Vassar community sees ‘Death of a Salesman’ on Broadway

This past Sunday, Oct. 30, 13 students won tickets to the Broadway performance of Arthur Miller’s classic play, “Death of a Salesman” at the Hudson Theater. The ticket and train fare to New York City were also covered by the College at no cost to the students who attended. 

Professor of Drama Shona Tucker, was involved in the Broadway production, serving as the understudy for the roles of Linda Loman, Miss Forsythe and the Jazz Singer. The classic 1949 Pulitzer Prize winning play features the star-studded cast of Wendell Pierce as the lead Willy Loman, three-time Olivier Award winner Sharon D. Clarke as Linda Loman, and Tony Award winner André De Shields as Ben, among many others. Pierce has been nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance which critics have described as “ splendid” and “electrically alert and eager.” Pierce himself has praised the production, describing the role of Willy Loman as “the highwater of his career.” He is notable to popular audiences for his work in the HBO dramas “The Wire” as Detective Bunk Moreland and in “Treme” as Antoine Batiste, among many others.

Reprised from its award winning run in London’s West End, Olivier Award winning director Miranda Cromwell revitalizes an American Classic in this groundbreaking reinterpretation of a classic text about the dangers of the American Dream and a social critique of the ’40s society which Miller captured in his work.

This production of the classic play is the first major production to feature the traditionally Jewish Loman family as Black, garnering acclaim from critics and audiences alike. A New York Times review reads, “Willy is a black man in a nation where white is the color of success. While he has absorbed and abides by the mythology and rules of the American dream of self-advancement, there’s a part of Willy that worries the odds are fatally stacked against him.” 

President of the College Elizabeth Bradley and her husband, John Bradley, were also in attendance, and Bradley gave rave reviews about the show and the experience of having a Vassar professor in the production: “The show was intense and meaningful. Meeting Professor Shona Tucker afterwards with the students was fun, especially because we were able to get an actor’s perspective on the experience. We are all really grateful to the ticket fund!” 


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