Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Glance At The American Clock

Wisconsin Lutheran College Stages Arthur Miller Drama

By Russ Bickerstaff
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In a completely different end of my life, I recently made a business call to an out of state stranger. Not more than a few seconds into the conversation, the out of state stranger congratulated me for having a job. Before I could respond to this, there was a dial tone. What with the economy being the way that it is, I’m fairly certain that this sort of exchange is happening quite often these days.  Difficult times make for strange social exchanges. When times get tough, people adopt a variety of ways of adapting to things. Studs Terkel captured a bit of this in his oral history Hard Times—an examination of American life during the Great Depression. Years later, Arthur Miller adapted Hard Times for the stage in a play entitled The American Clock.  Wisconsin Lutheran College will be staging a production of the drama this coming weekend.

It’s an interesting play to end a school year on . . . particularly as graduates will be exiting into a rather tenuous job market ahead. Written and modified over the course of a few years, Miller’s American Clock plays out in a series of brief vignettes. With some 24 characters represented in the play, it’s a unique opportunity to give quite a few students stage time. The spectrum of roles Miller presents here give an interesting perspective on the contemporary financial world as reflected in young, contemporary actors portraying characters from the reasonably distant past. This could be really interesting.

Wisconsin Lutheran College’s production of The American Clock runs April 23rd through May 1st at the Raabe Theatre on 8815 West Wisconsin Avenue. 

 

 

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