Monarch High School’s Isabella Le Sante
The Benjamins School’s production of All My Sons is a heavy show that you’ll feel long after you leave the theatre. It does leave its mark with its mature subject matter. The play covers the importance of honesty and how your actions could affect those closest to you. So, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for take-off as we explain a story full of heart, sadness, and dealing with loss.
Based on a true story, All My Sons was written in 1946 by Arthur Miller and takes place in that time era. Arthur Miller was inspired by a story his stepmother told him about the mistakes her father made during World War II. It premiered at the Coronet Theatre in New York City on January 29, 1947. The show ran through 328 performances and won both Tony Awards for Best Direction of a Play and the Tony Award for Best Author.
Jacob Steinger truly embodied the role of Joe Keller with good diction and great physicality that fit the elder character. Steinger maintaining that nervosity and awkward presence in the first two acts was brilliant and assisted in making the climatic outburst near the end of the second act feel all more natural. Though some fighting sequences weren’t as smooth as one may expect, the dialogue remained realistic along with the casts’ believable performances.
The wonderful and charming chemistry between actors Caden Quinn (Chris Keller) and Catherine Schenk (Ann Deever) was believable especially in the time era the show was set in. What was first innocent, sweet puppy love, turned into a passionate bond of trust and devotion between the two characters. As the audience, it was enjoyable to see the development of the two characters and the characters development through each other.
Although the dialogue and mannerisms felt natural and believable, one could tell that these are teenagers playing as adults that are touching on sensitive subjects such as suicide which may make a person uneasy. However, this minor concern doesn’t take away from the incredible performance the cast put on stage.
The hair and makeup in the show was truly phenomenal. Since the cast didn’t have the number of men needed, they used female actors to play those male roles. They used hats to cover the female actors’ long hair and contour to make their features more masculine. The makeup and hair used on Joe Keller highlighted the older state he is supposed to be in and since the theatre wasn’t an intimate space, the makeup didn’t look harsh.
The Benjamin School’s intense, but magnificent production of All My Sons makes the audience think about how one’s decision could bring consequences to those around them. This beautifully heartbreaking show is impactful with its heavy theme and will leave the audience with a variety of different emotions.