Houghton is the Guthrie's artistic adviser. Previously, when speaking about the new play, Miller had said, "I have to decide where to do it first, away from the big time. [New York] is not an atmosphere conducive to creation. The tension is high because there's so much money resting on a poor little play."
Esbjornson told the Pioneer Press that Resurrection Blues would probably be considered for a New York berth, either on or Off-Broadway, following the Guthrie bow.
No casting has been announced and the remainder of the Guthrie 2002-03 season will not be announced until mid-March.
A lavish new staging of Miller's The Crucible is currently on Broadway, and the playwright's The Man Who Had All the Luck is due on the Street later this spring. Liam Neeson stars in the former, Chris O'Donnell in the latter.
—By Robert Simonson