As usual this summer, fall sports teams and marching bands reported for duty ahead of the first day of school. But unusually, so did the staff and students of the Roosevelt (High School) Repertory Theatre.

They’ve been at work for weeks on their production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.

Drama Director Micheal Davenport is playing the iconic lead role of disillusioned, beleaguered Willy Loman, and that’s just one of the twists in Roosevelt’s staging of this American classic.

“This is not the typical high school play, as three Roosevelt staff from the vocal music and drama departments will be acting on stage with eight of their students,” said Davenport, “and there are two other adult volunteers, a DMACC/Morningside professor and a local artist, appearing on stage with the students, too.”

Besides the hybrid casting approach, Davenport is touting the production as a catalyst for community dialogue about mental illness.

“There are two special audience talk-back sessions after the September 6 and September 9 shows with the cast and representatives from NAMI (National Association for Mental Illness)-Iowa and the Iowa Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention,” he said.

Portions of the ticket sales will go to those organizations.

Come for the show and stay for the discussion.

All seats are $10 for shows in the Cloris Leachman Auditorium at Roosevelt on September 6th (7:00 PM), 8th (7:30 PM), and 9th (2:30 PM) and may be purchased online at

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