2: Video excerpt, interviews with actors from the Yiddish revival of "Salesman," 2015.
The Yiddish version of Death of a Salesman, Toyt fun a Salesman, was revived and performed in 2015 by the New Yiddish Repertory Theater in New York. This interview with the two main actors from the production is in Yiddish with English subtitles.
Suggested Activity: Watch the video from 1:00 – 3:54, and have students discuss in pairs or as a group:
- How does the actor Avi Hoffman see his character, Willy?
- Do you agree with Hoffman that playing Willy in Yiddish requires “an entirely different way to think about this kind of character”?
- At the end of the clip, Hoffman asserts that if Willy were a Jewish immigrant, it would make “him even more tragic…than he usually is.” Do you agree with this claim? And, if so, why would a Jewish immigrant Willy be more tragic than the character as he was written?
This activity works well in conjunction with resource 1 of this kit.
Source: "A Talk with Avi Hoffman and Daniel Kahn." Interview by Boris Sandler. YouTube video. November 03, 2015. Accessed July 25, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt-ucBeUNzk.