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The Daily Tar Heel

'All My Sons' Showing Timely

The play tells the story of a typical American family struggling with the loss of a son in World War II, leaving the remaining son, Chris, to adjust his idealistic views to the reality at hand. Awaiting the return of her fallen son, his mother finds herself in a country eager to forget the atrocities of war. "All My Sons" opens Friday.

In the wake of Sept. 11, the show takes on a new meaning as the country is once again dealing with loss and war.

"This is the reason why I proposed the show; it parallels the experience of World War II and September 11," said Michael Gagnon, sophomore and first-time director.

Assistant director Jenny Walker, a junior, said she believes audiences can relate to the production given America's current situation because the tragedy of war hasn't changed and also because the time period is more modern than Miller's other works.

"It's a timeless work, and I think people can relate to it more because it's our grandparents' generation and not the Puritans," said Walker, referring to Miller's "The Crucible."

Gagnon said he has had a positive experience with the production but that it was difficult at times. His father served in the military for 22 years, so at times the play became personal.

"It's been hard sometimes because it hits too close to home, but it's provided me with a better understanding," Gagnon said.

"It's amazing because (the play) explored a lot of issues that our nation is going through now. It's been very emotional for a lot of people," said Ariel Watson, senior and executive producer of "All My Sons."

The play did not only stir emotions for those behind the scenes but for the entire cast as well.

Senior Walter Herz, who plays Joe Keller, the father of the family, said, "I'm amazed to see how far the production has come, and I'm proud of the work we've done considering it's a very heavy play -- dynamic, but heavy emotionally."

Gagnon said the show will help everyone involved heal the wounds of Sept. 11.

He said, "I think the theater allows us to unite, and it can be really therapeutic."

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