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November 6, 2012 > Theatre: Tony winner closes Family Portraits season

Theatre: Tony winner closes Family Portraits season

Submitted By Douglas Morrisson Theatre, Photo by Terry Sullivan

The Douglas Morrisson Theatre closes its "Family Portraits" 2012 season with Arthur Miller's compelling 1947 classic "All My Sons." Directed by Susan E. Evans, the play features an ensemble of Bay Area performers including John Baldwin, Patricia Tyler, Jeffrey Hoffman, Jessica Chisum, Geoffrey Nolan, Myron Freedman, Shauna Shoptaw, Anthony Everhart, Kira Sullivan, and Will Reicher.

Superbly crafted and profoundly moving, "All My Sons" is a play about man's responsibility toward his fellow men. As the curtain rises, we discover that a batch of faulty cylinder heads manufactured by Joe Keller's factory three years ago, and sold to the Army, resulted in the deaths of 21 young pilots. Joe and his business partner were arrested and jailed; Joe got off on appeal, but his partner is still doing time. Joe's younger son was lost in action while on a flight mission three years ago, but his mother refuses to believe he's gone. The other son, Chris, who returned from the war to work alongside his father, has invited his brother's fiancee (who also happens to be the daughter of Joe's partner) to visit the Kellers, with the intention of proposing. In one climactic evening, a heartrending family secret is revealed and illusions are stripped away.

DMT's Artistic Director Susan E. Evans, who is also directing this production, wants the audience to experience a catharsis. "We live in a very cynical age" Evans said, "and 21st century theatre certainly reflects that cynicism. The gift I hope we will give our audiences with this production is to allow them to leave the theatre having experienced true emotions, having purged or somehow purified themselves." As Arthur Miller wrote in his 1949 essay, Tragedy and the Common Man: "...the plays we revere, century after century, are the tragedies. In them, and in them alone, lies the belief-optimistic, if you will, in the perfectibility of man."

"All My Sons" is partially based on a true story Miller read in an Ohio newspaper about a young woman who turned in her own father for selling faulty parts to the U.S. military. Miller also drew heavily upon Henrik Ibsen's work, particularly "The Wild Duck," and upon the structure of classical Greek tragedy. The play - Miller's second on Broadway - won two Tony Awards and a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award in its 1947 premiere, which was directed by Elia Kazan, and earned a third Tony in 1987 for Best Revival. "All My Sons" has also been adapted for film twice, in 1948, and again in 1987.

"All My Sons" will preview Thursday, November 15, at 8 p.m., and open on November 16, running through December 9 at the Douglas Morrisson Theatre. There will be a special Saturday matinee on December 1 at 2 p.m., followed by a talkback session with the director and cast.

Tickets are $10 for the preview show, $20 for the Saturday matinee, and $28 for evening shows Thursday through Saturday and Sunday matinees. Discounts are available for seniors, students, TBA, KQED members, and groups (10+). The Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday, 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and can be reached at (510) 881-6777. Information and tickets are also available at

All My Sons
Nov 15 - Dec 9
Fridays and Saturdays: 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec 1: 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sundays: 2 p.m.
Douglas Morrisson Theatre
22311 N. Third St., Hayward
(510) 881-6777
Tickets: $10 - 28

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