BOX OFFICE 610.644.3500

All My Sons

By Arthur Miller

Directed by Kamilah Forbes
September 9-October 4, 2015
Leonard C. Haas Stage

Fierce and exhilarating, this Tony Award-winning drama from the legendary author of Death of a Salesman and The Crucible is a powerful exploration of our nation’s soul. In the wake of World War II, the Keller family reaches a crossroads when discoveries of secret romances, explosive betrayals, and the loss of a loved one threaten to unravel their lives. Following our acclaimed 2014 production of August Wilson’s Fences, Director Kamilah Forbes reunites with actors Michael Genet and Melanye Finister for another American classic of mythic proportions.

Best enjoyed by ages 10+

Scoop on Wednesdays: History, Context, and Gossip

Join us for a lively discussion before Wednesday 7:30pm performances. Resident Dramaturg Gina Pisasale will host an artist from the production and get the inside scoop about such things as the rehearsal and production process, design choices, and the world of the play. The program begins at 6pm in The Farmhouse Bistro on September 16, 23, and 30. Cost of $15 includes light fare.
Call the Box Office at 610.644.3500.

Dinner & A Show Packages

Enjoy a prix fixe dinner and a show package for $73 (Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday matinee, Sunday evening) and $82 (Friday, Saturday evening, Sunday matinee) at The Farmhouse Bistro prior to the Wed-Sun evening performances. That's a savings of up to 15% off the single ticket price. View the menu.

Joe Keller: Michael Genet*
Kate Keller: Melanye Finister*
Chris Keller: Ruffin Prentiss*
Ann Deever: Margaret Ivey*
George Deever: Akeem Davis
Dr. Jim Bayliss: Brian Anthony Wilson*
Sue Bayliss: Joilet Harris*
Frank Lubey: G. Alverez Reid*
Lydia Lubey: Taysha Canales
Bert: Yannick Haynes
Director: Kamilah Forbes
Set Design: Troy Hourie
Costume Designer: Marla J. Jurglanis
Lighting Designer: Jen Schriever
Sound Designer: Justin Ellington
Production Stage Manager: Deborah Teller*
Dramaturg: Gina Pisasale
Line Producer: Zak Berkman
Fight Choreographer: Samantha Reading


* Member, Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.



Explore ALL MY SONS


JUMP TO:
Highlights of this production
Themes of the play
Why did People’s Light choose this play?
The Story
The Playwright



HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS PRODUCTION

  • In 1947, it won the Tony Award for Best Author (now a retired category) and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award. In 1987, it won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.
  • Featuring company member Melanye Finister and numerous returning guest artists including Michael Genet, Brian Anthony Wilson; these 3 actors anchored last year’s production of Fences.
  • By casting mainly Black actors, the production will offer a distinctive and invigorating new take on this American classic.



THEMES OF THIS PLAY

  • What is the responsibility of an individual to the larger society?
  • What happens when a man puts himself and his family above his moral obligations to society and the world?
  • How does war change “all the tallies”?
  • The pressures of production and monetary dealings in the business of war.
  • The love and dedication among fathers and sons
  • The high stakes of self-deception for self-preservation
  • What secrets are best kept?
  • When we lose someone we love, how do/can we let them go?



WHY DID PEOPLE’S LIGHT CHOOSE THIS PLAY?

“People’s Light is committed to producing iconic works of dramatic literature, With Fences, we learned it is still possible to draw audiences in the early fall with a major American classic. Miller’s play shares some striking characteristics and traits with Wilson’s: an exploration of mid-20th Century American complexity through the experiences of one family and their neighbors; a blend of myth and realism; the fall of a patriarch; a backyard; a tree. In this time when America must again grapple with its dreams and failures, we seize this unique opportunity to highlight Miller and Wilson’s kindred stories with productions exactly one year apart, each directed by Kamilah Forbes and featuring company member Melanye Finister and three returning guest artists, Michael Genet, Wendell Franklin and Brian Anthony Wilson. With a mainly Black cast, actors traditionally excluded from these anchors of the American theatrical canon will now be at its center. How this informs future productions of classic works by us and others, we do not know yet, but it will certainly add a voice to that dialogue.”

Producing Director Zak Berkman



THE STORY

Plot Summary

Time: 1947
Place: Back yard of the Keller home located in the outskirts of an unnamed American town

Joe Keller owns a successful metal working factory that produced parts for military aircrafts during World War II. His son, Chris, having survived and returned home from the War, is set to inherit the family business. His elder son, Larry, was an Air Force pilot reported MIA over three years ago. Chris has invited Ann Deever, who grew up next door to the Kellers, for a visit with the intent to propose to her. The play begins the morning after Ann has arrived.

During the course of the day, we learn that Ann was once engaged to Larry but that through correspondence, Chris and Ann have now fallen in love with each other. Chris’ mother, Kate, ardently holds on to the belief that Larry is alive and therefore cannot condone their relationship. We also gradually learn that Ann’s father, Steve, was once Joe’s business partner and that both Steve and Joe were arrested and convicted for knowingly selling cracked cylinder heads to the Army Air Force that resulted in 21 deaths. Joe is exonerated through an appeal, putting the blame entirely on Steve, whose ashamed family abandoned him as he was imprisoned.

Ann’s older brother, George, arrives at the Kellers’ to prevent her marriage to Chris. After an unprecedented visit to his father in prison, he confronts Ann and the Kellers with the truth of Joe’s involvement in the crime. Although he is almost won over by Kate’s charm and Joe’s engaging candor, his conviction is reaffirmed, revealing Kate’s fragile belief in Joe’s innocence. For Kate, Larry’s death would mean that Joe is guilty of killing his own son. As Chris finally comes to terms with the whole truth, Joe argues that his actions were to protect the business for his son.

Although Ann realizes that she has also been misled about the crime that devastated her family, she is unwilling to sacrifice her marriage and face a lonely future. As a last resort, she shows Kate a letter that Larry wrote telling her of his knowledge and shame of his family’s “business” and that he intended to kill himself while out on their next mission. When Joe sees the letter, he finally realizes that his actions betrayed not only his sons, but all sons. He agrees to turn himself in. As Chris, Kate, and Ann wait in the yard, Joe ends his life with a gunshot.

Who's Who

Joe Keller
In his sixties. He is a pillar among men, beloved by the town in which he lives and a successful business owner. Husband to Kate and father of 2 sons, Larry (deceased) and Chris. Engaging, charismatic, and persuasive. In the stage directions, he’s described: “A heavy man of stolid mind and build, a business man these many years, but with the imprint of the machine-shop worker and boss still upon him. When he reads, when he speaks, when he listens, it is with the terrible concentration of the uneducated man for whom there is still wonder in many commonly known things, a man whose judgments must be dredged out of experience and a pleasant-like common sense. A man among men.”

Kate Keller
Fifties. A fiercely devoted mother and wife. Vivacious and charming yet persistent and firm. Described in the stage directions as “a woman of uncontrolled inspirations, and an overwhelming capacity for love.”

Chris Keller
Thirties. Only surviving son of the Keller family. Went to war 5 years ago (1942) and has returned burdened with survivor’s guilt. Heir to the family business. Wants to build a career and family that inspires him. Ardently loves his parents. Described in the staged directions as “like his father, solidly built, a listener. A man capable of immense affection and loyalty.”

Ann Deever
Twenties. Grew up next door to the Kellers. Good-natured, strong, and attractive. She has been living in NY for the past 3 ½ years. Described in the stage directions as “gentle but despite herself capable of holding fast to what she knows.”

George Deever
Thirties. Ann’s older brother, also grew up with the Kellers and fought in the War. Now a lawyer. Stern, but can be affable.

Dr. Jim Bayliss
Nearing 40. Next-door neighbor to the Kellers, living in the former Deever house. A general practitioner who has “settled” in life. Described in the stage directions as “A wry self-controlled man, an easy talker, but with a wisp of sadness that clings even to his self-effacing humor.”

Sue Bayliss
Rounding 40. Dr. Jim Bayliss’ wife. Previously a nurse. Playful but practical and direct. Described in the stage directions as “an overweight woman who fears it.”

Frank Lubey
Thirties. The Kellers’ other next-door neighbor. Was always one year ahead of the draft age range, resulting in a keen interest in astrology. Described in the stage directions as “a pleasant, opinionated man, uncertain of himself, with a tendency toward peevishness when crossed, but always wanting it pleasant and neighborly.”

Lydia Lubey
Twenties. Married to Frank and mother of 3 children. Grew up in the neighborhood and was possibly once a love-interest of George Deever before the war. Described in the stage directions as “robust, laughing girl.”

Bert
About 8 years old; dubbed a “policeman” by Keller and reports the news from the neighborhood.



THE PLAYWRIGHT

Arthur Miller
1915-2005
American playwright, novelist, scriptwriter

Here’s a timeline Miller’s greatest career achievements:

1936
Arthur Miller writes his first play, No Villain, in a playwriting class at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He wins the prestigious Avery Hopwood Award for excellence in writing.

1938-1944
Miller joins the Federal Theatre Project and begins to write radio plays, some of which are broadcast on CBS.

1944
The Man Who Had All the Luck opens on Broadway to disappointing reviews and closes after only four performances.

1945
Miller writes Focus, a novel about an anti-Semite who is mistaken for a Jew.

1947
All My Sons (directed by Elia Kazan) premieres on Broadway to rave reviews.

1949
The opening of Death of a Salesman solidifies Miller’s place in the American theatrical and literary canons.

1949
Miller publishes his famed essay “The Tragedy of the Common Man” in the New York Times.

1950
Miller adapts Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, another play that confronts themes of communal and social responsibility.

1953
The Crucible opens on Broadway, sparking governmental suspicion about Miller’s “un-American” lifestyle.

1955
A View from the Bridge opens on Broadway, introducing audiences to yet another tragic Miller character, Eddie Carbone.

1961
Miller writes the screenplay for The Misfits, based on his short story. The movie stars Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, Miller’s then-wife.

1967
Miller publishes I Don’t Need You Anymore, a collection of short stories.

1968
The Price opens on Broadway; it is a play that boldly confronts themes of materialism and class.

1969
Miller publishes In Russia with photographer wife Inge Morath, detailing their impressions of Russian culture during The Cold War.

1970
Miller writes Fame, a television play about a playwright troubled by his success.

1972
The Creation of the World and Other Business, a play inspired by the book of Genesis, is considered Miller’s first commercial failure since The Man Who Had All the Luck in 1944.

1977
With his wife, Miller publishes In the Country. The book is a series of photographs by Morath with text written by Miller on their life in Roxbury, Conn.

1980
The American Clock opens on Broadway, featuring characters loosely based on Miller’s family.

1984
Miller publishes Salesman in Beijing, detailing the insights and challenges of directing a decidedly American play in a foreign country.

1987
Miller publishes his autobiography, Timebends: A Life.

1990
Miller writes the screenplay for a detective film entitled Everybody Wins. The film receives dreadful reviews, but Miller’s reputation remains untarnished.

1994
Broken Glass, a play based on the Jewish pogrom in Nazi Germany, premieres at the Long Wharf Theatre in Connecticut; it later wins a Tony Award for Best Play.

1996
Miller writes the screenplay for The Crucible.

2002
Resurrection Blues, Miller’s biting comedy about religious dogma, premieres at The Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis.

2004
Miller’s final play, Finishing the Picture, premieres at the Goodman Theatre just months before his death. The play is a dramatization of his time shooting the movie The Misfits, with then-wife Marilyn Monroe.