Sections

Water under the ‘Bridge’: Tragic Arthur Miller play performed on a floating stage

A view from the barge: A new production of Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge” will take place in the floating, intimate confines of the Waterfront Barge Museum, in the Red Hook neighborhood where the play is set, starting on May 31.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Call it “A View From the Barge.”

A tragic play about a Red Hook dock worker will get a new production next week, performed on boat just a few blocks from its setting. Arthur Miller’s 1955 classic “A View from the Bridge” will start a nine-performance run at the Waterfront Barge Museum floating just off Red Hook on May 31. Miller wrote the play six decades ago, but its discussion of immigration and xenophobia have clear parallels for modern audiences, said the show’s director.

“It is political in that you’re looking at how a society reacts to strangers, to the economic demands of people coming in illegally and getting jobs,” said Alex Dmitriev, from the Brave New World Repertory Theatre. “All this is inherent in the words and the texts and the behavior of the characters — you’re seeing the shape of the society that these people live in by their behavior.”

The play focuses on married longshoreman Eddie Carbone, who grapples with his attraction to his 17-year-old niece Catherine. When his cousin, an illegal Italian immigrant named Rodolpho, also falls in love with her, Eddie lashes out, reporting Rodolpho and his brother to immigration agents, and sealing his own tragic fate.

Dmitriev said that Miller writes Eddie’s character in a way that helps audience members see the societal context that leads him to fear and ostracize immigrants, just like many Trump voters do today.

“You’ve got millions of decent people around this country who are hardworking and love their family and have their religion, but they voted for Trump. They react as they were raised and as they feel threatened,” he said. “It’s the same thing with Eddie: he’s a hardworking guy, he sacrificed to raise his niece, he has dreams for her. He makes choices with the information he has been given — whether it’s interpreted correctly or incorrectly — which leads him to his destiny.”

The unique stage of the Waterfront Barge Museum helps to reinforce the themes of the play, said Dmitriev, forcing audience members to confront the uncomfortable talk about immigration happening just a few feet away.

“It just seemed like a wonderfully appropriate place for the story,” he said. “This is a very tight space; it’s much more intimate. There’s nowhere to hide — for the actor or the audience.”

“A View from the Bridge” at the Waterfront Barge Museum (290 Conover St. between Reed Street and the water in Red Hook, www.waterfrontmuseum.org). May 31 and June 1 at 8 pm; then Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm through June 24. $25 ($18 seniors and students).

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 5:44 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your community:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!