Daily News photo/ALY GIBSON "All My Sons" director Paul Pugh checks out the set, currently still being constructed for the production's opening night Thursday, May 17.

Archived Story

Beckwith to debut ‘All My Sons’

Published 1:08pm Monday, May 7, 2012

The lights will dim 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 17, for the debut production of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” at the Beckwith Theater Company in downtown Dowagiac.

Miller wrote the production in 1947, running on Broadway for more than 320 performances. Known as the only commercially successful play by Miller, “All My Sons” will unfold on Beckwith Theater’s stage opening night with wine and hors d’oeuvres for audience members. Director Paul Pugh said he’s looking forward to the classic production.

“It’s a difficult piece,” Pugh said of the drama. “You never realize it until you start getting down to the details of the characters and the story.”

The 2012 production season was laid out a year in advance with “All My Sons” falling in the middle. With a cast of nine actors, rehearsals and set-building began at the end of March, spanning through April.

“We started off pretty easily with three rehearsals a week,” Pugh said. “Right now, we’ve moved up to four times a week, but there’s the saying you can over-rehearse. I think we’ll be about right come opening night.”

Pugh said that opening night could see roughly 80 people, but the next shows may bring in bigger numbers or newer faces thanks to word of mouth.

“If people who come opening night enjoy it, they usually spread the word and tell others to check it out,” Pugh said.

Beckwith Theater Company is a nonprofit, something Pugh said draws passionate people who enjoy producing quality community theater.

“Our aim is always the audience,” Pugh said. “We want to provide entertainment for them.”

With 22 years of productions under the company’s belt, it strives to get new people involved. Students looking to gain theater experience or become involved in the community often join casts and crews of upcoming productions.

“A lot of students who join us go on to work in professional theater productions,” Pugh said. “In the 22 years we’ve done theater, nine people have gone into professional theater professions, whether they act or work on production crews.”

“All My Sons” opens at 7:30 p.m. May 17 at the Beckwith Theater, 100 New York Ave. in Dowagiac. Upcoming shows include a 2 p.m. performance on May 20 that is associated with a performance in association with the Dogwood Fine Arts Festival, and May 26-27. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. except for Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10. For more information, call the theater at (269) 782-7653.

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