Yangtze Rep, in association with Gung Ho Projects, will present the world premiere of Jeremy Tiang's Salesman之死, an all-Asian, women-led bilingual play inspired by the 1983 China production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman that was directed by the playwright.
The new work will be staged at Off-Broadway's Connelly Theater October 10–28.
Written by Tiang and directed and developed by Obie winner Michael Leibenluft, the production's concept is inspired by the true story of Miller directing an all-Chinese cast at Beijing People's Art Theatre, despite Miller not speaking a word of Mandarin. Salesman之死 will be performed in both English and Mandarin with subtitles in both languages.
The ensemble will include Sandia Ang, Drama Desk nominee Sonnie Brown, Claire Hsu, Julia Gu, Lydia Jialu Li, and Jo Mei.
In Salesman之死, young university professor Shen Huihui is summoned to the theatre for a special task: to interpret for Arthur Miller. Meanwhile, the Chinese ensemble, newly out of the Cultural Revolution, has never met “a salesman.”
“The American conversation around diversity is sometimes limited,” says playwright Tiang. “It often stops short at the borders of this country. This multilingual production has the interplay of cultures and communities at its heart. By delving into a history-making instance of true collaboration between China and America, I 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 creative team also features scenic designer Chika Shimizu, costume designer Karen Boyer, lighting designer Daisy Long, co-sound designers Kai-Luen Liang and Da Xu, projection designer Cinthia Chen, production stage manager Kevin Jinghong Zhu, associate director Tianding He, dramaturg Annie Wang, assistant stage manager Ada Zhang, and producing associate Yining Cao.