Moonbox Productions presents Of Mice and Men, written by Pulitzer-Prize winning author John Steinbeck, December 7 - 22, 2012 at Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre. Performances are Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. (Press performance December 9, 2012 at 2pm). Tickets are available by calling the Boston Theatre Scene Box Office at 617-933-8600 or online at www.bostontheatrescene.com.
Steinbeck’s classic drama tells the story of two drifters, George and Lennie, as they struggle for survival and chase their dreams in Depression-era California. The pair have landed a job on a ranch where it seems that their dream of earning enough money to buy their own place might finally come true... But Lennie's dangerous simple-mindedness and propensity for getting into trouble threaten to undermine their hopes at every turn.
Although it is very much a period piece, the themes explored in Of Mice and Men are both timeless and timely. George and Lennie, the pair of drifters around whom the story revolves, are companions struggling to survive in hard economic times, with their hearts set on someday achieving the American dream of personal and financial independence. “Just on this merit alone, the piece has profound contemporary resonance," says Producer Sharman Altshuler. “While this story is a sad one, exploring loneliness, loss and the fragility of dreams, it is not a tragedy. Woven into the fabric of the characters’ troubled lives are threads of deep human bonds and relentless hope. Even the story’s end speaks not only of profound loss, but of profound love.”
Not only its economic themes, but the themes of racism, sexism and social bias that comprise some of the many layers of Steinbeck’s play are as potent today as they were day the piece was written. Of Mice and Men is a work that reaches the deepest places of what makes us human and challenges us to examine ourselves and our relationships to our world. “In this era of economic hardship,” says Altshuler, “where our technology has changed and challenged the nature of interpersonal communication, and where issues of social inequality persist, audiences will find particular relevance and resonance with this Steinbeck classic.”
As part of every production, Moonbox spotlights the work of a local non-profit organization, helping them to increase the reach and impact of their work. For this production, Moonbox is pleased to partner with More Than Words (MTW), “a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court-involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business.”
According to Jodi Rosenbaum Tillinger, Executive Director of More Than Words, “We are thrilled to join forces with Moonbox to celebrate their production Of Mice and Men and to connect diverse audiences with MTW and our inspiring youth. It is through this kind of partnership that powerful connections are generated and everyone gains and grows. With our recent expansion to the South End, we look forward to meeting new volunteers, book donors, customers and community members who champion the transformational work our youth do each day. And, we especially look forward to connecting our staff and youth to the theater!”
Of Mice and Men marks the fourth production, and first non-musical for Moonbox, with Dan Rodriguez composing and debuting new incidental music for the show. The cast includes Moonbox alumni Phil Tayler* (George) and Phil Thompson**(The Boss) (both of whom appeared in Moonbox’s April 2012 production of Floyd Collins), as well as Moonbox newcomers Erica Spyres* (Curley’s Wife), Ed Peed* (Candy), Harry McEnerney (Lennie), Calvin Braxton (Crooks), Glen Moore (Curley), Jordan Sobel (Carlson), Tom Shoemaker (Slim), and Steven Emanuelson (Whit). This is a link to cast bios http://www.moonboxproductions.org/Meet_the_Cast_and_Crew.html/.
The production and design teams include Sharman Altshuler (Producer), Allison Olivia Choat (Director), Dan Rodriguez (Composer, Music Director), Alexandra Jameson (Stage Manager), Sarah Gasser (Assistant Stage Manager), Fabian Aguilar (Costume Design), Jeffrey E. Salzberg (Lighting Design), Dan Costello (Sound Design), Courtney Nelson (Scenic Design), Alexandra Herryman (Properties Master), Dorothy Childs (Dramaturg) and Meron Langsner (Fight Consultant).