The Players' Ring Presents DEATH OF A SALESMAN
The Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Arthur Miller is being produced for the first time at The Players' Ring in Portsmouth, directed by Dan Stowell and Kaitlyn Huwe. The two previously directed 12 Angry Men at The Players Ring in 2012. The cast includes Will MacDonald as Willy Loman, Pamela Battin-Sacks as Linda Loman, Mark Tuomanen as Biff and Cullen DeLangie as Happy.
Death of a Salesman takes a sharp-eyed look at the American nuclear family trying to get by in an America where the dream of making a name for oneself by hard work, personality, and gumption, is dead, in an era of economic dislocation. Willy Loman, a traveling salesman, has poured his life into his family and his job, and at the end of his career, is not seeing the life he imagined. He starts to become unhinged, having hallucinations of his dead brother, replaying old memories and even plotting out his own death for the insurance money. His two grown sons, Biff and Happy, move back home, and in trying to help, only exacerbate the Willy's problems. This tragic family doesn't realize their dysfunctions and the direness of their situations, for they are Lomans, and Lomans are not a dime a dozen, but salesmen, and a salesmen must remain optimistic if they are to pluck the diamonds from the jungle.
"I first became interested in this play when I was listening to an NPR report on the play being revived on Broadway," says director Dan Stowell. "In the program, they played a recording of Willy arguing with Biff on how his son was throwing away his gifts, and that he could do anything if he just applied himself. Miller captured the dynamic of the family, that when delivered by talented actors, just touched me to the core, and while listening to those lines in the car, I almost had to pull over. It was so powerful because what comes across, subtly but so viscerally, is that we all are so desperate to be loved, but don't know how to get it."