Archive for April, 2011


All involved with the Mohawk Arts and Education Council’s production of “Death of a Salesman” were given a break from daily rehearsals during school vacation from April 18-22.

However, lack of rehearsals did not eliminate work for most cast members. When practices resume on Tuesday, April 26, all are expected to have memorized their lines and be “off book.”

This task will be especially difficult for lead roles Willy Loman (Leon Tuthill) and Linda Loman (Chelsie Field). Their efforts in memorization will be critically important so that actors and actresses can continue getting deeply in to their characters.

As Field says, “Memorizing so many lines comes from dedication and practice. Turning those words into a performance comes from a genuine passion and love for acting.”

Without scripts actions can be blocked with more nuance and specificity. This process of micro-blocking will be paired with the integration of props.

As pieces of the production come together the crew continues to enjoy all parts of the process. Student director Rachel Glod explains, “We will also be having a ton of fun (always)!”



Here’s the scene: Maxx Crowl, Chelsea Field and I, joined by others from the cast, sit outside of the Mohawk Trail Regional High School auditorium with battered scripts and trade comments in funny voices.

Curious teachers and students stop and watch as these young actors work to bring Biff, Linda and Happy Loman, and a few others, to life.

Lines snatched out of context sound strange to the passersby. Looks and laughs pass among the actors as they continue to practice for the coming show of Arthur Miller’s “Death of A Salesman.

Perhaps nowhere else at Mohawk can such camaraderie be seen as in the drama department during the making of this production.

As one in the middle of it, I can report that the bonds being formed are priceless and lay the basis for true friendship.

This team-building experience is important to the performance not only because it helps the cast memorize, but because it enables us to connect and begin to feel more like family, which makes acting on stage as a family look more authentic.

We are looking forward to the performance. See you there!


For weeks, the cast and crew of “Death of a Salesman” had been working at blocking scenes and running through the script. After much hard work, they have completed the blocking of the entire show. Now it’s time for memorization before school starts again next week.

And then comes the task of getting these characters to come alive onstage at Mohawk.

A great deal of stress has been put on many of the cast members. According to some of his fellow actors, Leon Tuthill, who has many lines in the play as Willy Loman, has “been putting his best foot forwards” despite the pressure put on him to memorize the script.

Maxx Crowl, who plays the character of Biff, said during a short interview, “I think it’s going alright, as long as everyone memorizes their lines … we have good actors and actresses.”

Last week, the cast was to run approximately one hundred pages of the script as well as viewing a film version of Arthur Miller’s play to see their characters in action.

Having attended several of the rehearsals myself, I believe that this show is going to be extremely good and do justice to the play.


With six weeks left until production, the “Death of a Salesman” cast is doggedly memorizing lines. They are running scenes using scripts, but by the end of April break, practices will be “off book.”

Directors are steadily working through the text and are more than halfway through the initial blocking process. The uniquely designed set, constructed March 26, helps actors and directors alike, both in acting and blocking.

After school ended March 29, the Mohawk auditorium stirred into life as actors playing leading characters arrived to continue blocking.

Bernard (Riley Kelleher) arrived, quickly followed by Willy Loman (Leon Tuthill). Simultaneously, his sons, Biff (Maxx Crowl) and Happy (Theodor Gabriel), wandered on the stage.

Characters practiced lines calmly sitting on the edge of platforms and the tops of fold-over seats. Directors Neale Gay, Scott Whitney, and Rachel Glod conversed quietly.

When Linda (Chelsie Field) arrived, the group straightened up and organized to begin blocking the scene in which Willy daydreams about talking to his brother Ben and the moments before his son Biff’s football game.

Whitney was in the pit working the scenes through his mind, as actors and actresses read lines, moving around the stage and through the set. He suggested that Happy enter on stage left and that Willy remain at center stage, while Ben should check his watch as he said a certain line.

The scene was run again with modifications. The cast then continued on to another.
The cast presses on despite school cancellation on April 1 with an added rehearsal Sunday and through the following school week.