Elegy for a Lady

by  Arthur Miller

Short Play, Drama  /  1m, 1f

A haunting and evocative study of loss, and the pain of love and rejection, by one of the theatre's master writers.

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    1m, 1f
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

A Man enters a small boutique, hoping to find a suitable gift for his young mistress, who is facing a grave operation. Unaccountably he quickly finds himself confiding in the Proprietress, speaking without hesitation of the pain he feels at having his telephone calls to his loved one unreturned, of his fear that her condition may be fatal. The Proprietress consoles him, suggesting that perhaps she wants to spare him, that she needs to face her ordeal alone and without added burden that his involvement would impose. As they speak specters of other deep-seated concerns arise: the difference in age between the Man and his mistress; his unfulfilling marriage; the emptiness of material success without love to enrich it; the void that might have been filled had there been the possibility of children; the frustration of being unable to make a true and total commitment to another person. It is almost as though the Proprietress might be—or has become—the absent mistress. As the play ends the Man and the Proprietress embrace, two strangers grateful for the small miracle which, if only for a brief moment, has let them share closeness always hoped for but seldom achieved.

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"...absorbing and moving to watch." - What's On Stage, Read More 


Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

License details

  • Licensing available for professional groups only. Some restrictions apply.



  • Setting: A boutique.
  • Additional Features: No intermission


1m, 1f
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Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller (1915- 2005) was born in New York City and studied at the University of Michigan. 2015 marked the centenary of his birth. His plays include The Man Who Had All the Luck (1944), All My Sons (1947), Death of A Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953), A View From the Bridge and A Memory of Two Mondays (1955), A ...

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Elegy for a Lady premiered at Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, CT in October of 1982 under the direction of Arthur Miller.

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