At the beginning of its fifth extension, for a run that was slated to last only four weeks from September 14th of last year, actor Scott G. Jackson, who plays George, had been ready to focus on his other projects as a writer and film maker. Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” was not ready to let him move on.
Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best New Play, and recipient of numerous Tony Awards, the electrifying family drama, “All My Sons,” remains as timely as it is timeless. First opening in 1947, it was inspired by a story from an Ohio Newspaper on an aircraft factory’s troubled contracts during WWII. Audiences easily find an unsettling connection to the recent Boeing 737 Max scandal, that has marred the company’s once stellar reputation, after reports that they had installed flawed flight control systems that forced their planes into nose dives. Even seventy-three years and many tragic lessons later, Miller’s story is topical.
Jackson has a meaty role that twists the screws to getting at the truth. Stage and Cinema said of his performance, “George is played by the wonderful Scott Jackson, who offers the conflicted, revengeful spirit that hurls the tension of the plot into high gear.”
The entire play takes place over one day in the yard of the Midwestern home of the Keller’s in August 1946. Kate, Joe and Chris Keller’s home is a neighborhood hub. On this day the return of two former neighbors, Ann and George, stir up secrets of the past, exposing how we justify the sacrifices that we make for the survival of our jobs and family.
This revival is at Pacific Resident Theatre, nationally recognized as one of the top regional theaters on the West Coast. Scott G. Jackson’s rock-solid performance has garnered raves while playing one of the returning neighbors who needs to get to the truth. He shared with Splash, some thoughts about the journey that got him to this point in his career.
Ester: What brought you to this career of being an Actor?
Scott: I’ve always known that acting was the thing that I was here to do. Growing up I was ‘told’ that I was going to be a doctor or a priest, but I had a quiet faith and a gut feeling about acting. When I got the courage, and the opportunity, to really go towards it (during my last semester of college), my whole life changed.
Ester: How do you choose the roles that you’d like to take on?
Scott: I choose roles that are challenging and have depth. George’s arrival in this play is a turning point for the truth in the plot, it heralds a revelation for the character and for the audience. Life is full of uninformed people, or those who choose not to see truth. My preference is to take on a role that wakes me up, and hopefully, wakes up others to what is really going on.
Ester: Is that what attracted you to the role of George Deever in Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons,” and what do you think is the most compelling aspect of George’s personality?
Scott: Yes. George has just been to visit his father in prison, for only the first time since his father’s conviction. Although the Keller’s are like his second family, his instincts are to not trust what they are telling him. Deep down he knows what is the truth. He is afraid and has been traumatized by past events, like everyone else. However, George finds the courage that makes him fight against the Keller’s seduction, with their kindness and sweet memories, for the sake of love and truth.
Ester: Why do you think that this play is so popular?
Scott: The writing is so damn good—the play is timeless, honest, painful, funny, and in the end it gives the world a sense of hope.
Ester: Name a few roles/plays that you would love to do after “All My Sons” closes, and why?
Scott: The part of Jean in Strindberg’s “Miss Julie.” Mostly, because Jean is a guy who is driven to become more than who he was born to be. He came into the world small and is fighting to become more. There are several other roles I have my eye on, and they all seem to be a person who is fighting for what’s right.
Ester: What’s next up at Pacific Resident Theatre, and for you?
First, a break. I’ve been living with, and working on the role of George for about 7 months. I’d love to do another play so that I’m not bouncing off the walls, but other things are needing my attention now. I’m going to direct a short film about depression and suicide, and continue writing a feature-length film with my brother. If I can get in some spring gardening, that would be very satisfying.
“All My Sons” continues through March 8, 2020. Pacific Resident Theatre is located at 703 Venice Blvd., in Venice, CA 90291. Tickets are $29 and can be purchased online at http://www.pacificresidenttheatre.com or by calling (310) 822-8392.