Dec 012010
Authors: Anna Baldwin

It’s a parent’s duty to teach his or her children everything they can about surviving in the real world. This includes honesty.

But sometimes it’s the child that teaches the parent a thing about life.

The theatre production, “All My Sons,” written by Arthur Miler, features a father that has to face the truth after his son confronts him. It opens tonight at 8 p.m. as the last play of the semester at the University Center for the Arts.

“It’s a profound play,” said director and emeritus theatre professor Morris Burns. “It puts a focus on someone who has to be able to accept responsibility for their actions.”

The two main themes of the play are honesty and accepting responsibility, Burns said.

The play once gripped post-war America with its debut on Broadway in 1947 after being based on reports of a woman who reported her father to the FBI for having made and sold faulty aircraft parts during WWII.

Today, the basic themes of the production are still relevant and just as impactful.

The American classic by the author of “Death of a Salesman” tells the story of Joe Keller, a businessman who not only caused deaths by producing faulty airplane cylinder heads but allowed his partner to be the scapegoat.

Keller’s son, a returning veteran, exposes the misguided actions, leaving his father in total isolation.
“You need to be honest with yourself before being honest with everyone else,” Burns said. “And like this idea, the production has a spectrum of ethical concepts, and it speaks to all human beings.”

“All My Sons” has a cast of 10 people, including 11-year-old Ethan Goodwin for two scenes. Theatre major Luke Peckinpaugh plays the key role of Joe Keller, a role Burns describes as very demanding.

The play reminds Burns of a Greek tragedy that highlights moral decisions and their ability to directly impact someone’s life, as well as the idea that all decisions have consequences.

Burns has found his time back at CSU after more than five years of retirement, following a 34-year career in the Theatre Department at the university, “delightful.”

“I’m so impressed with the discipline by the young people. I can virtually sense their dedication, and touch the excitement during rehearsals,” Burns said. “It’s been a tremendous experience.”

“The play has the potential to be very moving,” Burns said. “It will keep the audience entertained, but it has deep insights into human renewal as well. It has the power to change one’s life.”

Tickets are $18 for the public and $9 for CSU students. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts Ticket Office in its Griffin Lobby, by phone at 970-491-2787, or online at Advance purchase is recommended to avoid at the door fees.

Staff writer Anna Baldwin can be reached at

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