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Tower Theater goes back to World War II with 'All My Sons'

March 1, 2013 : By Melissa Skinner/Liberty University News Service

Liberty University’s Department of Theatre Arts welcomes Arthur Miller’s Tony award-winning drama “All My Sons” to the Tower Theater stage Friday, March 1.

Miller, considered to be one of America’s greatest playwrights, tells the story of a family who is torn apart during the aftermath of World War II. When faulty production occurs at the family’s manufacturing plant, people die. At the same time, two of the owner’s sons are fighting in the war and one goes missing in action. The story unfolds after the war as the family tries to work through the loss of a son and the factory concerns, not realizing how closely the two are related.

Neal Brasher, director and assistant theater professor, hopes audiences will glean the “love your neighbor message” or ask the question “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

“The moral of the drama is we all belong to each other, we are all related, we are all part of the human race, and we are to take care of each other,” Brasher said. “Even if a person is not a member of your immediate family, they are still members of the human family, and we are responsible for one another.”

“All My Sons” has a cast of nine students. Junior Caleb Towns, who has appeared in “Leaving Iowa,” Tower Theater’s first black box production, will play the role of Chris Keller, one of the sons.

“I hope what audiences gain from the character of Chris is that doing the right thing, trying to be honest, sometimes has very harsh consequences,” Towns said. “Those consequences, however terrible, must not stop or scare us away from trying.”

Junior Samuel Van Fossen, who also appeared in “Leaving Iowa,” will play the role of Joe Keller, the father.

“I want audiences to see this man who has worked his whole life and is proud of the fact that he has worked for everything he has for the good of his family. However, in the process he has tried to keep a terrible sin secret for what he thought was for the greater good of his family, thus causing human nature to show itself,” Van Fossen said. “As the secret unravels, you see the perfect example of what any human being would do to deny that he or she has fallen and it is time to pay the price. I want my character to be a reflection of certain people’s lives. “

The set for the production is a mixture between abstract and realistic, Brasher said, complementary of the script.

“‘All My Sons’ is a very well-written play, the characters are well-written, the dialogue is fun. There is a great progression to the story and great climactic scenes,” he said.

  • “All My Sons” runs March 1-5 with six performances. Showtimes and tickets are available on the Tower Theater website or by calling the Liberty Ticket Office at (434) 582-7328.