The Rep director seeks to revive love for Arthur Miller's overlooked 'Sons'
Director Robert A. Miller thinks the theater world treats “All My Sons” as the ignored kid brother.
The drama is often overshadowed by playwright Arthur Miller's better-known offspring — “The Crucible,” “Death of a Salesman” and “A View From the Bridge.”
He's hoping to change that with the production of “All My Sons” that opens the 2013-14 season for The Rep, Point Park University's professional theatre company.
The drama, which debuted on Broadway in 1947, was Arthur Miller's first commercial success and won Tony awards for the playwright and its director, Elia Kazan.
The drama focuses on Joe Keller, a devoted family man and successful businessman with a tragic secret. It opens on a sunny Sunday in the Kellers' backyard but quickly takes a darker turn.
Joe's son, Chris, proposes to the fiancee of his brother, Larry, who is missing in action and presumed dead.
The proposal sets off events that unravel Joe Keller's world with revelations of lies, deception and unspoken truths.
“There is a lot more going on than first appears,” says Robert A. Miller, who is Arthur Miller's son. “The real genius of the play is that (Joe Keller) is so intent on family and business, and that factors into ... choices he makes in other (areas) of his life.”
“All My Sons” is not the first of his father's plays that Robert Miller has worked with.
A Hollywood producer, director and screenwriter who lives in Glendale, Calif., Miller produced the film of “The Crucible” that featured Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, Joan Allen and Paul Scofield.
He also directed The Rep's 2008 production of “Death of a Salesman.”
Since 2009, he has served as a distinguished master artist in residence at Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts where he also has directed several plays by other playwrights.
“This play (has) no metaphor or figure of speech that would show the hand of the writer,” Robert Miller says. “It's plain speaking in the way people speak.”
Still, it's hard not to hear his dad's voice when directing his plays, Miller says.
“You sort of can hear the right key, the right tone, pattern and rhythm to it,” he says. “I'm not suggesting others directors would botch it. But you know it when you hear it. When working with actors, I try to coach them into a direction so that what's on the page comes out.”
Alice T. Carter is the theater critic for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7808.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Alvarez homer triggers winning outburst for Pirates
- Pirates claim Ishikawa off waivers; Marte injured
- Greeks reject demands for more austerity in key referendum
- Woman shot at Kennywood Park in ‘freak accident’
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Police: Maine man shoots off firework from top of head, dies
- Pirates minor league report: Ramirez more mindful while at plate
- Pittsburgh’s tech startup activity rates last of 40 metro areas in report
- Starting 9: Pirates missing out on young bat
- Murrysville home damaged in blaze
- Biertempfel: Loss of All-Star paper ballots a blow to nostalgia