What do you think would be the greatest challenges in staging a real performance of Death of a Salesman?Identify one of the challenges and propose a solution for how it might be staged.

Expert Answers
Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Because the play moves back and forth in time and shifts between real action on the stage and the internal workings of Willy's mind, staging it presents special challenges. Fortunately, Arthur Miller provided very specific and detailed stage directions within his script which should be followed exactly so that the audience does not become lost in the play's structural complexity.

Special attention should be paid to the color and placement of the lights, since it is largely through the lighting that Miller indicates the shifts in setting and the play's external/internal action. 

leyenda | Student

With  Twentifirst Century technology it would be possible to project video clips depicting Willy's flashbacks onto a screen at the background of the set. Additionally, for scenes where Willy hallucinates, that is where he interacts with characters both from his past and present, lighting and smoke screens could be used for maximum effect.

epollock | Student

Because the play moves back and forth in time and shifts between real action on the stage and the internal workings of Willy's mind, staging it presents special challenges. Fortunately, Arthur Miller provided very specific and detailed stage directions within his script which should be followed exactly so that the audience does not become lost in the play's structural complexity.

Special attention should be paid to the color and placement of the lights, since it is largely through the lighting that Miller indicates the shifts in setting and the play's external/internal action. 

This is probably the only real challenge in the play. It is hard to portray the scenes in which Willy imagines them, thus removing the dramatic tension in the play. This can be solved not only through lighting, but with background color as well.

Read the study guide:
Death of a Salesman

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question