Rehearsals for All My Sons started on Monday, July 13 and a few weeks later, by all accounts the show is coming together great. A few nights ago on Monday was a designer run-through. This is when all the design team and production staff (including myself as marketing director and a Company member), get the chance to watch the show in a non-stop run and identify any ideas or issues to talk through and to use to inform our work leading up to Opening Night.
I have to say — and this isn’t my marketing director hat (I promise!), but my theatre-goer hat — this run-through was pretty extraordinary. Arthur Miller’s script is powerful, and these actors are putting their heart and soul into the story. I held it together late in Act 2, but there were several moments where I could just as easily have burst into tears because of the honesty and heartache on stage.
Now, in my experience, run-throughs (especially with 3 weeks to go before opening) aren’t always that potent. You’re in a rehearsal room, sitting on an uncomfortable chair, crammed into what little space there is in the room that isn’t supposed to be stage. The actors are in street clothes, the lights are fluorescent, the scenery is lines on the floor and the props are an eclectic collection of objects that approximate their final form. In that environment, I always have to work hard to imagine how all the elements will come together to create the final staging. So, I’m taking my emotional reaction as a very good sign that the central elements — the actors creating the story with the author’s words — of All My Sons are coming together brilliantly. It has made me all the more excited to introduce the fully realized production to Chicago on August 31.
I spent some time in a recent rehearsal taking photos of the cast and production team as they worked to create that magic. Pictured are (in order of first appearance): Mark Richard (Jim), Janet Ulrich Brooks (Kate), Thomas Weitz (Assistant Director), Kimberly Senior (Director), John Byrnes (Frank), Roger Mueller (Joe), Cora Vander Broek (Ann), Erik Hellman (Chris), Michael Dutton (Assistant Stage Manager), Rebecca Buller (Lydia) and Juliet Hart (Sue). You’ll also see some of Costume Designer Lindsey Pate‘s costume renderings and the set model by Scenic Designer Jack Magaw.
It’s a tiny taste of what is to come. Enjoy!