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September 15, 2010

Building a Broken House – Lorenzo Savoini

Soulpepper Associate Artist Lorenzo Savoini has been a set, lighting, and costume designer on a number of Soulpepper productions, and was a graduate of the inaugural Soulpepper Academy. His previous work includes design for Neptune Theatre, Theatre Calgary, Theatre Aquarius, The Globe Theatre, GCTC, Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Blyth Festival, The Grand Theatre, and the Stratford Festival. Lorenzo lends his considerable talents to the set design of our upcoming production, Death of a Salesman.

Death of a Salesman - Set Design

Lorenzo Savoini's model set for Death of a Salesman.

“The house,” in the late fourties and going into the fifties, was without a doubt a symbol of the “American Dream.” It was supposed to be a time to plant roots and build lives. The Loman house is not only a symbol of the American Dream, but also of Willy himself. In our design the aging white house sits within a glassy darkness, in the same way Willy becomes more and more lost in the recesses of his mind. The dilapidated roof hangs above as a sad reminder of what could have been, seemingly teetering on the brink of extinction.

Death of a Salesman - Set Design

Another angle of the model, the suspended roof with projection screen in the background.

The environment is an attempt at representing the world from the perspective of Willy Loman; a blurring of his reality and his “daydreams.” We wanted the house to be terribly claustrophobic and minimal, and use projection to create expressionistic images from Willy’s mind. Also important was an attempt at a poetic overlap of locations and “time,” with his memory and his current reality creating a double exposure over one another. As we move through rehearsals we will be exploring, along with the actors, many ways to define and use the various locations needed. I am really looking forward to it!

Death of a Salesman - Set Design

Death of a Salesman opens at Soulpepper October 16.