American Classic Play ‘Death of a Salesman’ Gets Amharic Premier

ADDIS ABABA – The Ethiopian National Theatre has hosted the Amharic premier of Arthur Miller’s American classic play, Death of a Salesman.

Playwright Miller won a Pulitzer Prize for the play written in 1948 and performed on Broadway the following year.

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa has partnered with renowned Ethiopian artists to translate and produce the play for Ethiopian audiences.

Playwright Alemayehu Gebrehiwot translated the American classic play into Amharic through the US Embassy’s small funds program.

The play, directed by Tekle Desta, was presented to Ethiopian theatergoers with the title ‘Ye Abawera Guzo’.

The production involved artists such as Tesfaye Gebrehana, Adanech Woldegebriel, Surafel Teka, Michael Tamire, and Genet Assefa.

The play premiered at the National Theater on Sunday in the presence of artists, invited guests, and the Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy Ruth Anne Stevens-Klitz.

“The Embassy is proud to partner with the Ethiopian National Theater on this innovative project, as it may create a deeper cultural dialogue and creative engagement through artistic activities for the youth,” Stevens-Klitz said following the premiere.

“We’re excited to share this American with the next generation of actors, directors, and audiences to help rekindle the excitement for live theater in Ethiopia,” she added.

The play will be presented to high school and college students and professors in Addis Ababa in the coming weeks ahead of a scheduled tour throughout Ethiopia.

Previously, a few American plays have been translated and performed in Ethiopian theaters, including Edward Albee’s Zoo Story and Eugene O’Neills’s Welded after they were translated and staged as ‘Ye’Anbessa Gibi’, & ‘And le’And’, respectively.

Featured Image: Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, translated as የአባወራ ጉዞ (Ye Abawera Guzo), performance at the Ethiopian National Theater, Addis Ababa, March 5, 2023. (Photo UD embassy)

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