In the spring of 1983, Arthur Miller accepted an invitation to direct Death of a Salesman with an all-Chinese cast at the Beijing People’s Art Theatre. The success of the production was largely due to Ying Ruocheng, who both translated the text into Mandarin and also played Willy Loman.
This real-life story, detailed in Miller's memoir, Salesman In Beijing, is the inspiration for Yangtze Repertory Theatre and Gung Ho Projects' upcoming Salesman之死, a tale of cross-cultural mayhem performed in both English and Mandarin by an all-female cast. The world premiere, which will be staged in Target Margin's The Doxsee in Brooklyn, will run March 29–April 18.
The play, written by Jeremy Tiang and directed and developed by Obie winner Michael Leibenluft, is fully titled 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.
“The American conversation around diversity has been limited,” says 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.”
The cast for Salesman之死 is made up of Julia Brothers, Chun Cho, Julia Gu, Claire Hsu, Kristen Hung, and Wei-Yi Lin.
The creative team includes set designer Fufan Zhang, costume designer An-lin Dauber, lighting designer Yi-Chung Chen, sound designer Megumi Katayama, and projection designer Ray Sun.
For tickets and more information visit TargetMargin.org.