New play proves to be both powerful and passionate

Stephanie Liverani and Stephanie Liverani

This 1947 family drama, directed by Travis Malone, a Ph.D. candidate at the University, is set in a post-World War II America revolving around the issue of corruption and the consequences of making dubious choices.

Joe Keller, played by Jim Dachik, a successful manufacturer of hardware components, whose company supplied parts for fighter planes during the war. His son Chris (Ryan Zarecki), reluctantly considers following in his father’s footsteps because of his adoration for Ann Deever (Alisa Cutcher), to whom he is proposing marriage.

This scenario proves complicated for the couple because of Ann’s current marriage to Chris’s brother Larry, who has been missing in action since 1944. Mother, Kate Keller (Libby Allen-Dachik) cannot accept that Larry may not return home and believes him to still be alive.

The play begins with a windy, midnight storm destroying a small tree that has been planted in the yard in Larry’s honor.

The situation regarding Chris and Ann’s engagement further complicates due to the fact that Ann is the daughter of Joe’s former business partner, Steve Deever, who is currently serving a prison sentence for negligence.

Joe and Steve shared the manufacturing company that was responsible for producing and supplying tainted engine parts to fighter planes, resulting in the deaths of 21 pilots during the war.

Joe was exonerated on appeal, but his guilt and uncertainty loomed over his family and the community, as Steve remained imprisoned brimming with betrayal and antipathy for Joe.

Attempting to release the news of Chris and Ann’s engagement was a nightmare in itself. Especially with Ann’s brother, George Deever (Bob Russell) visiting their imprisoned father for the first time since his arrest. During the visit, new suspicions regarding the scandal and Joe’s exoneration are resurrected.

“All My Sons” is not only a powerful and emotional account of the misapprehension of the American Dream, but it is well performed and directed and engulfs its audience completely. The actors of this play present each character with realism and raw emotion, while at the same time incorporating comic relief, truly making this production come alive.

Also starring in this production are Dale J. Young as Dr. Jim Bayliss, Shelley Nixon as wife Sue Bayliss, Adam Marier as old friend Frank Lubey, Emily Wright as his wife Lydia Lubey, and Baxter Chambers as young neighbor Burt.

“All My Sons” will be presented on Sept. 23 and 24 at 8 p.m., and Sept. 25 and 26 at 2 p.m. in the Joe E. Brown Theatre located at University Hall.