After 10 years and countless productions, ETC is tackling one of Arthur Miller's most famous plays. Mr. Miller is known for his hard-hitting stories and realistic take on the American family. Even more so than his other productions, All My Sons unabashedly shows the toll that grief, deception, and avoidance can take on a family. "Combine this with one's determination to achieve an American dream of their own and you have a recipe for the kind of tragic drama relatable to those of the Greek masters like Sophocles and Aeschylus," officials said.
Set in August of 1947, All My Sons is centered around the Keller family: patriarch Joe; his wife Kate; and their son, Chris. The boisterous Joe Keller deals with the fallout from his business having profited from the war by shipping faulty engine parts, which caused the death of 21 pilots.
Still reeling from the disappearance of their son, Larry, Kate Keller is in a constant battle to stay sane and refuses to give up hope for his safe return. Complications for the Kellers also arise from their former neighbors, George and Ann Deever, the children of Joe Keller's business partner, who is taking the punishment of the faulty shipments. Ann is the girlfriend of the missing Keller son, but is now the object of the older Chris Keller's affection. George, damaged by the war, uses his visit to assert a certain truth about the war and the faulty shipments.
"We wanted to really develop our talent and our style before hitting the American classics like Miller and Tennessee Williams. As a message based storyteller, I look for plays that have a profound impact on our understanding of our world. Miller's All My Sons perfectly deals with how one decision can change so many lives. And from a political standpoint, I see this as a very important message." said Artistic Director Garry Lee Posey, who also notes that this is his favorite Miller. With a simplistic setting and costumes, the story concentrates solely on the characters and their relationships with one another.
"I love the humanity of this show," said Producing Partner Casey Keelen. "There are no bells and whistles to look past, so the audience really gets to know each character, and that connection brings them further into the story."
Dealing with a show of this emotional magnitude may be quite the undertaking, but the cast of All My Sons said they are definitely up for the challenge. "When I was cast, I was a little intimidated, but knowing the high quality of the script and the team I would be working with, that intimidation quickly turned into excitement." said actor Timmy Montgomery.
All My Sons runs two weekends starting April 7 and ending April 15. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 9. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students. More information can be found at www.ensembletheatreofchattanooga.com or by calling 423-987-5141. Performances will be held at the new Midtown Central facility in Brainerd, 5705 Uptain Road.