Actor’s Theatre of San Francisco presents:
Arthur Miller

Make the lie big. Make it simple.
Keep saying it and eventually they will believe it.
Adolph Hitler

"A lot of my work goes to the center of where we belong--if there is any root to life,” said Arthur Miller. “Because nowadays the family is broken up, and people don't live in the same place for very long."

In ALL MY SONS, Miller shows us what can happen when we believe that all that matters is the pursuit of our own ambitions. His play asks us to examine what our moral responsibility is to one another. Charles Keller (Nicholas Russell) tells his father, Joe (Randy Hurst) ”Once and for all you must know that there’s a universe of people outside and you’re responsible to it.”

But Joe disagrees. “There is nothing bigger than the family,” he says and he convinces himself that his motivation excused his crime when he sent defective airplane cylinders to the US Armed Forces and caused the death of 21 pilots in World War II. “Joe Keller is a Tragic Hero of our time whose fate is brought about by a flaw within his own character examined through the conflict of responsibility,“says director Joyce Henderson who also gives a spectacular and sensitive performance as Joe’s wife Kate. “Joe’s trouble is not that he is unable to tell right from wrong, but that his cast of mind cannot admit that he, personally, has any viable connection with its consequences.”

This play is set in 1947 and yet its themes are as important today as they were 63 years ago. All Miller’s plays have an immediacy about them because they reflect his preoccupation with "the powers of economic crisis and political imperatives which bad twisted, torn, eroded, and marked everything and everyone I laid eyes on,” he said. “So that by force of circumstance I came early and unawares to be fascinated by sheer process itself. How things connected. How the native personality of a man was changed by his world, and the harder question, how he could in turn change his world. . . . You can't understand anything unless you understand its relation to its context."

This is a difficult play to stage. We must love the characters even as we abhor their actions. Joe Keller is not a bad man although he did terrible things: He was responsible for the deaths of 21 pilots; he shifted the blame for his actions on his partner and refused to accept that the price of his actions cost him his own son. “It’s dollars and cents, Chris,” he tells his son. “Half the God damned country has to go if I go.”

And later, “A man can’t be a Jesus in the world.”

Actors Theatre has done a magnificent job of bringing this play to life on its stage. The cast cannot be complimented enough for portraying characters that existed before most of them were born who reflected values that hopefully have softened with time. The people on their stage were real human beings…so believable they could have lived next door to every member of the audience. The result was a moving, meaningful drama that is a pertinent as today’s headlines.

Actor’s Theatre is a small group of dedicated people with limited resources that never shrinks from the challenge of bringing important theater to its loyal audience and making it come alive. Every production is a credit to the acting community.

Do not miss ALL MY SONS. The play will make you re-evaluate your own motives and examine your personal integrity. It takes a talented and dedicated cast to touch your heart and still make you wonder at man’s unintentional inhumanity to man. Joyce Henderson’s dedicated cast do just that. It is a joy to watch them perform. The direction strikes just the right note; the acting is beautifully paced and true on every level.

Actors Theatre’s next production will be Tennessee Williams CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF opening early July. Once again this creative and enterprising group will show us that theater is timeless when it addresses the eternal human condition and exposes its universal hopes and fears.

It’s not whether you win or lose,
It’s how you place the blame
Oscar Wilde

Performances 8 PM through June 26, 2010
Wednesday –Saturday
855 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA
415 345 1287

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