Cooper City High School’s Nicholas Diraviam
Though set in an ordinary, relatable American town, the production of “All My Sons” at The Benjamin School employed realistic relationships and authentic acting to make an experience that was nothing less than extraordinary. This play illustrated Arthur Miller’s message about the big American Dream vividly by displaying the small American people whom it hurts.
The Tragedy by Arthur Miller serves as a commentary on the faults of the American Dream, by portraying a businessman, Joe Keller, who uses illegal methods to “help” his family. After his son, Chris, discovers Joe’s morally flawed schemes, the father loses his family, thus showing that family is not an excuse for compromising one’s integrity. The play was nearly Miller’s last, but the massive success it received encouraged Miller to write another and cemented its place as an American classic.
In response to the comedic and dramatic facets of Joe’s character, Jacob Steinger met the demands of Joe Keller’s role with expert comedic timing and a stage presence that demanded seriousness. Complimenting his character, Katherine Rodgers delivered deep emotion in her portrayal of Kate Keller. The diverse personalities of the pair solidly established their relationship, allowing for their arguments to be gripping and tense.
The idealist-turned-practicalist was played perfectly by Caden Quinn as Chris Keller. Quinn was thoroughly aware of Chris Keller’s motives and emotions, displaying them in his arguments with other characters, such as George and Annie. George Deever, played by Casey Crawford, had a foreboding stage presence from his overflowing emotion in his first moment on stage. His role was challenging as it rapidly developed in Act 2, but Crawford naturally transitioned between emotions. The energy these two characters shared was unparalleled, as they not only knew their own characters, but also that of their counterparts. Catherine Schenk was also an invaluable piece to the production as Ann Deever. Her acting did not disappoint as she was often the center of attention in many arguments. Her genuine relationships added to the reality of the victims of the American Dream.
This cast created riveting moments, as they transformed the stage into a reflection of American society. Despite some actors having their backs to the audiences at times, the interactions between the characters remained compelling. While some actors had distracting habits, their characters were well defined, which made for an engaging performance. Ultimately, the cast made an enthralling performance with few problems.
The hair and makeup team, led by Catherine Schenk was masterful in converting young actors into older, more mature men and women. Although there were areas of the stage where the lighting could have been improved to fully do it justice, the efforts in hair and makeup still shined bright throughout most of the stage. The tech in this production added flare to an already radiant production
The Benjamin School’s production of All My Sons by Arthur Miller used the “Holy Family” to show the sinful parts of America’s promises.