The CHS Players and the Chillicothe High School Drama Department will present its spring play at Gary Dickinson Performing Arts Center on March 1-3.
The selection this year, according to drama teacher Lisa Rule, is a well-known post-World War II tragedy by playwright Arthur Miller called "All My Sons." Miller was one of America's foremost playwrights penning such works as "Death of a Salesman" and "The Crucible"
Rule said the choice is an unusual one for the drama department.
"This is my sixth year at CHS and this will be our first tragedy," she said. "I usually try to choose a play that is entertaining and uplifting — and this one is as well, but not in the traditional way."
According to Rule, Arthur Miller often wrote in the Greek tradition: the action of the play takes place in just 24 hours, the protagonist or hero has a tragic flaw, and the ending has a strong moral lesson.
In "All My Sons," the protagonist is Joe Keller, a factory owner who may have allowed faulty airplane engine cylinders to be shipped to the U.S. Armed Forces. Because of those cracked cylinders, 21 pilots die. Keller's family believes he is innocent, but others do not. Keller has also had two sons on active duty in World War II: Larry, a pilot, is missing in action. Chris, a decorated war hero, returns to marry Larry's sweetheart. The entire play explores the idea of whether a man has a moral obligation to society, or just to his family. Because of the serious nature of the content, this play is not suitable for young children, Rule said.
A fine cast makes up this production, according to the director. Several seniors are involved as principal characters. Brooks Sturm plays the loveable, but not trustworthy, Joe Keller. Elissa Cypert plays the lighthearted neighbor. Brice Griffin, who is new to the stage, plays George who brings trouble to the peaceful family.
Six other returning thespians round out the cast. Kolby Eller, junior, plays the war hero Chris. Savanna Shriver, junior, plays Kate Keller, who believes her MIA son is simply missing and not dead. Chelsea Long, sophomore, plays Annie, the love interest of Joe Keller's two sons. Nathan Laidler and Quinten Lewis, juniors, and Libby Rule, sophomore, portray Keller's neighbors who believe Keller to be guilty. A final cast member is fifth-grader Will Kieffer, who plays Bert, a neighbor kid who thinks the world of Joe Keller.
The production will be performed Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 2 at 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 3 at 1:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $8 for adults and $5 for senior citizens. Students will be admitted for $2.
To honor past and present servicemen, all veterans of military service and their spouses will be admitted free of charge. Tickets will be available at the gate. No advance ticket sales will be held.