Difficulties of playing Willy Loman

‘Death’ Brings Dutton Back to Yale Rep: TV, Film Star Returns to Yale to Play Willy Loman – April 22, 2009 – Connecticut Post -Reprinted at California Chronicle – Joe Meyers

“It’s really, really difficult and complicated,” the actor adds of bringing the doomed Loman to life on stage. “How do you do it without wearing out the audience before it’s over? The challenge has been that we have to find the levity as well as the tragedy [in the story]. You can easily fall into that King Lear trap — from an actor’s point of view — of shouting for three hours.”

And yet, Dutton adds, if you underplay it too much, there is the danger of having Loman’s weariness bore an audience.

“His body is tired, but his mind is racing,” Dutton says of the 63-year-old Loman. “You can’t play it with so much weight that you put the audience to sleep.”

-Tanya

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