Art is cyclical.
Stories, themes and ideas that apply to the time in which they were written often become important again, and apply to a new era in the future.
Arthur Miller tapped into the tensions of the Cold War 1970s in his espionage …
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WHAT: “The Archbishop’s Ceiling”
WHERE: Arvada Center
6901 Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada
WHEN: March 24-April 19
Tuesday-Saturday — 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday — 1 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday — 2 p.m.,
Pre-show and moderated talk-back with each performance
INFORMATION: 720-898-7200 or www.arvadacenter.org
Arthur Miller tapped into the tensions of the Cold War 1970s in his espionage drama "The Archbishop's Ceiling," but his story of spying on artists and governmental secrets feels as prescient today as it did when it was written.
"The Archbishop's Ceiling" is playing at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., March 24 through April 19. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, 1 p.m. Wednesday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Attendees can come early for a short talk before the performance and/or stay for a moderated talk-back conversation after the performance. Prologue discussions begin 30 minutes before curtain time in the theater and last 15 to 20 minutes.
"It's topical and relevant to right now, and I think it will probably still be relevant in 50 years," said director Brett Aune. "Miller is a little vague about the time and place the story takes place in, and so we need to make it accessible to the audience at large."
The entire show takes place in the room of a former archbishop's Eastern European palace and is loosely based on Miller's experiences visiting Czechoslovakia in 1967.
Sigmund (Michael Morgan) has written a manuscript over the past five years and the document embarrasses the government — to the point they have taken it from him. In his effort to find some kind of artistic and political validation, he enlists the help of Marcus (William Hahn) and Maya (Heather Lacy) — both former artists, now struggling to make a living under the ever-watchful eye of the government.
The cast is rounded out by Irina (Adrian Egolf) — a kind of substitute for Miller - and Adrian (Rodney Lizcano).
"The paranoia about being listened to can sometimes be worse than actually being listened to," Hahn said.
"There's a great dynamic at play, because all these characters know each other, but since someone could always be listening, you have to wonder — is what these characters are saying just what they want someone to hear?" Morgan added.
As artists themselves, the actors are all familiar with the challenges that accompany trying to make a living and how that affects the choices individuals make.
"As an artist you have to do what you have to do when it comes to paying the bills, and there are times when you do have a lack of options," Lacy said.
With all the correlations to contemporary society, from the NSA to Edward Snowden and government overreach, the show remains relentlessly probing and fascinating in a way that Miller does best.
"I want the conversations people have on the way to the car to be about the characters in the play and modern-day issues," Aune said. "Arthur Miller is inescapable, and this is his shot at a thriller."
For more information call 720-898-7200 or visit www.arvadacenter.org.
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