The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 17, 2014

RiverStage Community Theatre presents Arthur Miller classic ‘All My Sons’


— LEWISBURG — RiverStage Community Theatre will present Arthur Miller’s classic American drama “All My Sons” the weekend of Feb. 21-23 at the Milton Area High School Performing Arts Center, 700 Mahoning St., Milton.  Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21-22 and at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 23.

“All My Sons” tells the story of two middle-class families living in the Ohio suburbs after World War II.  Joe and Kate Keller are still reeling from the disappearance of their son Larry, a pilot who went MIA over the Pacific three years earlier. Meanwhile, Joe’s former business partner and next-door neighbor, Steve, is in prison after their factory was accused of selling faulty engine parts to the Army Air Force. The unfolding mysteries surrounding these two families are intertwined with the blossoming romance of their children, Chris and Ann, in a powerful, character-driven story of family, patriotism, conscience and love. 

“All My Sons” was Miller’s first Broadway hit in 1947 and winner of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play and Tony Award for Best Author.

“‘All My Sons’ is just one of the greatest stories ever told in American theater and we can’t wait for audiences to see this production,” said director Jove Graham. “It’s a love story, a mystery, and a war story, all rolled into one, and even though it was written in the time of the greatest generation of World War II heroes, it’s a timeless story that really resonates with us today. These characters wrestle with the same issues that every generation does: what it means to be a good parent, what it means to be part of a family, what it means to be an American, and how each of us balances our individual responsibilities with a greater duty to the outside world.

“The characters and dialogue are beautifully written, and if you have only ever read an Arthur Miller play in school or seen a movie version, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to see this story, on stage as originally intended, with this cast of actors bringing it to life,” added Graham, who is a Lewisburg resident and graduate of Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre Company professional training program.

This production features a cast of 10 talented, experienced actors from all across the Susquehanna Valley including Milton, Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, New Berlin and Winfield.  Glenn Wilson, formerly a New York City stage, film and television actor, plays Joe Keller and appeared last year as Count Gregor in RiverStage’s production of “Fools.”  Karen Herschell, as his wife Kate Keller, is an accomplished local actress who was seen recently in Gaspipe Theatre’s “Twelfth Night” and the Courtyard Theatre’s “Sweeney Todd.”

Their son, Chris, is played by Kurt Umholtz who recently played Pharaoh in RiverStage’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and starred in the Valley Players’ “Butterflies Are Free.” Chris’s love interest, Ann, is played by Jessica Paquin, a local performer and producer/co-owner of Fist-In-Post Films in Lewisburg, and her brother, George, is played by Joseph Tuzzolino who has appeared in many of Gaspipe Theatre’s summer Shakespeare productions. 

The Kellers’ neighbors, Jim and Sue Bayliss, are played by Fred Hooper and Joanne Lauer, both of Selinsgrove.  Hooper recently starred in the Valley Players’ “Roses in December” and Lauer has acted in or directed more than 50 productions with local groups including the Valley Players, Shikellamy Children’s Theatre and Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. 

Seth Drick, an alumnus of the Ithaca College drama department who appeared in the film “The Feed” and Caroline Pogust, who has appeared in several Gaspipe Theatre productions, portray neighbors Frank and Lydia Lubey. 

Finally, the cast is rounded out by Max Gustafson, a student at Donald H. Eichhorn Middle School, as Bert.

Set design and construction is led by Jim Messinger, with lighting design by Stefan Eisenhower and stage management by Madison Lane.

RiverStage Community Theatre, formerly known as the Milton Area Community Theatre, was founded in 2003 as a nonprofit group of actors, directors, musicians and artists committed to bringing top-notch theater to the Greater Susquehanna Valley.  In 11 years, the group has produced 20 shows including classic musicals, plays and concerts.  Last year, the group expanded its three-show season to reach a broader audience and collaborate with talented performers from all across the region. 

The theater opened this season with A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” and after “All My Sons,” the season will conclude in July with the Stephen Sondheim and Jules Styne musical “Gypsy.”