I have always been a fan of John Steinbeck and his descriptive writing skills. His ability to describe in detail the pain and suffering that the migrant worker went through to reach California during the Depression and Dust Bowl of the 1930’s was moving and unforgettable. The Grapes of Wrath earned John Steinbeck the Pulitzer Prize and it sold millions of copies around the world over the years. The Grapes of Wrath. Frank Galati, playwright, successfully adapted this novel into a play that opened on Broadway in 1990 with raves by New York Magazine “that The Grapes of Wrath is a lesson in history, stagecraft, and truth that we cannot afford not to learn”. It won the Tony Award for Best Drama in 1990.
I love the strong characters in the play like Ma Joad, who demonstrates her strength and hope of the Joad family as they travel on Route 66 to California. Then there is Jim Casy, the preacher, who speaks the mind of the author and insight into the plight of the migrant worker. The human struggle in adverse times and conditions is so dramatically played out in this play.
I loved the technical challenge of this play – It had to rain on stage, not the easiest task to do. Peter Wolfe, Set Designer, designed a rain system and Marc Bonham made and installed this system and it worked. The Rain to me was the hope of a better future, the washing off the dust of the past and clinging on to the dream. The Rain, missing in the Dust Bowl states, is a symbol of hope for a better future.
I have enjoyed every aspect of directing this play. I have a wonderful cast and crew and they have all worked very hard to share this John Steinbeck classic with our community.