The Dark Side of the American Dream: “Death of a Salesman” at SJU

Friday, April 10, 2015

by Caitlyn Bouchard '16

PHILADELPHIA (April 10, 2015) – The SJU Theature Company is set to perform the great American classic “Death of a Salesman” by playwright Arthur Miller, which opens on Thursday, April 16, at 8 p.m. in the Bluett Theatre.

Written in 1949, the play is a timeless American tale that offers a commentary on the dark side of the “American dream.” “Death of a Salesman” speaks about home and workplace ethics, the economic system in America, the mistreatment of the American worker and the complicated relationships between parents and their grown children - themes that are still relevant today. It is fitting that the production’s director Laura Pattillo, assistant professor of English at Saint Joseph's University, took on “Death of a Salesman” this year, as 2015 marks the centennial of Miller’s birth.

The cast of 13 students includes John Reihner ’15 as Willy Loman, Nicole Van Aller ’17 as Loman’s long-suffering wife, Linda. Nick Nelson ’16 and Patrick Meaney ’16 respectively, play the Loman’s sons, Biff and Happy.

“This production is a wonderful opportunity for everyone at SJU to enrich their lives in the classroom, in the workplace and at home by walking a mile with the Lomans as Willy experiences his terrifying downward spiral,” says Pattillo. “Many people vaguely recall reading the play in high school and are often startled by its force when they finally see it brought to life on the stage.”

Performances will run from April 16-18 and 24-25 at 8 p.m., with a matinee show on Sunday, April 26, at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased on the SJU Theatre Company website, by calling 610-660-1181 or at the box office one hour before the show. The cost is $10 for SJU students, faculty and staff, children under 12 and senior citizens; general admission is $20. Bluett Theatre is located on the campus of Saint Joseph's University in Post Hall on 56th Street and Overbrook Avenue.

Media Contact

Jeffrey Martin '04, '05 (M.A.), Senior Associate DIrector, University Communications, 610-660-3223,


Founded in 1851 in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, Saint Joseph’s University is a top-ranked Catholic University that provides a rigorous, student-centered education. With a total enrollment of 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students, SJU offers a wide array of academic programs designed so that each graduate enters the world with a competitive resume and global perspective. This is achieved through intense academic study led by thought-leading faculty scholars, a comprehensive campus experience and robust study abroad, service-learning, internship and co-op programs. Upon graduation, nearly 100 percent of students are employed, pursuing advanced degrees or volunteering in prestigious service programs. A member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, SJU offers 20 Division I intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports. SJU alumni — over 68,000 strong — provide a powerful network that spans the globe.

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