‘Death of a Salesman’ to open at Lake Tahoe Community College
If you go
What: “Death of a Salesman”
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21; 2 p.m. Nov. 15 and 22.
Where: Duke Theatre, Lake Tahoe Community College
Tickets: $10 general admission, $5 for seniors, groups of eight or more and students with valid student identification
Theatergoers can get an intimate look at the pitfalls of the American Dream in South Lake Tahoe starting this week.
Arthur Miller’s 1949 American classic “Death of a Salesman” opens Friday, Nov. 13, at Lake Tahoe Community College. It runs through Nov. 22.
For the performances, Susan Boulanger, the college’s director of theatre, has limited stage elements and rearranged LTCC’s Duke Theatre into a “thrust space,” with the audience on three sides, to draw the crowd into the iconic story of traveling salesman Willy Loman.
“I have really stripped it down so that the focus is really on the brilliance of this play and the work of the actors,” Boulanger said Tuesday.
In addition to being an American institution, the play is one of the best in all of Western culture, she said. “Death of a Salesman” has won both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play.
“Miller’s famous play circles around traveling salesman Willy Loman, who finds himself at the end of his career and the end of his rope,” according to a press release for the performances. “Tortured by his own sense of failure and his crushed hopes that his sons will achieve greatness, Willy’s mind slips more and more into the past, where the future still held great promise and achieving the American Dream seemed possible. Willy’s family struggles to keep him in the present, even as relationships are strained and forgiveness seems impossible.”
While shedding light on the cost of pursuing success, the play also touches on the universal themes of family relationships, life and love, Boulanger said.
“I just think that there’s something so poignant about this man that just didn’t have the personal tools to be the success he wanted to be,” she said of the play’s protagonist.
The cast includes both new and familiar faces, a mix that’s always exciting, Boulanger added.
Aletha Nelligan, who plays Loman’s wife Linda, said portraying a character with so much depth is both exciting and stressful.
The unique stage setup should add to the audience experience, she said.
“They’re going to be able to concentrate on the language and what’s happening,” Nelligan said.
Chris Taylor plays Willy Loman, the biggest role yet for the experienced South Shore actor.
“I really hope that they enjoy the show, of course, and I think they will,” he said.
Also appearing in the show are Matthew Ault, as Loman’s estranged son Biff, and Thomas Lopez, as his self-absorbed son, Happy. Ryan Adams, Bailey Anderson, Stephanie Grigsby, Kurt Munger, Shana Noel, Frank Riley and Chris Scott round out the cast.
Performances of “Death of a Salesman” take place at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21. Sunday matinees will be held at 2 p.m. Nov. 15 and 22.
Tickets for “Death of a Salesman” are $10 for general admission and $5 for seniors, groups of eight or more and students with a valid student identification. High school students are invited to attend the Thursday, Nov. 19, performance for free.
Tickets may be purchased in advance at LTCC’s Bookstore from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Fridays. LTCC’s Box Office will be open for ticket sales one hour prior to all performances.
Post-show discussions with the actors and director will take place after the matinee Nov. 15 and by request. The play contains some strong language and adult subject matter and is not recommended for audiences under 16 years of age.
The Duke Theatre at LTCC is located at One College Drive off of Al Tahoe Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe.