The Steinbach Arrival of St. Pierre’s Sons

Coming this week to Steinbach Theater is the Theater 520 production All My Sons, by renowned playwright Arthur Miller, whose other works include Death of a Salesman and The Crucible. Despite minor setbacks, such as three cast members being stuck off campus after a long weekend because of inclement weather, the production continues to flourish under the direction of Instructor in Theater and English Jean St. Pierre. Show times are Thursday, February 27th, Friday, February 28th, and Saturday, March 1st at 7:00 pm. The play takes place in the 1940’s in post-World War II Ohio. The action revolves around the Keller family. Joe Keller, played by Steve Travierso ’04 , lives in conflict over his love and devotion to his family and a greater responsibility to society. Miller’s intricate plot unfolds in twists and turns as it jumps from one compelling theme to another. For the cast, interpreting the play proved to be an easier task than expected. The omnipresent issues of war, responsibility, and morality all come into play in our current society. Josh Williams ’03, who plays Keller’s son Chris, remarked, “We had to adjust for period nuances, but I think the human center of the play is reconcilable with issues in our own contemporary society.” The underlying theme of family connected poignantly with some members of the cast. Said Travierso, “I think that especially in our PA bubble, we sometimes get separated from that family unit. It is so interesting to play a character so dedicated to his family.” Interestingly, Travierso saw his own father and grandfather reflected in his character a fact that helped him achieve a deeper understanding of Joe Keller. Relating to individual characters was a bit more of a challenge, but one that the cast welcomed. Everyone had their own ideas of what to do with their characters. Group discussions on how each role player should interact with one another facilitated the development of chemistry on stage. According to cast member Ali Schouten ’04, the group of talented actors is “at the point now where each of us knows exactly what everyone else is doing on stage at any given moment.” The show combines great acting with wonderful directing and production. Matt London ’03, who plays the character George Deever, claimed that the show “represents all that the Theater Department can be. It shows how talented the actors are [at this school], the incredible directing, and the great production staff.” The cast learned and grew together over the course of the term. Amy Stebbins ’03 noted, “it isdefinitely the greatest cast I’ve ever had the opportunity of working with here at Andover.” All actors helped each other in developing the show, with more experienced ones guiding the relative newcomers. In one of his first roles, Paul Chiozzi ’03 was pleased to learn from those around him: “My character Frank plays an important role in the development of Kate Keller, and that’s been a fun challenge for me. I learned a lot from the experience of my fellow cast members.” The whole cast has nothing but praise for faculty director Miss St. Pierre. Words such as “goddess” and “legend” circulate around the set in reference to her. Chiara Motley ’03, who plays Keller’s wife Kate, thinks of Miss St. Pierre as one of the most phenomenal directors she has ever encountered: “She allows actors to discover their own play. I only hope that we can do justice to the vision of the play she has.” Playing the female ingénue Anne, Boo Littlefield ’03 finds herself in a role very different from her past parts, which include the memorable Nurse from last year’s Romeo and Juliet. Said Littlefield, “I’ve known Miss St. Pierre since junior year, and I’m so proud and honored that she has trusted me with such a great character.” The incredible ensemble cast was a powerful experience for everyone involved. Motley calls the cast “phenomenal” and “full of individual talent.” But at its heart, the show is an incredible ensemble performance. The neighbors, played by Stebbins, Chiozzi, Schouten, faculty child Connor Richardson, and Jack McCallum ’03, come alive on stage. Not even losing three cast members for a week during important rehearsal times deterred this production from achieving a sense of professional quality. A few extra rehearsals pulled together the show. Commented London, “It’s like a professional production, it’s that good.” Schouten added, “Every small thing is important in the show. Everyone worked with that attitude. We took it seriously, and worked hard.” The show could not have come together without the arduous work of the production team. Chair of the Theater and Dance Department Bruce Bacon acted as technical director and set designer, building the life-size façade of a house within Steinbach Theater. Rhiannon Blaseg ’04 served as stage manager.