Auditions will consist of cold readings of selected scenes from the script.
Powerful drama about lies and their effects on two families. Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, 1947.
During the war Joe Keller and Steve Deever ran a machine shop which made airplane parts. Deever was sent to prison because the firm turned out defective parts, causing the deaths of many men. Keller went free and made a lot of money. The twin shadows of this catastrophe and the fact that the young Keller son was reported missing during the war dominate the action. The love affair of Chris Keller and Ann Deever, the bitterness of George Deever returned from the war to find his father in prison and his father's partner free, are all set in a structure of almost unbearable power. The climax showing the reaction of a son to his guilty father is fitting conclusion to a play electrifying in its intensity.
Suggested audience: Adults
Cast of Characters:
6 men, 4 women
Joe Keller: Age about 60 years old. The patriarch of the Keller family. A heavy man of stolid mind and build. A business man for many years in his machine shop with his business partner, Herbert Deever, where they made engine blocks for military aircraft; specifically P-40 Warhawks. He’s a strong and proud man. He was found innocent of a questionable business deal, but many townspeople are not so sure about the verdict. A proud and strong family man.
Kate Keller: early fifties. A woman of uncontrolled inspirations and an uncontrolled capacity for love. She is dealing with the loss of her older son, a fighter pilot, during WW II. She find it difficult to accept his death and the fact that her other son appears to be going to marry the older son’s girlfriend.
Chris Keller: The younger son of Joe and Kate Keller. He is 32 years of age and like his father is solidly built, he is a listener. A man capable of immense affection and loyalty. He is in love with his deceased older brother’s girlfriend which distresses his mother greatly. Chris is the heir to his father’s business.
Ann Deever: 26 years of age. She is the daughter of Joe’s business partner and the former girlfriend of Larry, the deceased son of Joe and Kate. She is gentile but despite herself, capable of holding fast to what she knows. She is in love with Chris Keller and is expecting to marry him. She is distressed with her father because he was found guilty of sending out faulty airplane engine blocks from their machine shop. She is a lovely and loving young lady who has a dark secret that she is keeping.
George Deever: George is Chris’s age, 32, but is a paler man, and just on the edge of his self-restraint. He speaks quietly, as though afraid to find himself screaming. He has just come from visiting his father in prison for the first time. He has information that will affect all of the neighborhood. He is quite distressed and has come to take his sister, Ann, from the Keller residence. He is trying to protect Ann from Marrying Chris Keller.
Dr. Jim Bayless: Bayless is nearing 40. A wry self-controlled man, an easy talker, but with a wisp of sadness that clings even to his self-effacing humor. A long time neighbor of the Kellers and friend of Chris and Ann. He brings hop to Kate Keller concerning her son, Larry, through his dabbling in horoscopes.
Sue Bayliss: The wife of Jim Bayless, she is rounding 40. Sue provides a strong counterpoint to Ann Deever and brings a direct confrontation to her about the family and what her future holds.
Frank Lubey: 32 years of age but balding. He is a pleasant but opinionated man, uncertain of himself, with a tendency toward peevishness when crossed, but always wanting it pleasant and neighborly. He is a casual and leisurely guy with nothing to do at the moment.
Lydia Lubey: Frank’s wife. She is a robust laughing girl of 27. Another long-time loving friend of the Keller family. She and George Deever had a potentially romantic interest when they were younger.
Bert: A young neighbor boy (could be a young girl) of about 8 years old who is teased by Joe Keller. Joe tells him there is a jail in the Keller’s basement. A reference to the business trial that Joe and his partner had to go through due to faulty engine parts. Joe was found innocent and his partner was found guilty and is in jail.