Arthur Miller’s ‘All My Sons’ is coming to WCCT
WEBSTER CITY — Webster City Community Theatre is set to present the award-winning drama about a fateful World War II decision in February.
The 1947 post-war play, written by famed playwright Arthur Miller, is directed by Abby Sturtevant Sharp, with assistance from Trese Arends and Mark Dohms.
Miller’s best-known works, created from the 1940s through the 1960s, are still studied today. Among them are “The Crucible,” “Death of a Salesman” and “A View from the Bridge.”
“The real heart behind this show is Dale Arends and his 40-plus-year dream to do ‘All My Sons,'” Sharp said. “I hope that when we look back on our time learning this show we look back with pride on a job well done. This is a very mentally challenging show for the cast and crew, and although drama is not something WCCT has visited much in its history, I believe we are certainly up to the task.”
The story revolves around the Keller and Deever families and the other characters in their neighborhood somewhere in the Midwest. Joe Keller, played by Arends, of Belmond, and Steve Deever were partners in a shop that made parts for World War II military airplanes. When some cylinder heads turned out faulty but were shipped out anyway, 21 P-40s went down, killing the pilots. Joe was exonerated; Steve went to prison.
Joe and Kate Keller, played by Loween Getter, of Webster City, had two sons who both served in World War II. Chris, played by Brennan Fehr, of Humboldt, came back home after the war to work in his father’s profitable factory. Larry did not return. His mother seeks the aid of her neighbor, Frank Lubey, played by Brian Borkowski, of Woolstock, an astrologist, to prove that Larry is still alive somewhere.
Steve’s daughter, Ann, played by Lynda Wunder-Heidt, of Fort Dodge, was Larry’s girl-next-door girlfriend. Now she is in love with Chris. Her brother, George, played by Kevin Sharp, of Duncombe, returned from war to learn the truth about his father and Joe Keller. He also finds his former girlfriend, Lydia, played by Nichole Ose, of Williams, married to Frank and the mother of three.
Rounding out the cast are neighbors Dr. Jim Bayliss, played by Dean Evans, of Alden, and his wife Sue, played by Christine Hassebrock, of Blairsburg, and young Bert, played by Hank Christeson, of Webster City.
“Throughout rehearsals watching the actors’ character development over time has been my favorite part about directing thus far as lines begin to come more naturally to the actors, to see that night they ‘become’ a character is magical. To begin to feel a tangible energy in a dramatic scene can make a person forget they’re watching a scripted moment,” Sharp said.
The unscripted character in the play is the Keller home and backyard that has been created on the WCCT stage by a crew of builders, painters, a set artist and set dressers. Other crew members have put together lights and sounds, props, costumes, hairstyles and makeup to create the look of 1947.
“All My Sons” runs Feb. 2, 3, 9 and10 at 7:30 p.m.; and Feb. 4 and 11, at 2 p.m.
All tickets are $12 and can be reserved by calling (515) 832-4456, ordering online at www.wcctonline.org, or stopping by the box office at 1001 Willson Ave., Webster City. Box office hours are 5 to 7 p.m. weeknights, Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon, and one hour prior to show time.
“Theater is art brought to life,” Sharp said, “and I enjoy the challenge of breathing dimension into plays. Then at the end of a rehearsal period, is very gratifying to see the results of the work bringing laughter, tears or a new perspective to audience members. Plus, it is interesting to me how different people interpret art and the written word in different ways; how the same play could mean different things to different people.”
Due to the powerful nature of the script, it is suggested that parents use discretion. Audience members are also advised that a gunshot will be heard in the final act of the play.