No Villain

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  • novillain

Over six days during spring break 1936 at the University of Michigan, a twenty year old college sophomore wrote his first play, No Villain. His aim was to win the prestigious Avery Hopwood award and, more importantly, the $250 prize he needed in order to return to college the following year. Miller won the award, and the subsequent one, but the play was never produced.

My first attempt at a play, rather inevitably, had been about industrial action and a father and his two sons, the most autobiographical dramatic work I would ever write.
– Arthur Miller

No Villain tells the story of a garment industry strike that sets a son against his factory proprietor father. Here, Miller explores the Marxist theory that would see him hauled before the House Un-American Activities Committee years later.

This remarkable debut play gives us a tantalising glimpse of Miller’s early life, the seeding of his political values and the beginning of his extraordinary career.


Abe Simon – David Bromley
Ester Simon – Nesba Vrenshaw
Grandpa Barnett – Kenneth Jay
Roth / Dawson / Man – Stephen Omer
Ben Simon – George Turvey
Arnie – Alex Forsyth
Frank – Michael Lyle
Maxine – Helen Cole


Director – Sean Turner
Design – Max Dorey
Lighting – Jack Weir
Sound – Richard Melkonian

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