MILLEDGEVILLE — The Georgia College theatre department opens its 2013 fall season with Arthur Miller’s classic tragedy “Death of a Salesman.”
Guest Director Iona Holder faces a daunting challenge to make the 1949 play resonate with a 2013 audience.
“Our production will not be like any other production because I don’t want it to be,” said Holder, who considers the play one of the 10 best American dramas of all time.
“Death of a Salesman” is the story of Willy Loman, a salesman toiling to pursue his perception of the American dream while giving pep talks to his sons in their Brooklyn home.
Willy’s oldest son, Biff, undergoes an identity crisis in the play. He accepts his failure, unlike his father and younger brother, and eventually manages to confront it. Happy Loman, Biff’s younger brother, is the incarnation of Willy’s worst traits. Willy’s long-suffering wife serves as the emotional rock of the Loman family throughout his struggles.
The play has won several awards including the Pulitzer Prize and four Tony Awards.
Sixty-four years after it was written, the heartrending story endures, Holder said, because many people will be able to connect with the different aspects of the play including family relationships and financial troubles.
“I hope to provoke the audience’s thoughts and inspire them with Willy’s tragic tale,” said Holder, who selected the play after originally considering a comedy. “I shocked everyone by wanting to do a classic play. I want to be more thought-provoking than entertaining.”
The 13-person cast includes one freshman and five sophomores and is one of the youngest casts Holder has ever selected.
“They are incredible,” Holder said. “They are comparable to actors in Atlanta. I’ve been here for eight years, and I find that the more you expect from someone, the more they will be able to deliver.”