“All My Sons”

All My Sons
The next time the curtains of the auditorium are opened will be to unveil the cast of Arthur Miller’s play, “All My Sons.” The play is based in the 1940s and follows a family living in post-WWII America. The production is based on a true story and outlines the effects of going after the “American dream.”

The story line is both a tragedy and love story focusing on how different people go about accomplishing their view of the perfect life in America. The characters in this play are all entangled by strings of love, grief and bitterness.

The cast includes senior Thomas Ledesma as Joe Keller, senior Christian Chase as Chris Keller, senior Brynna Sherley as Kate Keller, junior Sierra Banks as Ann Deever, senior Julian von Salzen as George Deever, sophomore CeAndra Nelson as Sue Bayliss, senior Daylin Bibey as Jim Bayliss, senior Elema Colangeli as Lydia Lubey and sophomore Matthew Park as Frank Lubey.

Allison Bassett is in her first year of teaching at Marshfield and has occupied the position of choir and drama teacher. For her first play at MHS, Bassett selected “All My Sons” based on differences from previous plays performed at Marshfield.

“I think this is a play that you can’t walk away without being emotionally stirred in some way,” Bassett said.

Along with the teaching changes the drama department has experienced, Bassett has added her own touches to the activities the actors partake in. Bassett said she believes in strong character development and uses different exercises to help with the students’ ability to connect with their character.

“What’s going to be really fun about this play is that we’re going to be doing a multitude of different things,” Bassett said. “We’re also going to do things that I call character building, rehearsals where we go somewhere and I make them eat a dinner as a family, and they have to, in their character, eat dinner with each other.”

Chase has been involved with theatre since his freshman year and believes the character building will be fun and help him get into his role as Chris Keller.

“I’m looking forward to it a lot, it’s going to be new,” Chase said. “I don’t know how it’s going to work out but it sounds really different and exciting.”

For Ledesma, playing the role of Joe Keller, the father, gives him a chance to change from his shy persona to a character with strong emotions.

“I have to act like a grumpy old man, lose [my] temper easily and actually have emotion. Cause knowing me, as everyone sees me, I’m a quiet, calm person,” Ledesma said.

The cast has been rehearsing since Jan. 6 and have rehearsals every day after school. The cast will continue to work until opening night on Feb. 27.

While the students practice their lines, a lot of action is going on behind the scenes. Costume design, lighting, sound and prop work are just a few of the positions students could have applied for. Bassett has also brought changes to how the tech people participate in the play.

“A large group of people tried out for this, I think I had close to 60 people total that came for ten roles, and that in itself is hard,” Bassett said. “But it really allowed me to let a lot of people get experience through this play.”

Bassett also brought changes to how the play was cast, according to Banks.

“The audition process was really different because instead of just doing a cold reading we had to prepare a monologue and have resumes and stuff,” Banks said. “It was a really good experience for the future.”

Banks, who is one of the main roles in the love story that occurs throughout the play, said most people will be surprised by some of the ways the story unfolds.

“It has two climaxes, which is pretty cool,” Banks says.

The cast is hoping the students and community members will be moved by the play and leave feeling touched by the story. Opening night is Thursday, Feb. 27 and will continue until March 1. The doors will open at 7 p.m. and the cost will be $8 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens.

“You’re going to really feel like you’re shoved into these people’s world and not able to really distance yourself from them,” Bassett said. “You’re kind of like a little fly in their backyard.”