Kicks Off 2010
With Arthur Miller's Classic
"All My Sons"
The Huntington Theatre Company will begin
the New Year with the Tony Award-winning classic "All
My Sons," Arthur Miller’s powerful
story of family relationships, personal responsibility, and the quest
for the American Dream.
Esbjornson, director of the premieres of Miller’s last
two plays ("The Ride Down Mt. Morgan" and
"Resurrection Blues"), joins the Huntington to direct
Miller’s first hit. Performance dates are January 8 – February
The production will feature acclaimed Boston actors Will
Lyman as family patriarch Joe Keller and Karen MacDonald
as his wife Kate. The cast also includes: Lee Aaron Rosen, Diane
Davis, Stephanie DiMaggio, Owen Doyle, Ken Cheeseman, Dee Nelson, Michael
Tisdale, Andrew Cekala and Spencer Evett.
According to Peter DuBois, the Huntington’s Artistic
Director, “David Esbjornson was Arthur Miller’s director
of choice late in life, staging the premieres of his last two plays. David’s
instincts with Arthur’s language and his characters are extraordinary.
He’ll bring a singular perspective to Miller’s earliest masterpiece.”
"All My Sons" is the story of family man and small business
owner, Joe Keller, in the years following World War II. Keller continues
to strive for the American Dream, despite being shaken by both the public
shame of his company’s sale of faulty airplane parts to the government
and the personal tragedy of his son who was missing-in-action. His wife
Kate is trapped by her grief, while their elder son Chris yearns to move
forward. When Chris announces his plan to marry his absent brother’s
fiancée, Kate is forced to confront her denial of the war’s
fatalities, Chris his father’s moral compromises, and Joe his true
responsibilities to his family and to his country.
Esbjornson commented, “One of the reasons the play succeeds is because
all of the characters want something desperately. 'All My Sons' is really
not about whether someone has done something wrong, but about denial.
There are no obvious villains here, just people who are afraid, who have
made really bad choices and then tried to run away from them. These characters
are each in conflict, caught in a self-made purgatory.”
The themes of the play were extremely important to Miller long after he
completed "All My Sons." Esbjornson suggests, “I think
Arthur understood that there is nothing more insidious or ultimately more
destructive than when patriotism and profit become aligned. That was something
that followed him right up until the end of his life. He would visit Washington
all the time to make speeches about this and continued to write editorials.
He was very active in that way in trying to fight these forces and let
people know that these issues were still very much alive.”
Arthur Miller’s plays include "Death of a Salesman,"
"The Crucible," "A View from the Bridge," "A
Memory of Two Mondays," "After the Fall," "Incident
at Vichy," "The Price," "The Creation of the World
and Other Business," "The Archbishop’s Ceiling,"
"The American Clock," "Playing for Time," "The
Ride Down Mt. Morgan," "The Last Yankee," "Broken
Glass," "Mr. Peters’ Connections," "Resurrection
Blues," and "Finishing the Picture."
His other works include the novel Focus, the film
"The Misfits," and the texts for "In
Russia, In the Country, and Chinese Encounters," created
in collaboration with his wife, photographer Inge Morath.
His numerous awards include two New York Drama Critics Circle
Awards, two Emmy Awards, four Tony Awards
(including one for Lifetime Achievement), and the Pulitzer
David Esbjornson worked with Arthur Miller on the playwright's final two
premiere productions: "The Ride Down Mt. Morgan"
starring Patrick Stewart at The Public Theater and on
Broadway, and the world premiere of "Resurrection Blues"
at the Guthrie Theater. He is the former artistic director of Seattle
Repertory where he directed premieres of Ariel Dorfman’s
"Purgatorioi," Kevin Kling’s "How? How? Why? Why?,"
and the first major revival of Edward Albee’s "The
Lady from Dubuque." He has had a long-standing relationship
with Edward Albee, directing the Tony Award-winning play "The
Goat or, Who is Sylvia?," "The Play about the Baby,"
and "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
“David is an extraordinary director,” Miller told the Minneapolis
Star Tribune in 2001. “He’s got a strong structural sense
and a lovely way with actors – he makes them very confident and
gets the best out of them. He also has a strong design sense, which is
very important. On the whole, he’s one of the best directors I’ve
ever worked with."
For information and tickets, stop by the Huntington box
office, call 617-266-0800 or visit www.huntingtontheatre.org.