Skyline’s final bow sparks emotions

The chilliness of the theater had the audience silent and focused on what Skyline College’s final play “All My Sons” had to offer. The work by Arthur Miller and directed by Kevin Simmers oozed tension and relatable heartache in all the right places during one family’s story of a dramatic downfall.

In the opening scene of Act I, the setting contains the front of a picturesque house, a fallen tree and a gazebo that are surrounded by a white picket fence.

Paul Pallas who plays Joe Keller, one of the male leads, played an exceptional role as a conflicted father figure who struggles with taking responsibilities for his actions. In the beginning of the play, Joe is seen as the loved neighbor, the neighborhood storyteller to the kids, and then the father and husband who attempts to make his family happy. Through thoroughly rehearsed mannerisms and convincing rehash of Miller’s written lines, Pallas convinces the audience through his acting about the sacrifices of a family man who had good intentions but ended with deadly consequences. At one point in the play, the audience seems to forget that this is a work of fiction and one for reality since the topic of losing a son at war, hits home.

Salma Zepada, who played Pallas’ counterpart and on-stage wife Kate Keller, who has a difficult time accepting that her eldest son may be dead due to the war. Through the play, Zepada indulges the audience with exaggerated body movements, using the stage to her advantage to show Kate Keller’s empathetic dilemma of dealing with her family’s drama including her younger son Chris wanting to move on and her husband fighting his own battle. One can see that Kate is a caring and loving person who can be practical. However, she slowly cracks when most of her family does not indulge her hopes that her son is alive and will come home. This hope as Zepada successfully displays, is shown through Kate’s reaching theory that her son’s “fiance” Ann is waiting for him because she did not settle down yet.

In another article, “‘The play like a swansong,’” it is revealed by the cast that the play is relatable because of what has happened in American history with World War II and how even a war today, there are family members who are suffering the effects such as losing a child and not being able to find out where they are.

As the play goes on, each character of the play puts together the puzzle pieces of what happened between Ann’s father and Joe Keller. The enigma of what is to unfold captures the audience, especially those who have not looked into the synopsis of what the work is about. Joe Keller was accused of letting damaged war equipment be sold and used by pilots during the war which led to 21 pilots’ death. The person who paid the price was Ann’s father who she shuns because of his predicament of being charged with sending in the helmets.

The play was successful at engaging the audience not only through realistic dialogue of sad topics, but through the interaction amongst each other as the characters try to find their own way through their angst.