Looking Back at ‘After the Fall’

Arthur Miller (left) and director Elia Kazan (right), backstage with actors Barbara Loden and Jason Robards

As a part of a series on great American plays, Broadway World presents some interesting facts about After the Fall, Arthur Miller’s controversial play which explored aspects of his personal life, including his marriage to Marilyn. (You can read further posts about the play and its history here.)

After the Fall premiered on Broadway in 1964. The production was directed by Elia Kazan, and starred Barbara Loden as Maggie and Jason Robards Jr. as Quentin. Barbara Loden won the 1964 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play, and Jason Robards was nominated for the 1964 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.

The play is based off of Miller’s recent divorce from Marilyn Monroe, and is considered to be one of Miller’s least popular plays with critics. The plot is non-linear and takes on surrealist elements.

After the Fall was revived Off-Broadway in 1984. It was directed by John Tillinger, and starred Frank Langella and Dianne Wiest.

The play was revived on Broadway in 2004 by Roundabout Theatre Company. It was directed by Michael Mayer, and starred Peter Krause and Carla Gugino. The production was nominated for the 2005 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design of a Play.”

Frank Langella Remembers Marilyn

Actor Frank Langella – perhaps best-known for his roles in Dracula (1979) and Frost-Nixon (2008) has written a memoir, Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them, which includes a story of an inspiring boyhood encounter with Marilyn Monroe:

“She lifted one of her gloved hands, felt for the necklace, and with the other reached for the side of her coat, pushing it back to reveal still more of her. My pulse raced faster. She turned briefly to her right, saw me standing there, smiled like a sunbeam, and said in a soft whisper:


Then she glided up some steps into a building and flashes of light obliterated her from my sight. I returned to the Port Authority and sat trembling on my bus as it transported me back home.”