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Target Margin Theater Presents Bilingual Play SALESMAN

Target Margin Theater Presents Bilingual Play SALESMAN

Target Margin Theater (Founding Artistic Director David Herskovits, Associate Artistic Director Moe Yousuf) is proud to present the world premiere of Salesman之死: The (Almost!) True Story of the 1983 Production of Death of a Salesman at the Beijing People's Art Theatre Directed by Mr. Arthur Miller Himself From a Script Translated By Mr. Ying Ruocheng Who Also Played Willy Loman. Written by Jeremy Tiang and directed and developed by Obie Award-winner Michael Leibenluft, Salesman之死 runs March 29-April 18, 2020, at Target Margin Theater's THE DOXSEE, (232 52nd Street, Brooklyn) with a press opening on April 6. Tickets are now on sale at targetmargin.org.

In the spring of 1983, Arthur Miller, one of America's greatest playwrights, accepted an invitation to direct his famous play Death of a Salesman with an all-Chinese cast at the Beijing People's Art Theatre, despite not speaking a word of Mandarin. The production was a resounding success due, in no small part, to the multilingual talents of renowned Chinese actor Ying Ruocheng who translated the text and also played Willy Loman. This extraordinary encounter, which Miller detailed in his memoir Salesman In Beijing, is the inspiration for Salesman之死, an irreverent tale of cross-cultural mayhem in a time before Google Translate.


Salesman之死 not only tells the story of the 1983 production, but also interrogates what it means to place an American classic so far outside its context, and how we are able to reach each other across boundaries of culture and language. Performed in both English and Mandarin by an all-female cast, Salesman之死 is a provocation at a time when division and separation seem to be taking hold throughout the world. It questions whether we are able to step outside of what is familiar to us, and what possibilities are unlocked when we take that chance.

"The American conversation around diversity has been limited," says playwright Jeremy Tiang, "It tends to stop short at the borders of this country. By delving into this history-making instance of true collaboration between China and America and explicitly linking this instance of connection across borders with the debate around immigration in today's America, we hope to bring a historical perspective to this very contemporary issue, as well as reminding audiences that this country has always been strongest when it looks out, not inwards."

"As an American bilingual director, I use theater to spur conversations between cultures, languages, and national identities," says director Michael Leibenluft. "But there is always a tension in this process as we struggle to balance the individual and the universal. As artists, we are called upon to continue a process of translation that begins on the page: to translate the images, the ideas, the feelings and experiences of a play. This process of translation contains a delicate balance that we are always navigating to speak to our own experiences and also reach out beyond ourselves."

Chongren Fan, Artistic Director of Yangtze Rep, remarks, "We are proud to produce Salesman之死 with Gung Ho Projects at Target Margin Theater. In today's divided world, this production reminds audiences that it is possible for people to overcome cultural barriers and stereotypes just as Arthur Miller and the artists of the Beijing People's Art Theatre did with Death of a Salesman decades ago. By bringing this little-known history to light and giving it a contemporary twist, we continue Yangtze's mission of creating entry points for audiences to see the world through a Chinese lens."

The all-female cast for Salesman之死 features Julia Brothers, Chun Cho, Julia Gu, Claire Hsu, Kristen Hung, and Wei-Yi Lin.

The creative team for Salesman之死 includes Fufan Zhang (set designer), An-lin Dauber (costume designer), Yi-Chung Chen (lighting designer), Megumi Katayama (sound designer), and Ray Sun (projection designer).


Sixteen performances of Salesman之死 will take place March 29-April 18 (see above schedule) at Target Margin Theater's THE DOXSEE, located at 232 52nd Street in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn. Critics are welcome as of April 1 for an official opening on Monday, April 6. Tickets, priced at $20-$25, can be purchased by visiting targetmargin.org or by calling OvationTix at 212-352-3101.


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