THE Collective Face Theatre Ensemble takes on Arthur Miller’s classic play Death of a Salesman this week at Muse Arts Warehouse.
The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning drama centers on salesman Willy Loman, an aging white collar worker still searching for the American Dream. At the end of a long career as a traveling salesman, Loman finds himself in a downward spiral. Trying to control a fantasy world in which he has a sense of power and significance, his mind lingers in the past, mulling over what might have been, while his family fights to bring him back to the present. A hard stare at American ideals, corporate culture, and the psyche, the modern classic, written in 1949, remains as relevant today as it did when it debuted.
Eric Salles takes the lead as Willy Loman, with Julie Kessler alongside him as wife Linda. Chris Stanley and Zachary Burke take on the roles of the Loman sons, Happy and Biff, respectively, with April Hayes as The Woman, Mark Rand as neighbor Charley, Michael Moynihan as Uncle Ben, Loman’s older brother, Chad Hsu as Howard Wagner, Loman’s boss, and Stanley, a waiter, Nory Garcia as Jenny, Charley’s secretary, Emily Rice as the beautiful Miss Forsythe and Sara Makar as Letta, Miss Forsythe’s friend.
Required reading for many a high school student, Death of a Salesman (often cited as an American version of a Greek tragedy) may be a familiar story to many, but Director David I.L. Poole, known for his engaging and wonderfully creative set design, is ready to bring contemporary flare to the production.
“The play’s original title was The Inside of His Head,” Poole shares. “With the set and the staging, I have re-imagined the play conceptually.”
The Collective Face’s adaptation will depict Loman existing and fighting not only against the world around him, but also within his own consciousness.
“His suffocating world is the company of actors who remain onstage as a ‘Greek chorus’ throughout the performance,” explains Poole. “I believe this staging perfectly complements Arthur Miller’s text and highlights the emotional relationships among the family, Willy’s mind, and the world around him.”
Death of a Salesman kicks off Collective Face’s “$10 @5 Until” Student Rush Program. Students with a valid ID who make it to the box office 15 minutes before curtain will be placed on the rush list; at five minutes before curtain, unclaimed seats will be released with that discounted ticket price on a first-come, first-served basis. While there’s no guarantee of a seat, it’s certainly a new and innovative way for students to score an enviable spot in the Collective Face audience, which tends to fill up quite quickly.