Tulsa Community College Theatre presents 'The Grapes of Wrath', Feb. 23 - 24 & Mar. 1 - 4

Wednesday, February 14th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The Tulsa Community College (TCC) theatre department will present the Tony award winning adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”, February 23 - 24 and March 1-4 at the VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education (PACE), located at 10300 East 81st Street in Tulsa.

Frank Galati and Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company adapted the Pulitzer-Prize winning novel in 1988, with a cast that included John Malkovich and Gary Senise. The adaptation and Galati each received a Tony Award when the play opened on Broadway in 1990.

One interesting aspect of the Galati adaptation of this familiar drama, with a cast of 28 players, is the on-going accompaniment by folk musicians performing Woody Guthrie-like songs.

Grapes of Wrath deals honestly with the socio-economic impact of the Great Depression of the 1930s on the Midwestern United States, as the Joad Family is driven from their farm fields by natural disasters and economic changes beyond their control.

In the play, ex-convict Tom Joad returns to his Oklahoma home to find his extended family reduced to poverty by the loss of their farm.

When the Joads are evicted and uprooted from their Dust Bowl farmlands, Ma Joad leads the family, loaded into a dilapidated old Hudson truck, on a long, arduous westward search for jobs and survival with other migrant workers. Death takes its toll on several of the Joads as they strive to find work and a better way of life in California, a land of oranges and fruit trees where they hope to find peace.

The Joads are a microcosm of thousands of other Oklahoma farm families during America’s great time of financial crisis and farm foreclosure in the 1930s.

Jim Runyan, TCC Theatre Supervisor and Adjunct Instructor of Theatre, directs Grapes of Wrath. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa, and holds a master’s degree from Oklahoma State University. He is a charter member of the American Theatre Company.

The March 1 and March 4 performances begin at 11 am and 2 pm respectively. All other performances begin at 8 pm.

Tickets are $5, with special discounts for senior citizens, TCC students and alumni, and groups of 10 or more. For ticket information, contact the PACE box office, at 595-7777.