Death Of A Vacuum Cleaner Salesman

'A knocking fist can drive a man to madness'

'A good vacuum will save you oodles of time, being the drooling, fist-sucking slob you are'

All Mr. Shmiller wanted was to live his dream. Is it too much to ask to run a simple business from his home? To avoid the bureaucratic overlords who perpetually make him miserable? To pursue a business in which he calls the shots and works towards a goal that he actually believes in? Apparently, this dream is too good to be true. As Mr. Shmiller works from home, his phone rings off the hook. These are not clients who are calling him. They are telemarketers; the bane of Mr. Shmiller's existence. With each call, Shmiller's business line is tied up with pretentious salespeople who monopolize his business hours. With promises of sending Shmiller to the powder-sanded beaches of Maui, Shmiller has yet to be approached with a reasonable deal, not to mention a reasonable use of his time.

One salesman in particular, by the name of Arthur, is eager to get a sale out of Shmiller. With an artificial smile permanently embossed on his face, Arthur worms his way into Shmiller's home, and ultimately his mind. Arthur preys on Shmiller's humanity, manipulating him into buying a fourteenth vacuum cleaner, which Shmiller obviously does not need. After several failed attempts to murder Arthur, Shmiller resorts to identifying with Arthur's humanity. This would work out just fine, if indeed, Arthur is human.

Ironically, this play was completed on the day of Arthur Miller's death.


  • ARTHUR: A salesman
  • MR. SHMILLER: A tormented man

Production Photos

Pete Treadwell
Photo by: David Leyes

Pete Treadwell, Rob Monk
Photo by: David Leyes