Fall mainstage examines hardships of immigration

Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge” will be performed in the Umble Center for the following two weekends. The show, presented by the Goshen College Theater department, will showcase theater students’ talents. The play has six different show times during two weekends. On Friday and Saturday of both weeks, the show will start at 8 p.m. On the two Sundays, the show will start at 3 p.m. and this Sunday’s show will feature an ASL translation.

“A View from the Bridge” is one of Arthur Miller’s less recognized works. Written in 1955, the play is classified as a modern tragedy and emphasizes the power of communities. While the play deals  with some controversial issues such as immigration—two characters in the play are new Italian immigrants—Tamera Izlar, director of this production, explains that the show is about more than just that: “The play really is about power, loyalty, betrayal and how far a person will go to get what they want.”

The play takes place in Red Hook, a mostly Italian New York neighborhood right on the waterfront near the Brooklyn Bridge. It follows the life of a small family made up of Eddie, a longshoreman, his wife Beatrice and their orphaned niece Catherine. The play starts out when Beatrice’s cousins from Sicily, Italy, arrive in the United States illegally to look for a better life. The two brothers, Marco and Rodolpho, arrive in the country and stay at their cousin’s house while they get situated in the new culture.

All the students in the cast have been hard at work. “For each minute of show time that you see onstage, there is at least an hour of rehearsal time,” said Izlar. The rehearsals for this play included accent and dialect coaching from Paul Meier. He is well known in acting circles, having been a dialect coach for many feature films and close to 200 plays and musicals in more than a dozen countries. Meier helped the student actors work on Brooklyn and Italian accents that help create realistic characters. The rehearsals also included help from stage combat choreographer Dawn Parvu.

On Monday at 7 p.m. there will be a discussion session in the Umble Theater. The session is called “A Bridge between Peace, Justice, Religion, and Community” and will feature conversation with a panel of professionals in different fields such as Bob Yoder, campus pastor; Ervin Beck, English professor; Regina Stoltzfus, peace, justice & conflict studies professor and Jamie Izlar, Juris Doctor. “This is one of those plays that will encourage discussion,” Izlar said. The discussion session is open for anyone, will be free to attend and there will be light refreshments.

“What I like about this play is that it does not give a clear answer; it does not tell you what or how you should think. Arthur Miller is very good at providing background character information and supporting that,” said Izlar.

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Written by Jair Hernandez

I am a Senior Public Relations major at Goshen College.

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