Although not his best-known work, Arthur Miller’s 1947 masterpiece, “All My Sons” is experiencing a resurrection this year. Critically acclaimed performances throughout the summer in East Hampton, featuring none other than 30 Rock’s Alec Baldwin, have set the bar high.
Georgetown’s Mask and Bauble Society, however, does not disappoint. Its production of “All My Sons,” running this week in Poulton Hall, harkens back to the tumult of the 1940s with finesse and insight.
This compelling and dramatic tragedy tells the story of Joe Keller, a successful, self-made man who has framed his business partner for a crime — and gotten away with it. Meanwhile, his son is planning to marry the partner’s daughter. Although one may be intimidated by the presence of parallel story lines, “All My Sons” is a well-told tale that keeps the audience on its toes.
The entirety of the play takes place in front of the Joe Keller’s brick home. Complete with a table, chairs, and a broken tree that was once a memorial for to his dead son, Larry, the atmosphere entices the audience through its inescapable intimacy. Such a set is a truly remarkable achievement in a simple black box theater.
Perhaps the most amazing aspect of the play is its small, but extremely talented, cast anchored mainly by underclassmen. In the words of producer Elly Straske, “Four members of the cast are freshmen, a couple new designers are freshmen; the majority of the cast is new to Georgetown Theatre, which is something we were really looking at when casting the show; trying to get as many new people involved as we could.”
The costumes, makeup, facial expressions and enthusiasm proved the show’s highlights. Each word spoken and step taken reflected the actors’ incredible investment of time and energy and served to create a very relatable and interactive theatrical experience.
“This play handles some of its darker subject matter well because it is first and foremost a play about relationships. There is so much respect for each of the characters, their motivations and their reactions. I think for me, that’s what humanizes the play and why we come to look at the darker subject matter so complexly,” said Natalie Caceres (MSB ’16) who plays Ann Deever.
Overall, “All My Sons” reflected not only the substantial talent of its key players that seemed to bring a newer, contemporary life to Miller’s traditional classic, a task that can sometimes be difficult to accomplish in student theater and a comparatively smaller stage.
The show will run for a final time on Saturday, oct. 24.
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