Cast & Crew


Willy Loman | Avery Brooks '70 *
Linda Loman | Petronia Paley *
Biff Loman | Justin Emeka '94 *, **
Happy Loman | Darryle Johnson '07
Charley | Marc Jablon *
Bernard | Josh Sobel '09
Ben | Abdullah Bey *
The Woman | Elizabeth Woodbury '09
Howard | Raphael Sacks '09
Stanley / Biff understudy | Kwame Webster '10
Ms. Forsythe | Lisa Brown '11
Jenny / Letta | Lauren Friedlander '11


Director | Justin Emeka '94 *, **
Associate Director | Caroline Jackson Smith **
Stage Manager | Joan Foster McCarty *
Assistant Director / Dramaturg | Heather Harvey '11
Assistant Stage Manager | Kyla Moore '11
Company Manager | Alex Birnie '10
Set Designer | Michael Grube **
Costume Designer | Chris Flaherty **
Lighting & Sound Designer | Richard Morris, Jr.
Musician | Ralph Jones **
Master Electrician | Andrew Kaletta **
Costumer | JoEllen Cuthbertson **
Technical Director | Joseph P. Natt **

* Members of Actors Equity Association
** Current Oberlin faculty and staff

Avery Brooks (Willy Loman) is an accomplished actor, director, musician, and teacher. He recently performed the title role in the Shakespeare Theater production of Tamburlaine at the Harman Center for the Arts in DC. He appeared in the title role in the Shakespeare Theater production of The Oedipus Trilogy in Athens, Greece and Washington, DC and in the title role of the Yale Repertory Theater production of Lear. He performed the title role in Shakespeare's Othello at the Folger Theater in Washington, DC. He was seen as Troy Maxson in August Wilson's play, Fences, at the St. Louis Repertory Theater. He appeared as Bernard in the Crossroads Theater Company production of Richard Wesley's Talented Tenth. He has performed to critical acclaim the title role in the Phillip Hayes Dean play, Paul Robeson, since 1982 including performances in New York on Broadway, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, in Los Angeles at the Westwood Playhouse and at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia. In New York audiences have seen his portrayal of Robeson in Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been? both on and off-Broadway and his performance as Martin in The Offering with the Negro Ensemble Company. Mr. Brooks has acted extensively for the New York Shakespeare Festival where he performed in Ntozake Shange's Spell #7 and A Photograph. He played Theseus and Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream and starred in the American premiere of Derek Walcott's Pantomime, both at Washington's Arena Stage.

Mr. Brooks sang the role of Malcolm in the American Music Theater Festival production of Anthony Davis' opera, X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X and the role of Cinque in the Anthony Davis opera, Tania. At the Warsaw Theater Festival in Poland he performed in the award- winning opera, The Temptations of St. Anthony, adapted by Bernice Reagon and directed by Robert Wilson. He performed vocals in the Pushkin project with David Murray, jazz saxophonist, in Paris at the Banlieues Bleues Festival in February 2005 and in Catania, Sicily in 2006 and did vocals for the Blues Rock Coalition's Tribute to Ray Charles at Symphony Space in NYC in April 2005. He has performed with illustrious musicians including Joseph Jarman, Butch Morris, Craig Harris, Lester Bowie, Henry Threadgill and Jon Hendricks and recorded on James Spaulding's album, Legacy of Duke Ellington. Mr. Brooks has done extensive work with the Smithsonian Institute's Program in Black American Culture.

He was seen in the title role in the film, Solomon Northrup's Odyssey, directed by Gordon Parks for PBS' American Playhouse series and was nominated for an ACE award for his portrayal of Uncle Tom in Showtime's television production of Uncle Tom's Cabin. His film credits include New Line Cinema's American History: X and Fifteen Minutes and Sony Picture's The Big Hit. Mr. Brooks has hosted several documentaries including the recent PBS/BBC production, Bible Mysteries. Others include Mandela: A Man of Vision; Marian Anderson, A Passion for Faith; Trackdown: Growing Up and the award winning The Musical Legacy of Roland Hayes.

He has done work on documentaries for NASA, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and NOVA and can be heard on the IMAX films, Africa's Elephant Kingdom, Greatest Places and Oceans in Space. He narrated the Roots audio book, winner of the 2007 Audie Award for Best Non-Fiction Audiobook, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Alex Haley book release. Mr. Brooks directed Ntozake Shange's Boogie Woogie Landscapes at the Kennedy Center and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf in London's West End.

He starred as Hawk on the Warner Bros./ABC series, A Man Called Hawk, and co-starred for three seasons as Hawk in Spenser: for Hire reprising the role for Lifetime movies - Ceremony, Pale Kings and Princes and Judas Goat. He starred as Captain Sisko in Paramount Studio's Star Trek series, Deep Space Nine.

Mr. Brooks served as Artistic Director of the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, Georgia from 1993 through 1996. In 1994 he was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theater. For thirty-four years Mr. Brooks has been affiliated with Rutgers University. He was the first black MFA graduate in acting and directing and is currently a tenured professor of theater at the Mason Gross School of the Arts. He has taught at Oberlin College and Case Western University and is the recipient of honorary degrees from Oberlin College, Buffalo State College - SUNY, Tougaloo College and Indiana University.

Petronia Paley (Linda Loman) recently performed her one-woman show, On the Way to Timbuktu, at the Ensemble Studio Theatre and was nominated for two Innovative Theatre Awards in the categories of Solo Performance and Original Music. Previous credits include: Clytemnestra in Electra (Classical Theatre of Harlem); Gertrude in Hamlet (Take Wings and Soar Productions); Dr. Iris Preston, Relativity (Ensemble Studio Theatre, Audelco Nomination); Gratiana, The Revenger' Tragedy (The Red Bull Theatre); Ethel, On Golden Pond (Broadway, Kennedy Center); Madame Ranevskaya, The Cherry Orchard (Classical Theatre of Harlem, Audelco Nomination); Jocasta/Eurydice, The Oedipus Plays (Shakespeare Theatre, Odeon Atticus, Greece); Regan, King Lear (Yale Repertory); Hecuba, Trojan Women (Shakespeare Theater, Helen Hayes Nomination); Prosecutor, The Trial ... (New Federal Theatre, Audelco Award). She is also a veteran of daytime, creating long running characters on "Guiding Light" and "Another World." Directing credits include: Ascension, International Fringe Festival; Medea, Take Wings and Soar Productions at theNational Black Theatre; How Many Goodbyes Must We Say? (Julia de Burgos Theatre); Spic Chic (Repertorio Espangol); Can We Dance? (Henry Street Settlement, Women of Color Award for direction). She is also the artistic director of "First Readings" at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and presented play readings of emerging playwrights. Writing credits include: The Empty-Hand Traveler Set No Limit to Her Desires, The Psycho-genesis of Sexuality in a Woman, The Moon Bearer and a children's book. She is the founder of "I the Actor," Acting Workshops for the Professional Actor.

A longtime resident of the Northwest, Justin Emeka (Director / Biff) was the founder and artistic director of Seattle's Jungle Creations and director at the University of Washington's Ethnic Cultural Theater. He also created and directed Sankofa Theater for the Seattle Theater Group and directed the Living History show for the Intiman Theatre. As a member of Actors Equity, some of his favorite roles include: Edgar in King Lear at the Yale Repertory Theatre; Biff in Death of a Salesman at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center; and a one man show, A Right to Dream, which he toured nationally for three years. In addition, he has performed at the American Conservatory Theater and with other performance groups throughout the Seattle area. A visiting assistant professor at Oberlin College, he teaches directing, acting, and Capoeira Angola. Most recently, he directed Julius X at Cleveland's famed Karamu House. He earned a BA at Oberlin and an MFA in directing from the University of Washington School of Drama. He thanks his family -- Farah, King, and Jabir -- for their constant love, support, and inspiration.

Darryle W. Johnson Jr. (Happy Loman) graduated from Oberlin in 2007 with a degree in African-American Studies. He now working as a court advocate and resides in Brooklyn, New York. Oberlin acting credits include August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, Stop Kiss, Sankofa Theatre: Rhythms Within My Soul, and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

Marc Jablon (Charley) - Regional Theater: Richard III, 1776, Born Yesterday (Utah Shakespearean Fest.), The Glamour House (Victory Gardens Theater), Street Scene, The Blue Bird (Williamstown Theater Fest.), Sexual Perversity in Chicago (Joseph Jefferson Citation, Supporting Actor); TV: ER (recurring), Bones, NUMB3RS, N.C.I.S.; M.F.A. University of Washington P.A.T.P. Special thanks to Justin and the distinguished cast for this groundbreaking opportunity.

Josh Sobel (Bernard) is a theatre major from Rochester, NY in his senior year at Oberlin. Previous acting credits include: Khalid in Omnium Gatherum by Theresa Rebeck and Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, Vinnie in Welcome To The Moon by John Patrick Shanley, George Antrobus in The Skin of Our Teeth by Thorton Wilder, and Morrison in Major Barbara by G.B. Shaw. At Oberlin, he has also directed productions of Cabaret by John Kander and Fred Ebb, The Seventeenth of June by Edward Allen Baker, Hotline by Elaine May, and An Interview by David Mamet. Josh will be directing Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross for honors this coming March in Oberlin's Little Theatre. He has had the privilege of attending a semester of study at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Theater Institute, as well as working on three original musicals at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA. Just this past July, he attended an 8-day intensive directing program at Yale University. He would like to thank his parents for all their love and support, and extend a very special thanks to his aunt, Janet Bookspan.

A veteran Karamu actor, Abdullah Bey (Ben), born Marvin A. Hayes, started at East Cleveland theatre and trained at Karamu House. He last appeared on Karamu stage in Julius X. Abdullah has performed there since 1980. Has appeared on stage at the Cleveland Playhouse, Ensemble Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre, Beck Center, Tri-C- East, Weathervane Great Lakes and Bratenal Playhouse. His TV & film credits include: "Telling Lies in America" with Kevin Bacon; "Hit Man with Billy Dee Williams"; Cleveland City Housing & Ohio Lottery commercials; "Counterpoint," an HBO made-for-TV movie; and DEF COMEDY JAM. He is Blessed and a gifted songwriter also known as "Jaribu."

Elizabeth Woodbury (The Woman) is a fourth year Theater major from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Past Oberlin credits include: Vieux Carre (Mary Maude), Anton in Show Business (Lisabette), The Heidi Chronicles (Susan), Major Barbara (Sarah), and several musical and theatrical showcases. Elizabeth has also designed and technically directed several student productions and has worked on Mainstage and Opera productions in the Oberlin College scene shop for the past seven semesters. She will be putting up her honors piece, an original one-woman show focusing on the struggles of drug addiction, in December.

Raphael Sacks (Howard) is a Musical Studies major from New York City. This summer, he was an actor in residence at the Orchard Project as a member of the Core Company '08, where he worked with Moises Kaufman's Tectonic Theater Project, Philadelphia's Pig Iron, New York's the TEAM, and the Royal Court of London among others, and collaboratively devised, developed, and performed The Scariest produced by The Exchange (NYC). He took last semester off to join the English National Opera in the British premiere of Lost Highway by Olga Neuwirth at the Young Vic Theater in London (dir: Diane Paulus), singing the role of Andy and understudying Mr. Eddy. In 2007, he played Mr. Eddy in Lost Highway's American premiere at Oberlin and at the Miller Theatre in New York. Also in New York, he originated the lead role of Luka in Hotel Sarajevo by Johnstone and Michelson at CAP21 Studios and worked with Curt Dempster at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in numerous workshops and staged readings and as associate producer of its Youngblood Playwrights Company production of Thicker Than Water. Currently a member of the Old Vic Theatre's New Voices Network, he wrote, directed and performed his own one-man show, Credo, and studied at the British American Drama Academy. Besides workshops and staged readings of new material, major roles at Oberlin include: Emcee in Kander and Ebb's Cabaret, The Provost in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, narration in Stravinski's L'Histoire du Soldat, Czolgosz in Sondheim's Assassins, Ed in Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein, Peter in Stop Kiss by Diana Son, and Geoffrey in Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare.

Kwame Ammon Webster (Stanley / Biff u.s.) and is an African-American Studies major and English minor. Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Kwame has had many opportunities to act in a variety of venues, the largest being Southern University at New Orleans for A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Tommie Myrick. Kwame has participated in several other productions at Oberlin, including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by Caroline Jackson Smith. He is excited to have been chosen to work with the cast and crew of Death of a Salesman.

Lisa Mon'a Brown (Ms. Forsythe) is a second-year student at Oberlin College from Newport News, Virginia. She plans to major in Politics and German in the College of Arts and Sciences and is also an aspiring Double Degree student. Her role as Miss Forsythe in Death of a Salesman will be her debut to the Oberlin College theater scene. In spite of that fact, she has capitivated audiences throughout the East Coast and Midwest while on the Forensics and Debate team at Oberlin College and at her former high school.

Lauren Friedlander (Jenny / Letta) is a second-year Creative Writing major from Overland Park, Kansas. Her previous shows at Oberlin include Anton in Show Business, Private Eyes, and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You. She hopes you enjoy the show!

Caroline Jackson-Smith (Associate Director) is an Associate Professor of Theater and chair of the African American Studies department at Oberlin College. Since joining the college in 1989, Jackson Smith has directed more than twenty plays, including To Be Young, Gifted and Black, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, The Wiz, The Piano Lesson, Blade to the Heat, and most recently Omnium Gatherum. The recipient of a prestigious fellowship for early-career directors in 1993 from the Theater Communications Group, in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Arts, she made her New York directing debut at the New York Public Theater in 1995 with a production of Adrienne Kennedy's Funnyhouse of a Negro at the Signature Theater Company. She also worked with Ms. Kennedy on the development of a new work, June & Jean. She has directed and worked as a dramaturge for the Cleveland Playhouse, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Karamu House, and the Cleveland Public Theater. Jackson Smith also served for eight years as the head of the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale University, following her undergraduate and graduate training there in Afro-American Studies.

Joan Foster McCarty (Stage Manager) is pleased to celebrate her 25th year as a member of Actors' Equity Association as she joins the Oberlin theater family in this production of Death of a Salesman. She most recently stage managed Theatrical Outfit's productions of Gee's Bend and Pure Confidence in Atlanta. A native of Chicago, she has stage managed for the Victory Gardens Theater, the Drury Lane Dinner Theatre, the Black Ensemble of Chicago and the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. In the Atlanta area, she has stage managed Theatre in the Square's productions of A Raisin in the Sun, The Story, Miss Witherspoon, The Piano Lesson, and served as the assistant stage manager for The Persians and Room Service. She has also stage managed True Colors Theatre Company's production of Stick Fly and served as the assistant stage manager for Tambourines to Glory. At the Horizon Theatre in Atlanta, she has stage managed Wishful Thinking, The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, Blue and Time Flies. As always, much love to her helpmate, husband Anthony.

Chris Flaharty (Costume Designer) is the resident Costume Designer and Associate Professor of Theater for the Oberlin College Theater and Dance Program and the Opera Theater of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He teaches Introduction to Design, Costume Design and the Music Theater Seminar. With professional and educational companies he has designed costumes for original dance works and performance pieces, as well as for classical and contemporary plays ranging from Shakespeare and Beckett to Moliere and Mamet. His representative works are as diverse as Tartuffe (for which he was awarded a United States Institute for Theater Technology design citation), The Wiz, Hamlet, Three Sisters, Twelfth Night, Light Up the Sky and Zastrozzi. He has costumed The Triumph of Love, Into the Woods, On The Verge, Company, The Illusion, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Assassins, which he also directed at Oberlin. His repertory of opera productions includes designs for many masterpieces of the standard canon, as well as such rarities as Coyote Tales, Alcina, The Turn of the Screw and The Rake's Progress. Flaharty earned a BA at Westminster College in 1974, an MA at Bowling Green State University in 1976 and an MFA at Ohio State University in 1983.

Ralph M. Jones (Musician) has been active as a performing artist in the African American Improvisations tradition for over 30 years. He has earned his Masters degree in African American Improvisations tradition for over 30 years. He has earned his Masters degree in African American Studies (June 2008) and B.A. in Ethnomusicology (1993) from the University of California, Los Angeles. As an educator, he is in his 15th year on the music faculty of the California State Summer School for the Arts. During the school year, he teaches music at Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences. As an internationally recognized performing artist, he has recorded and performed on tour throughout the United States, Africa, Europe and Asia with Dr. Yusef Lateef, Pharaoh Sanders, Wada Leo Smith, The MC5, Adam Rudolph's Moving Pictures and Go Organic Orchestra, to name but a few of many. Ralph has been a featured soloist with the WDR Radio Orchestra of Cologne, Germany and the Atlanta and Detroit Symphonies in permiers and performances of Dr. Lateef's "African American Epic Suite" for quintet and orchestra. He is also a founding member of the internationally acclaimed world music ensemble, Eternal Wind. Ralph has recently composed original music for the award winning documentary film Tell Me, Cuba. Ralph is presently Faculty in Residence at Oberlin College's Afrikan Heritage House.

Andrew Kaletta (Master Electrician) joined the staff of Oberlin College in 2005, and is Assistant Technical Director in the Theater and Dance Program at Hall Auditorium. A designer and theater technician, he has worked in Cleveland-area theaters for the past 15 years. At the Cleveland Public Theater, he worked on such shows as M 4 M and The Stars Sell All Night. Most recently, he was a technician on the opera Highway Ulysses and has worked at the Marilyn Bianchi Children's Playwriting Festival for the Dobama Theater.

JoEllen Cuthbertson (Costumer) began her career in regional equity theater, including the Indiana Repertory Theater, Great Lakes Theater Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, and The Goodman Theater in Chicago. Memorable productions include The Matchmaker (with Linda Hunt), Skin of our Teeth (with Georgia Engle), and The Three Musketeers (with Alan Sues). After 10 seasons in professional theater, Cuthbertson has participated in the last 13 seasons of Oberlin Opera Theater and other productions by the College's Theater and Dance Program. Productions that have highlighted her work are Elixir of Arelle, Albert Herring, All's Well That Ends Well, Arcadia, Into the Woods, The Cherry Orchard and A Midsummer Night's Dream. In addition, Cuthbertson has created the Prima Donna's costumes for Oberlin's productions of Romeo et Juliette, Manon of the Spring, The Marriage of Figaro, and Cosi fan tutte. JoEllen teaches Costume Construction at Oberlin.

Joseph P. Natt (Technical Director) started as Technical Director for the Oberlin Theater and Dance Program and the Opera Theater of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in September of 2005. In the span of his career, Natt has worked on more than 70 productions. At Kent, he was involved in Vinegar Tom, Hair, Romeo and Juliet, and Little Shop of Horrors. He worked on such shows as Les Dialogues des Carmelites, Major Barbara, Assassins and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Oberlin College. Joe also worked on numerous productions at Cleveland State University, including Heartbreak House, Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, and Vinegar Tom. As Technical Director of Lyric Opera Cleveland, Joe worked on Don Giovanni, Die Fledermaus, Pirates of Penzance and Das Barbecu. He also worked at The Cleveland Play House on a variety of shows, including Wonderful Life, The Invisible Man, Eliot Ness in Cleveland, Touch the Names, and Pecos Bill and the Ghost Stampede. He did 72 performances as Crew Chief of The Sound of Music at the Carousel Dinner Theater in Akron. Natt teaches Production Scenery 172 class. He earned a BFA in theater set design and technology at Kent State University in 1997.

Michael Louis Grube (Managing Director / Set Designer) is the Managing Director of the Theater and Dance Program, as well as the Scene Designer for theater and dance events and productions of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music's Opera Theater. This is Grube's 27th year with Oberlin College. His professional credits include work with the Opera Company of Boston; Music Theatre North of Potsdam, New York; GeVa Theater of Rochester, New York; Stage One Children's Theater of Louisville, Kentucky; and Dobama Theater and Karamu House of Cleveland. Grube's summer credits include designs for Music Theatre of Wichita, Kansas; the College Light Opera Company of Falmouth, Massachusetts; The Ohio Light Opera Company of Wooster, Ohio; and the Lyric Opera Cleveland at the Cleveland Playhouse. Grube earned an MFA in theater design and technical production in 1976 at Carnegie Mellon University, and a BA in financial administration from St. Vincent College in 1971.

Richard H. Morris Jr. (Lighting/Sound Designer) Mr. Morris is a native of Cleveland Ohio, and holds a B.A. in Scenic and Lighting Design from Kent State University. He is currently Technical Director for Karamu House Theatre. Since his return to Karamu in 1997, he has designed ccenery and lighting for numerous productions, including: Purlie Victorious, Holes, King Headly II, The Odd Couple, Split Second, For Colored Girls, Jar the Floor, Bee Luther Hatchee, Raisin, The Little Tommy Parker Celebrated Colored Minstrel Show, Riff Raff, Treemonisha, Steal Away, Jelly's Last Jam, Coming of the Hurricane, One Mo' Time, Just Passin Through, Five Guys Named Mo, Four Queens, No Trump, August Wilson's Jitney, Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies, and Crumbs from the Table of Joy. Other productions include: Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Indahomey, The Tap Dance Kid, and The Colored Museum. Mr. Morris also served as designer for the Jabar productions of Once on this Island and Trouble in mind and for the Cleveland Public Theatre's production of The Bacchae. As Technical Director for Ensemble Theatre, he designed scenery for The Rabbit Foot, Later Life, and Meetings on the Porch. Mr. Morris has also been guest designer for several theatres throughout Ohio, working as Guest Scenic Designer for Weathervane Playhouse's Seven Guitars and Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting, and Oberlin College theatre's Blade to the Heat and Omnium Gatherum. For Rabbit Run Theatre, Mr. Morris designed scenery for Enchanted April, Ragtime, and Cemetery Club. Mr. Morris has also been Production Designer for a number of independent film productions, such as a Richard Brooks production of Tinted Windows and The Mad Magician.
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