October 1–15, 2011
Previews: Sept. 29–30
Johnson Theater, TPAC
Tennessee Rep Presents
Arthur Miller's All My Sons
Tony Award-winner for Best Writer (Arthur Miller, 1947) and Best Revival (1987).
Winner of the Drama Critics' Award for Best New Play in 1947 and multiple Tony Award-winner, All My Sons established Arthur Miller as a leading voice in the American theatre. All My Sons introduced themes that thread through Miller's work as a whole: the relationships between fathers and sons and the conflict between business and personal ethics.
In this classic American drama, Joe Keller and Steve Deever—partners in a manufacturing plant during World War II—turned out defective airplane parts, causing the deaths of many men. They were sent to prison but Keller was exonerated and went on to have a successful business. In a work of tremendous power, a love affair between Keller's son and Deever’s daughter, the bitterness of George Deever, and the reaction of a son to his father's guilt escalate toward a climax of electrifying intensity.
This show has been on my dying-to-do list for a long time. The time seems right because the subject of this intense family drama is more relevant than ever, as we struggle harder than ever as a society to figure out what the parameters of personal responsibility are. We are split politically over ideas related to the goals of the individual vs. the good of the community: are we only beholden to our own interests, connected to no one but whoever is in our own backyard, or are we part of a larger web of responsibility? If we do something that is good for ourselves, but other people we don’t even know may suffer as a result, where does the moral compass fall? When heads of corporations place the highest priority on their personal bottom line, if employees are left without pensions or healthcare or even jobs, is that okay? After all, they’re just pursuing our American definition of success—make as much money as possible, and by the way, don’t be shy about it. This play, through the story of the Keller family, explores with gut-wrenching results questions of personal responsibility and integrity and the interconnectivity of all of us. I think this play will stir your heart and your thinking, and I look forward to the conversations it will ignite.