In 1983 Arthur Miller was invited to direct Death of a Salesman at the Beijing People's Theatre, with Chinese actors. This was an entirely new experience for Miller and for the Chinese company, most of whom had never even heard of 'life insurance' or 'installment payments'. Miller had forty-eight days of rehearsals in which to direct his play and, while there, he kept a diary.
This book tells the fascinating story of Miller's time in China and the paradoxes of directing a tragedy about American capitalism in a Communist country, and features photographs throughout by Inge Morath.
In this edition, Miller's diary is given a contemporary context as the production and process is investigated against the backdrop of twenty-first century China and its theatre, through a new introduction by Claire Conceison, Professor of Theatre Studies at Duke University.
Arthur Miller was born on 17 October 1915 in Harlem, New York City. He was arguably the greatest American playwright of the twentieth century, his work including plays such as All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1949), The Crucible (1953), and A View from the Bridge (1955). In addition to the plays, his many other books included fiction, essays and the autobiography Time Bends. He died in 2005 at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut. Claire Conceison is a director, a translator, and a scholar at Duke University.