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Somerset Valley Players Seeks Actors

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ Somerset Valley Players is pleased to announce auditions for Arthur Miller’s award-winning play Death of Salesman directed by Diane L. Parker. Death of a Salesman is a serious drama about the illusion of the American dream. The story unfolds through a montage of memories, dreams, confrontations, and arguments, all of which make up the last 24 hours of Willy Loman's life. This reimagined version is focused on promoting diversity with an African American cast as the Loman family.

PERFORMANCE DATES: Friday, October 18 – Sunday, November 3, 2019 Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.

AUDITION INFORMATION: Dates: July 29 and July 30, 7-9:30 p.m. Callbacks: August 5, 7 p.m. Location: Somerset Valley Players, 689 Amwell Road, Hillsborough, NJ Please be prepared with a 2-minute memorized monologue. Monologues from the play are welcomed. Sides from the script will be provided at the audition. Bring resume and headshot. Sign up for a specific time slot from 7-9 p.m. Open call auditions are 9-9:30 p.m. and are limited to eight people:https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F0F44A9A72AA0FF2-death

Rehearsals begin Sunday, August 11. Provide all conflicts for weekday evenings and weekend rehearsals. TECH WEEK REHEARSALS ARE MANDATORY (OCTOBER 13-17). Questions may be sent to deathofasalesman.svp@gmail.com

ROLES Willy Loman - (early-mid 60s, African American man) An insecure, self-deluded traveling salesman. Willy believes wholeheartedly in the American Dream of easy success and wealth, but he never achieves it. Nor do his sons fulfill his hope that they will succeed where he has failed. When Willy’s illusions begin to fail under the pressing realities of his life, his mental health begins to unravel. The overwhelming tensions caused by this disparity, as well as those caused by the societal imperatives that drive Willy, form the essential conflict of Death of a Salesman.

Linda Loman – (late 50s, African American woman) Willy’s loyal, loving wife. Linda suffers through Willy’s grandiose dreams and self-delusions. Occasionally, she seems to be taken in by Willy’s self-deluded hopes for future glory and success, but at other times, she seems far more realistic and less fragile than her husband. She has nurtured the family through all of Willy’s misguided attempts at success, and her emotional strength and perseverance support Willy until his collapse.

Biff Loman – (mid 30s, African American man) Willy’s elder son. Biff led a charmed life in high school as a football star with scholarship prospects, good male friends, and fawning female admirers. He failed math, however, and did not have enough credits to graduate. Since then, his kleptomania has gotten him fired from every job that he has held. Biff represents Willy’s vulnerable, poetic, tragic side. He cannot ignore his instincts, which tell him to abandon Willy’s paralyzing dreams and move out West to work with his hands.

Happy Loman – (early 30s, African American man) Willy’s younger son. Happy has lived in Biff’s shadow all of his life, but he compensates by nurturing his relentless sex drive and professional ambition. Happy represents Willy’s sense of self-importance, ambition, and blind servitude to societal expectations. Although he works as an assistant to an assistant buyer in a department store, Happy presents himself as supremely important.

Charley – (early 60s, Caucasian man) Willy’s next-door neighbor. Charley owns a successful business and his son, Bernard, is a wealthy, important lawyer. Willy is jealous of Charley’s success. Charley gives Willy money to pay his bills, and Willy reveals at one point, choking back tears, that Charley is his only friend.

Bernard – (mid 30s, Caucasian man) Bernard is Charley’s son and an important, successful lawyer. Although Willy used to mock Bernard for studying hard, Bernard always loved Willy’s sons dearly and regarded Biff as a hero. Bernard’s success is difficult for Willy to accept because his own sons’ lives do not measure up.

Ben - (mid-50s when he is seen in 1928, African American man) Willy’s wealthy older brother. Ben has recently died and appears only in Willy’s “daydreams.” Willy regards Ben as a symbol of the success that he so desperately craves for himself and his sons.

The Woman - (40s, Caucasian woman) Willy’s mistress when Happy and Biff were in high school. The Woman’s attention and admiration boost Willy’s fragile ego. When Biff catches Willy in his hotel room with The Woman, he loses faith in his father, and his dream of passing math and going to college dies.

Howard Wagner - (50s, Caucasian man) Willy’s boss. Howard inherited the company from his father, whom Willy regarded as “a masterful man” and “a prince.” Though much younger than Willy, Howard treats Willy with condescension and eventually fires him, despite Willy’s wounded assertions that he named Howard at his birth.

Stanley - (30s, African American man) A waiter at Frank’s Chop House. Stanley and Happy seem to be friends, or at least acquaintances, and they banter about and ogle Miss Forsythe together before Biff and Willy arrive at the restaurant.

Miss Forsythe and Letta – (20s, African American women) Two young women whom Happy and Biff meet at Frank’s Chop House. It seems likely that Miss Forsythe and Letta are prostitutes, judging from Happy’s repeated comments about their moral character and the fact that they are “on call.”

Jenny – (mid 20s, African American woman) Charley’s secretary.

The following characters may be played by the same actor: Miss Forsythe and Jenny

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