WWII story told through family


Laura Lucas And Andrew Wilson

On Dec. 5 through Dec. 8 All My Sons is playing in Doner Auditorium.

All My Sons is a tragic drama focusing on two families in a mid-western town after World War II. Arthur Miller wrote it in 1947. Miller is also the author of many well-known plays including Death of a Salesman (1949) and The Crucible (1953).

In the 1940s, directors began to change their focus to “American realism,” a style focusing on intense dialogue with emphasis on reality.

“In Arthur Miller’s writing style, you can see how much more he writes between the subtext that the play can be done in so many different ways and still give the same outstanding effect,” said Assistant Director Sarah Keating, a junior theatre major. “All My Sons is a must-see. It will be amazing”

According to notablebiographies.com, Henrik Ibsen and classical tragedy influenced Miller’s style of writing. The idea for this play was based on a manufacturer who knowingly shipped out defective parts for tanks.

“Arthur Miller, a radical figure for his time, focuses on the realistic aspect of All My Sons,” said Geoffrey Nixon, a junior theatre major who plays Dr. Jim Bayliss. “When people returned from World War II, the economy went through a dramatic change. This play is about the aftermath and what families had to face. Miller made each character have their own battle to fight and come to terms with reality. The entire play is a commentary for what the American Dream is suppose to be.”

During the McCarthy era, he was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956 and asked to give the names of guilty people. He refused, stating his conscience would not let him, and was convicted of contempt. The conviction was later reversed in 1958. Miller was also married to Marilyn Monroe for a time.

Some of his accomplishments include the 1954 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the play Death of a Salesman, two Tony awards and the John. F. Kennedy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The main character in All My Sons is 61-year-old Joe Keller. He ran a manufacturing plant that specialized in airplane parts during World War II. After a tragic airplane crash, it was discovered that Keller assembled and sent out defective airplane parts. His partner was sent to prison while he went free, making an enormous amount of money.

“So many people find ways to cover up their dark sides in the play, which is why we can all relate to All My Sons. Lies will eat at you,” said Nolan Hayes, a senior speech communications major who plays Keller.

The play happens in one day, four years after Keller’s partner goes to jail, and three years after Keller’s son, Larry, goes missing in the war. The family puts up a memorial, however, it was blown down the day before the play starts.

“As Americans, we haven’t changed much in our values and resourcefulness, and individuality can become out of control,” said J. D. Ackman, the director. “The things we value in America can be detrimental to everybody outside of your family. This is an individual struggle between certain aspects in our society.”

The play will be shown in Doner Auditorium Dec. 5-8 at 7:30 p.m. and on Dec. 8 at 2:00 p.m. It is free to all SDSU students with ID.

“[Because of] The fact that Miller wrote the play, you know All My Sons is more the worthy to attend,” said Steven Grovenburg, an undeclared freshman who plays Chris Keller. “As soon as you take a seat in the theatre, you get pulled into the story line right away.”

#1.883008:3474748673.jpg:allmysons_JN.web.jpg:Nolan Hayes plays Joe Keller, the main character of the play All My Sons during a dress rehearsal Dec. 4.: