Archive for Playwrights

Arthur Miller

Posted in Central Cemetery (CT) with tags , , on May 31, 2016 by Cade

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October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005

Perhaps one of the most influential and prolific playwrights in American history, Arthur Miller explored themes such as family relationships, personal legacy and social responsibility in his plays – all set against the backdrop of the individual vs. society at-large. The masterpieces within his body of work look like a one-man anthology of the greatest American Dramas ever written:

Death of a Salesman
All My Sons
A View from the Bridge
The Crucible

Miller’s ability to convey the day-to-day in such stark and oftentimes bleak perfection, set a definitive tone for his impact on the American stage/screen. He drew on real life scenarios (see the anti-Communist investigation of the 1950’s and its direct impact on The Crucible), and deep realism to complete more than 30 plays. In addition to his obvious work in theatre, he also wrote screenplays for a handful of movies. His most notable not-previously-a-play screenplay was for 1961’s The Misfits, starring his then wife, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift and Clark Gable which was based on a novella he had written in 1957. In all, Miller wrote for more than 7 decades. In 2005, at the age of 89, Arthur Miller died of heart failure in hospice care at his home. He was buried alongside his third wife, photgrapher Inge Morath, in the small town of Roxbury, CT, where he had lived for nearly half a century.

Burial

Roxbury Central Cemetery – Roxbury, CT

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Specific Location

Enter the sparsely-populated NEW section of the cemetery – just about 1/4 mile north on 67 from the old cemetery – and take the first right. Stop immediately and Arthur’s grave is on your left, about 3 rows in, behind an Irish Cross marker and a marker with the name COLE on it.

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William Inge

Posted in Mt. Hope Cemetery with tags , , on July 16, 2013 by Cade

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May 3, 1913 – June 10, 1973

William Motter Inge was a Pulitzer and Academy award-winning playwright and novelist. Born in the heart of small-town America – Independence, Kansas – Inge’s depictions of solitude, thwarted ambition and sexuality all played starkly against the backdrop of classic Americana. As a drama critic in St. Louis, Inge was encouraged to write by Tennessee Williams. His biggest stage successes, Picnic, Bus Stop, Come Back, Little Sheba and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs earned multiple Tony nominations as well as Oscar nods and the aforementioned Pulitzer (for Picnic). Inge also won an Oscar for writing the Elia Kazan-directed film, Splendor in the Grass. All of his major plays were adapted to film. The film version of Bus Stop starred Marilyn Monroe and also spawned a short-lived television series. Inge’s later plays were not as well received and he struggled with depression.  He was a closeted homosexual and many of his characters dealt with the subject either under the surface or overtly.  His own demons caught up with him and William Inge committed suicide in 1973 at the age of 60.

Burial

Mt. Hope Cemetery – Independence, KS

Specific Location

At the southern end of the cemetery, the large INGE family stone is easy to spot.

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Tennessee Williams

Posted in Calvary Cemetery (MO) with tags , , on March 20, 2013 by Cade

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March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983

Thomas Lanier Williams was an American writer who is primarily known for his plays The Glass Menagerie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire, among others. After a staggeringly successful run that saw at least 10 of his plays produced on Broadway, his career and personal life started a steady downward spiral.  Following the death of his long-time partner, Williams struggled with depression and addiction to alcohol and narcotics.  Though he continued to write throughout his life, his style mirrored his mood and his later work was never as well-received as his early work.  Tennessee Williams died in a New York hotel after choking to death on the lid of a bottle of eye drops.  Drugs may have been involved. He was 71.

Burial

Calvary Cemetery – St. Louis, MO

Specific Location

Section 15A; Get a map at the office or online, Section 15 is made up of 3 small sections, Tennessee Williams is buried near the road in the northwest corner of the western section.

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Eugene O’Neill

Posted in Forest Hills Cemetery with tags , , on February 24, 2013 by Cade

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October 16, 1888 – November 27, 1953

American playwright Eugene O’Neill was literally born on Broadway – the Bartlett Hotel, to be precise – and found a figurative home there for his entire life churning out more than 30 full-length plays including the classics The Iceman ComethA Long Day’s Journey Into NightA Moon for the Misbegotten and Mourning Becomes Electra.

O’Neill won many awards for his works, including several Pulitzers and a Nobel Prize for Literature. As anyone who has seen any of his plays would guess, he suffered from depression and alcoholism for a good chunk of his life.  But, he used the pain and experiences to create some really freakin’ great stories. He died in another hotel, this time in Boston at 65 years old.

Burial

Forest Hills Cemetery – Boston, MA

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Specific Location

Section 8, between Chestnut Ave and Betony Path, tucked in a small clump of trees

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