In Part 4 of a series of interviews with the Director and cast of Peace Mountain Theatre Company‘s production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, meet Michael Sigler.
Joel: Please introduce yourself and tell readers where they may have seen you perform on local stages.
Michael Sigler: My name is Michael Sigler and I am playing Dr. Jim Bayliss in Peace Mountain Theatre’s production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons.
I’ve had quite a busy year since my return to acting last summer. I appeared in three productions at Silver Spring Stage last season: as Detective Al Kersnowski in Earth and Sky, as Ebenezer Scrooge in Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge and as Baker/L.L. Zamenhof in The Language Archive. I also appeared as The General/Father in Upcounty Theatre’s production of Neil Simon’s The Good Doctor.
Earlier this summer I appeared on stage at The Source Festival as Dr. Coughlin in The Physics of Now and via video as part of the full-length The Word and the Wasteland. Speaking of video, I was also privileged to be part of John Feffer’s imaginative multimedia presentation of Before/After which featured actual accounts of people directly affected by the fall of Berlin Wall. Most recently, I appeared at the Montgomery Playhouse One-Act Festival as John in Relativity and at the Silver Spring Stage One-Act Festival as Samuel in Jake.
I also participated in a web series pilot and several short and feature-length films set to be released over the next year.
Why did you want to appear in this production of All My Sons?
My Earth and Sky director and All My Sons castmate, David Dieudonne, first told me about Laurie’s directorial style, her vision and her total commitment to every project – which sounded awesome! He then strongly impressed upon me that I should audition. So I read the play and loved it, of course. Based on that and everything I’d heard about Laurie, I auditioned and I am so glad that I did. I am thrilled to be part of this cast. Every rehearsal is like an acting class. I’m enjoying every minute of it!
Tell us about who you play in the show.
I play Dr. Jim Bayliss. I tend to agree that Jim is the character who speaks for the playwright, Arthur Miller. He has a successful private practice and a life full of family, friends and neighbors. Of course, as you might guess, there is more to Jim than meets the eye. He once had hopes and dreams. He had a certain idealism that sometimes must take a back seat as we face life in the real world. He’s a good man, but he’s not perfect by any means and he makes no excuses for himself. I like him.
Why is this show relevant for today’s theatregoers?
These characters are real people who are facing real situations. No suspension of disbelief is required here. This little block of neighbors has a history together that has seen them through The Great Depression and World War II. They’re strong. They did what it took to survive But sooner or later we all have to face the past in one way or another. Learning to live with our choices is something we all must face.
What stands out most to you about All My Sons?
The reality of it stands out to me. I grew up in a rural area with many people of The Greatest Generation and I see that in these characters. They are the salt of the Earth, but there’s a steel to them. A great many of us today have never faced real adversity; not the kind that these people faced. These people aren’t literary figures that require study to be understood. We all know these people.
What do you want audiences to take away with them after seeing All My Sons?
I think just remember that we all face life the best we can. We all face consequences for our choices – sometimes justly and sometimes unjustly. Be cautious when you judge because you never know what someone else is actually going through. And be aware that your love might be someone’s only consolation.
Meet the Director and Cast of ‘All My Sons’ at Peace Mountain Theatre Company: Part 1: Director Laurie T. Freed.
Meet the Director and Cast of ‘All My Sons’ at Peace Mountain Theatre Company: Part 2: Elyon Topolosky.
Meet the Director and Cast of ‘All My Sons’ at Peace Mountain Theatre Company: Part 3: Chris Daileader.