KIM A. TOLMAN DESIGN     


All My Sons | Scenic Design

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All My Sons

By Arthur Miller
Douglas Morrisson Theatre
November 15 to December 9, 2012

Directed by Susan E. Evans
Scenic Design by Kim A. Tolman
Assistant Scenic Design by Mark Jaratanian
Lighting Design by Selina Young
Costume Design by Janice Koprowski
Sound Design by Don Tieck

Starring:
John Baldwin (Joe Keller)
Patricia Tyler (Kate Keller)
Jeffrey Hoffman (Chris Keller)
Jessica Chisum (Ann Deever)
Geoffrey Nolan (George Deever)
Myron Freedman (Dr. Jim Bayliss)
Shauna Shoptaw (Sue Bayliss)
Antony Everhart (Frank Lubey)
Kira Sullivan (Lydia Lubey)
Will Reicher (Bert)

***

Theatergoers are sure to miss the wonderful artistry of set designer Kim A. Tolman, who with "All My Sons" completes her 28th and final show for DMT. Always beautiful and arresting, Tolman's work stays the course with this production, placing the audience in the backyard of the Keller's sunny little house amid a grove of towering trees. While seemingly protected and serene, the house sits in the shadowy treetop of Larry's memorial tree felled by the wind; a long stripe of green extends out of the garden and ominously up the wall, curving overhead like a frozen wave waiting to crash down.
By Julie Grabowski
TRI-CITY VOICE

The production values technically were sharp. Kim A. Tolman's literal and metaphoric set design is quite lovely, really creating a type of Rockwellian feel that contrasts nicely with the irony of their lives.
By David John Chavez
BAY AREA PLAYS

***

The Play:
Joe Keller's factory sent faulty airplane parts overseas during the war, and his business partner is in prison for the crime. The Kellers' younger son never returned from a flight mission years earlier, but Mrs. Keller refuses to believe he's gone. Now the older son is starting to romance his brother's fiancée. In just one climactic night a heartrending family secret, or two, is revealed.

***

The Set:
The house: A facade; the family story: a facade.
As this successful post-WWII family starts to fall apart, so does their house.

***

From The Director:
When I was in my teens there were two plays I remember very clearly as having deeply affected me. One was A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, and the other was All My Sons by Arthur Miller. In both cases, the productions I saw were not on stage, but on TV in the family den: the 1951 film of Streetcar with Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter and Vivien Leigh, and the 1987 PBS American Playhouse version of All My Sons with James Whitmore, Michael Learned, Aidan Quinn and Joan Allen. In both cases I remember being reduced by a puddle of tears. This was powerful theatre. I've directed a number of Williams' plays since then but I've never tackled Miller, and truthfully I am drawn more to the poetry and sweet sadness of Williams and his glorious misfits than to Miller's fairly straightforward social message plays. All My Sons is the exception,
a piece I have always wanted to tackle. Perhaps it is as simple as wanting others to experience some of the power and raw emotion I felt when I first saw the play. All My Sons is partially base on a true story Miller read in an Ohio newspaper about a young woman who turned in her own father for selling faulty parts to the U.S. military. All My Sons was Miller's second play on Broadway, preceding "Death of a Salesman" by two years, and you can see a young playwright's hand at work. Miller drew heavily on Henrik Ibsen, the "the father of modern drama," and on the classical model of Greek tragedy. Reduced to it's essentials, this is a play about right and wrong, and how one man's choice does matter, about personal ethics and love of family versus public duty and social responsibility and conscience. Miller wrote that tragedies, at their core, are optimistic, because they embrace an underlying belief in humanity's potential perfectibility and goodness. With the support of an exemplary commited cast and an outstanding design team, it is my hope that "All My Sons" provides you, too, with an indelible and profound theatrical memory.
- Susan E. Evans

© 2006, Kim A. Tolman Design.