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MOVP presents ‘All My Sons’

Arthur Miller’s Tony Award-winning classic “All My Sons” kicks off 2020 for the Mid-Ohio Valley Players.

Performance dates are 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Jan. 30, 31 and Feb. 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for youth 17 and under. For tickets, go online at movp.org or at the Players Theatre box office, 229 Putnam St., starting two and half hours before curtain.

Miller’s drama centers around Joe Keller, a successful businessman living in the shadow of a lie. Joe Keller and his partner, Steve Deever, ran a successful machine shop during World War II that supplied the Air Force with cylinder heads for planes.

However, a defective batch was shipped to the Air Force, resulting in numerous crashes and deaths of pilots. Keller claimed no knowledge of the shipment and his partner, Deever, was sent to jail for wartime profiteering.

Keller, who authorized the sale of the defective parts for fear of losing a lucrative military contract, has been hiding this fact from his family, and the public for years.

Jeff Walker, who plays Joe Keller, says the man is living a lie.

“In many ways Joe’s whole life is a lie,” Walker said. “The question is whether he can continue to hide or if his past will catch up to him. In many ways he represents the rotted underbelly of the ‘American Dream.'”

Miller’s play opened in 1947, on the heels of World War II, and his mother-in-law points to an article in an Ohio newspaper at the time about a daughter who informed on her father for selling faulty parts to the U.S. military during the war. The play, which won the Tony Award for drama, enjoyed a successful run of 328 performances on Broadway.

“The play focuses on the conflict of responsibilities,” said Suzanne Walker, the play’s director. “Joe Keller’s insistence on his responsibility to his family and his son’s view that we are responsible to a wider society.”

Suzanne Walker said the play is as pertinent today as it was 63 years ago.

“I chose the play because of its relevance to our time,” Suzanne Walker said. “Miller speaks so eloquently and pointedly about the condition of human spirit and our need to be responsible for one another. In this time when our ability to work together for the greater good has become so fractured, we do well to look to the arts to remind us what’s possible when we look past ourselves to the needs of others.”

The cast of “All My Sons” includes:

∫ Jeff Walker: Joe Keller

∫ George Gaston: Dr. Jim Bayliss

∫ Dylan Todd Brown: Frank Lubey

∫ Sean Jacob Shoop: Chris Keller

∫ Leon Elliott: Bert

∫ Kathy Jackson Biery: Sue Bayliss

∫ Amber Nicole Smrek: Lydia Lubey

∫ Jena Lane Blair: Kate Keller

∫ Beth Lane: Ann Deever

∫ Dyrk Conrad: George Deever

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