Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Photo of Bill Moyers Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Watch & Listen The Blog Archive Transcripts Buy DVDs
Theater and Politics
March 6, 2009

John Lithgow is appearing now in a timely revival of Arthur Miller's classic play, ALL MY SONS. Although written 61 years ago, it seems to have jumped off the pages of today's newspapers. Lithgow plays Joe Keller — a loving family man with a terrible secret. During the second world war, he cravenly cut corners for profit at his manufacturing plant, shipping damaged parts to the military and causing the deaths of 21 pilots. He lets his partner take the rap and go to jail and keeps it secret from the family. The truth is revealed in the play's climactic confrontation between the father and the son who worshipped him.

Discover more about Arthur Miller, and the long history of theater and politics in our photo essay and from the links below.

(Mouse over the top of the image to read the text. Click on a number to pause the slide show. )

It appears that your computer does not have the Flash Player required to view the Media Player. Visit Adobe to download and install the latest version of the Flash Player.

Published on March 6, 2009.

Related Media:
Kathleen Hall Jamiseon, photo by Robin HollandWill Power
Will Power is an award-winning actor, rapper, composer, playwright, and educator whose pioneering fusion of traditional drama, African storytelling, and hip-hop sensibilities is helping transform modern theater.

Kathleen Hall Jamiseon, photo by Robin HollandKaiulani Lee as Rachel Carson
Writer/performer Kaiulani Lee and her 15 year journey to spread Rachel Carson's ecological message to the world.


Wall Street Herman Gollob on Shakespeare
From the Moyers Digital Archives, Bill Moyers interviews author Herman Gollob on the relevance of the bard's works today in a 2002 episode of NOW WITH BILL MOYERS.


August Wilson
Filmed on the set of TWO TRAINS RUNNING, one of America's leading playwrights traces his work back to a troubled childhood in a Pittsburgh ghetto. His ongoing project was to write a play on African American life set in each decade of the 20th century is one of the most ambitious endeavors in American theatrical history. From the 1998 series A WORLD OF IDEAS.

References and Reading:
Arthur Miller
AMERICAN MASTERS: Arthur Miller, None Without Sin
The PBS series explores Miller's work.

"WHY I WROTE "THE CRUCIBLE" An artist's answer to politics.
Arthur Miller reflects on the politics and theater of the 1950s for THE NEW YORKER in 1996.

Shakespeare
In 2004, Bill Moyers talked with Herman Gollob about Shakespeare for today. Also, check out Shakespeare Knowledge Quiz. and the Web site for the PBS series IN SEARCH OF SHAKESPEARE.

Mark Twain
In 2004, Bill Moyers talked with actor Hal Holbrook about his stage portrayal of American writer Mark Twain. Also, check out The Legacy of Mark Twain and the Twain Trivia Quiz

More Moyers on the Theater
In 2002 and 2003, Bill Moyers talked with theater director Mary Zimmerman about her production of METAMORPHOSES (retelling of myths for modern times) and THE NOTEBOOKS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI. Also, check out Da Vinci and Genius Online and the Mythology Quiz

In Bill Moyers talked with film and theater director Julie Taymor, the creative genius behind the film FRIDA, the Metropolitan Opera's production of THE MAGIC FLUTE and the Broadway extravaganza, THE LION KING.

Additional Resources

American Political Satire

The Living Theatre

Also This Week:

JOHN LITHGOW
Actor John Lithgow. He's played heroes, villains, saints, sinners, a ballet-dancing elephant, and a space alien, now actor and children's author John Lithgow — best known as Dick Solomon from NBC's hit show 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN — reveals a new side of himself ... poetry lover.

THEATER AND POLITICS
Traverse the history of political theater from the Ancient Greeks to Shakespeare to Arthur Miller and Off Off Broadway.

LIFE AND POETRY
Celebrate poetry with selections from the JOURNAL and the Moyers Digital Archives.

TALK BACK: THE MOYERS BLOG
Our posts and your comments
OUR POSTS
YOUR COMMENTS
For Educators    About the Series    Bill Moyers on PBS   

© Public Affairs Television 2008    Privacy Policy    DVD/VHS    Terms of Use    FAQ   
SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES AND PODCASTS EMAIL US