Theater Bartlesville is ramping up for their upcoming production of John Steinbeck’s epic and historical masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath. With a large cast of community actors and actresses, this show promises to be a presentation that will not disappoint the audience.
The cast of actors and actresses include: Bernie Meadows, Chellie Bea, Adam Molloy, Rachel Molinari, Jason Elmore, Larry Williams, Linda Allen, Alan Gentges, Jordan Gentges, Michael Allred, Thomas Gilbert, Anna Pate, Stephen Berg, Brogan Marshall, Marilyn Johnson, Phil Blender, GL Baker, Maggie Rickords, Ron Stotts, Greg Williams, Troy Martin, Ron Ivy, Lydia Gentges, Ariel King, Megan Stewart, Sharleen Branch, and Kristin Duncan.
Adapted for stage by Frank Galati and placed in the late 1930’s, the show will come alive on Theater Bartlesville’s set as it becomes the long road from Oklahoma to California complete with vintage props, depression era migrant camps, musicians, and loads of okies headed west! An ambitious undertaking, this historical account of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, and its demand to send its people into flight, displays the disastrous effects of the “climate and the times” on the farmers located right here in the heart of Oklahoma. The show fully reveals the grim trials of those living through the great depression and on into the opening years of World War 2, giving a glimpse into US history that seems hard for people in more recent years to fully comprehend.
Under the direction of Artistic Director Shelby Brammer, the 27 member Bartlesville cast has become immersed in the history, the agony and the emotions of the past as they have traveled daily during rehearsals, down this road of tragedy and hope. Depicting the members of the Joad family, and catching the essence of their struggle, has been an experience in sheer determination for the main actors and their supporting cast. According to Brammer “The journey of producing The Grapes of Wrath at Theater Bartlesville is obviously nowhere near as challenging as it was for the folks who made the trip on Route 66 from Oklahoma to California during the days of the Dust Bowl. But while working on it, I've often thought that we have to summon those people's fierce determination, grit and faith while holding on to our desire to create something deep and beautiful in tribute to the lives they led.”
Paul Mitchell Wright, a fulltime Professor of Mathematics at Austin Community College in Austin Texas, has composed for Theater Bartlesville an original musical score that will accompany the cast and the audience on their journey through the Grapes of Wrath. According to Managing Director and Producer, Joanie Elmore, “We are honored to have had Paul Wright, compose an original score written for our specific presentation of this epic play. We welcome this talented musician to our artistic city and feel privileged to hear and experience his musical creations.”
Mr. Wright has written songs for, and arranged and produced several CDs for local Texas musicians, and has played upright bass, electric bass, and various guitars for several theatrical productions, as well as been a member of many bands in the Austin, Texas area. Some of his film and television acting credits include Rock Opera, James Michener’s Texas, The Underneath, Ballad of the Sad Cafe, American Outlaws, The Wendell Baker Story, Friday Night Lights (the film and television show), Infamous, Walker Texas Ranger, Revolution and Prison Break. The audiences of The Grapes of Wrath will be able to purchase a CD of Paul Wright’s original songs at the end of each show.
The Grapes of Wrath will open Thursday, February 9, at 7:00pm and will also show on Friday February 10 and Saturday February 11 at the same time. The production will continue the next weekend February 17 and 18 at 7:00 pm and also February 19 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are available online 24 hours a day at www.theaterbartlesville.com and are available at the Theater Box Office, Monday through Friday 11am-2pm at 312 S. Dewey, or by calling 918-336-1900.