Cooper City High School’s Christina Caride
“A father is a father.” When focusing upon the balance between family sacrifices and personal morality, even the most devoted individuals slip through the cracks of how twisted the American dream can become. The Benjamin School’s production of “All My Sons” reflects upon what it means to provide and how much someone will sacrifice to be seen as a good person.
Based upon a true story, “All My Sons” became Arthur Millers’ final attempt at playwriting, which ended up succeeding immensely. The show opened in the Coronet Theatre in 1947 and was awarded multiple Tony Awards. Taking place during World War II, this tragedy follows the Keller family in their life following the death of Larry Keller. Some move on, others don’t, and the cause of Larry’s death is the albatross around the Keller’s neck in revealing who exactly is accountable, especially in needed times of war.
Katherine Rodgers proves a true commitment to character in her portrayal of Kate Keller, a tragic subject to the truth that has unfolded. Playing into the mother’s mature essence, Rodgers’ acting remained consistent by providing grounded physicality and genuine vocal line delivery that fell nothing short of heart-wrenching. Her husband, Joe Keller, was embodied by Jacob Steinger. Steinger must be commended for his emotional acting in the strenuous material of the show, never once falling short of the fatherly lament of losing a son.
Caden Quinn performed veritably in his role of Chris Keller. Possessed with phenomenal stage presence, Quinn showcased immense authentic commitment to character, especially in regards to the loyal son’s relationship to the other individuals within the show. One of these individuals was Ann Deever, elegantly showcased by Catherine Schenk. This love-struck duo provided genuine onstage chemistry and became a beacon of hope amongst the despondency of it all.
Adding depth to the show’s underlying conflict, the production’s ensemble proved to only add to the Keller’s suspicious complexion. However, also providing the needed comic relief at times, specific members can be recognized; Ella Pierman depicting Sue Bayliss does a wonderful job of portraying the image of a prattling housewife. The technical elements made the Keller’s average house a disturbing home. Stunning creative choices such as the projection at the beginning of the show and the sound design that added key details only advanced the show’s realism. Hair and makeup by Catherine Schenk was nothing short of timeless. Staying true to the 1940’s history, the application of pinup hairstyles and red lips can be observed as a noteworthy feature.
Anything can happen in a time of war. The Benjamin School’s cast and crew of “All My Sons” remind us of such and must be commended in their touching performance.