Colchester Theatre Group

ALL MY SONS by Arthur Miller

Director: Sue Atkin

Production dates: Wednesday 10 to Saturday 13 April 2019

Rehearsals will start on Monday 7 January 2019 and continue twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays.

We shall be using the Josef Weinberger edition of the play – obtainable from https://www.josef-weinberger.com/plays-and-pantomime/play/all-my-sons.html

The action of the play is set in 1950s USA and takes place in the backyard of Joe and Kate Keller’s home over two days.  Joe Keller, the chief character, is a man who loves his family above all else and has built up a successful engineering business to support them.  The action opens with the loss in a storm of an apple tree, planted as a memorial to Joe and Kate’s son, Larry, missing in action in the war.  The other son, Chris, arrives home to announce his engagement to Ann, who had been engaged to Larry.  This is not welcome news to Kate who does not believe her son is really dead.  As the action unfolds Joe’s past, concerning a court case about his factory producing faulty engine heads for aircraft which led to the deaths of many servicemen in the war and for which his then partner, Steve Deever, went to prison, comes back to haunt the family.  New information comes from Steve’s son, George, which together with a revelation from Ann, brings the play to a dramatic conclusion.

Main parts

Joe Keller is in his early 60s.  Largely uneducated he has risen from the work floor to be boss of a successful money making engineering business which supports his family, wife Kate and son Chris.  Question: has he really reconciled his past actions with the present consequences?

Kate Keller, Joe’s wife, is in her early 50s.  Her life revolves around her belief that Larry is still alive and is coming home.  Question: why does Larry take precedence over Chris?

Chris Keller, the remaining son, is in his early 30s.  He had a difficult war and this has made him wary of the family business and making money.  He wants to marry Ann. Question: what does he really think of Joe?

Ann Deever is in her mid to late 20s.  She is the daughter of Steve, Joe’s former partner, and is a young woman who knows her own mind and now wants to marry Chris.  Question: why does she believe that Larry is dead?

George Deever, Ann’s elder brother, is in his early 30s.  He moved away and has become a successful lawyer in New York.  After a recent visit to see his father, Steve, he arrives at the Keller home to prevent Ann from marrying Chris.  Question: why did he ignore his father for so many years?

Supporting parts

Jim Bayliss is a doctor, in his 40s who lives next door to the Kellers in the Deevers’ old house, with his wife Sue.  He has a formed a good relationship with Joe.  Question: how much does he know about Joe’s past?

Sue Bayliss, Jim’s wife, is in her 40s.  She is forever chasing Jim about patients’ telephone calls but would prefer him to follow his heart and take up research.   Question: what does she really think of the Kellers?

Frank Lumley still lives in his childhood home near the Kellers, now with his wife, Lydia.  He is in his 30s and has a fairly simple outlook on life.  He is working on a horoscope for Kate about Larry.  Question: does he actually realise what is going on around him?

Lydia Lumley, Frank’s wife, is in her late 20s.  She is forever going on at Frank to fix things about the house but is a bit scatty herself.  Question: does she wonder why she never married George?

Bert is a local young boy who believes Joe was once a detective and does his best to keep an eye out for local “trouble makers”.  Question: why does he idolise Joe?

[This part is for a boy aged 8 but we shall play it a bit older and are looking for a young man aged at least 16, who can look and play the part of a young boy.]

    Our next production

    The Lady Killers