Just weeks after receiving a special Tony Award for lifetime achievement, playwright Arthur Miller has been named the winner of the prestigious Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for his impact on American arts.
Established six years ago in memory of the deceased actress siblings, the Gish Prize recognizes outstanding talent in all artistic fields. Past winners include author Isabel Allende, singer/songwriter Bob Dylan and director Ingmar Bergman. Miller will receive a silver medallion and about $200,000 at a ceremony in October.
Miller is widely recognized as one of the greatest American playwrights of the century. Besides the Pulitzer Prize-winning Salesman, he also wrote A View From the Bridge and The Crucible, the controversial, metaphorical play on the Red scare which landed him in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee.
With Death of a Salesman a Tony-winning Broadway smash, and last season's The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, the past two seasons have seen a revival of interest in Miller's ouevre. The Roundabout produced a 1997 revival of A View from a Bridge, and then Off-Broadway's Signature Theatre dedicated an entire season to Miller's work -- including productions of The American Clock, The Last Yankee, I Can't Remember Anything, and the world premiere of Mr. Peter's Connection. In August, The Williamstown Theatre Festival will produce a revival of The Price, directed by James Naughton.
-- By Sean McGrath