Arthur Miller understood that close collaboration among the playwright, director, set designer, composer, actors, and producers significantly affects the critical reception of a play. The unique production histories of both Salesman and Crucible demonstrate how the complicated collaborative process of writing, producing and performing has both advantages and pitfalls. Miller wrote Salesman and Crucible in different creative conditions. The original Broadway production of Salesman was a result of an almost perfect collaboration among Arthur Miller, director Elia Kazan, set designer Jo Mielziner, and composer Alex North – a collaboration that was unique in the late 1940s. At the time that Miller wrote Salesman in 1948, Elia Kazan and Jo Mielziner were among the most influential directors and set designers in the American theatre. Kazin and Mielziner had just triumphed in 1947 with the production of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, a play that Miller saw with Kazan, and he fully admitted it gave him license to speak ‘full throat’1 in his artistic expression. Kazan had also directed Miller’s first Broadway hit, All My Sons, in 1947 and they had established a close professional and personal relationship. When Kazan read the original script of Salesman, he was so moved and excited that he insisted on directing it for the next season.
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