Presented in 2012/13 by
The Acting Company
Presented in 2012/13 by
The Acting Company
McFarland is deeply affecting as the mentally damaged man-child, while Midyett superbly depicts both George’s deep love and his frustration at having to care for his friend. A superb production. Frank Scheck, NY Post
The best laid plans of mice and men…
Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winner John Steinbeck’s tale of two drifters is one of the most widely read stories in America. Written as both a novella and a script for a play, Of Mice and Men tells the tragic story of two California migrant ranch workers during the Great Depression. George and Lennie have delusions of making enough money to buy their own place. Lennie, a man-child, is a little boy in the body of a man. George is ever cautious of his gentle giant friend, dangerously powerful yet in need of constant reassurance.
Although Steinbeck emphasizes dreams throughout this work, his characters are often powerless, due to intellectual, economic and social realities. Fate is felt most heavily as George is left to face the question of how to deal with Lennie who, although in great danger, dreams only of their future, of their farm—as the sound of destiny bounces off the mountains.
Statement from Director Ian Belknap
John Steinbeck is the 20th Century's biographer of the worker. He writes of dirt and straw—a life that looks beautiful in a photograph and is ugly to inhabit. Steinbeck, unlike his contemporaries, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, lived in the muck. He knew migrant farm workers that drifted to a golden California where fruit was ripe to pick, only to find their dreams scorched in the sun. All of Steinbeck’s characters are people that cannot change their station in life and none do so more beautifully and tragically than George and his giant friend, Lenny, in Of Mice and Men.
This production looks, sounds and smells like the worker of 1930s; however, this play could be set yesterday, today or tomorrow as dirt, leaves and straw will always blanket the earth, mice will always gnaw for a scrap and men will always sleep under a bowl of stars. Drive on any stretch of the crossroads of America today. Barns with fractured structures appear, workers wear the same distressed denim—the records of their lives, hands are cracked and covered in soot from a day’s work. Some sleep in tents, mobile homes or under an overpass. Look in America’s greatest cities or in the cul-de-sacs of our suburbs, the worker exists. He wears different clothes and his problems are mortgages and tuitions. The context of our world has changed, but our daily values remain the same as in Of Mice and Men.
Of Mice and Men continues to fascinate audiences and artists as it shows us ourselves—the workers—and speaks to our shared human condition: to want, to love, to fear and to die.
Appearing in photos: Christopher Michael McFarland, Joseph Midyett, Megan Bartle, Yaegel T. Welch, Ray Chapman, Joseph Tisa, Chris Thorn, Michael McDonald, Noah Putterman. Photos by Richard Termine.
Baruch Performing Arts Center, NYC
December 4-8, 2012
2012/13 Guide: Of Mice and Men
Of Mice and Men, As You Like It. Megan is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Guthrie Actor Training program. She has performed in Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York including two staged readings (June Moon and Ten Chimneys) for The Acting Company. Originally from Apple Valley, MN.
The Acting Company: Of Mice and Men, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet. Credits include: The Goodman Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Utah Shakespeare Festival, among many others. Film/TV credits: A League of Their Own and Prison Break. Ray is a native of Butte Creek, MT.
Acting Company: Of Mice and Men, As You Like It. Michael is an alumnus of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Actor Training Program (BFA), London’s International School of Performing Arts and British American Dramatic Academy as well as San Francisco School of the Arts. From Oakland, CA.
Christopher Michael McFarland
Acting Company: Of Mice and Men, As You Like It. NYC: The Life and Death of King John; Firemen; Even Maybe Tammy. Regional: The Kennedy Center; O’Neill Theater Center; Shakespeare Theatre of NJ; Philadelphia Theatre Company; Opera House Arts; Arizona Shakespeare Festival. Training: Yale School of Drama (MFA). From San Francisco, CA.
Acting Company: Of Mice and Men, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, Comedy of Errors. Off-Broadway: The American Premiere of Enjoy, (59E59 Theaters), National Playwrights Festival (Rattlestick Theater), Twelfth Night (The Pearl). Regional: The Actors Theatre of Louisville, Syracuse Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Delaware Theatre Co., Texas Shakespeare Co. Film: Penance for the Slain, Hope Cafe and Kick Ball. Training: University of Delaware (MFA). From Hayward, CA.
Acting Company: Of Mice and Men, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, Comedy of Errors. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Alpine Theatre Project), Children of Eden, Into the Woods, Taking Steps (Hope Summer Repertory Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (North Carolina Theatre); A Christmas Carol (Guthrie). US Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Training: University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program (BFA). From Raleigh, NC.
Acting Company: Of Mice and Men, As You Like It, Henry V, The Spy, Romeo and Juliet. Other NY credits: Miss Lilly Gets Boned, The Most Damaging Wound (2009 NYIT Award Nominee for Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role) Dead Man’s Socks, and King John. Training: LAMDA, Boston University, Wynn Handman and Joan Rosenfels. A native of South Berwick, Maine.
Acting Company: Of Mice and Men, As You Like It. Regional: Captors (Contemporary American Theater Festival), The Exceptionals (Merrimack Repertory Theatre), The Fantasticks (Long Wharf Theatre), Stones in His Pockets, Beau Jest and The Dresser (Old Lyric Repertory Company). Film credits include Weakness and Virgin Alexander. Training: Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (MFA). From Seattle, WA.
Yaegel T. Welch
Acting Company: Of Mice and Men, As You Like It. Off-Broadway: The Revenger’s Tragedy (Red Bull), Fly (Lincoln Center/Crossroads). Regional: The Brothers Size (Seattle Rep/ Everyman), Jitney (True Colors), In the Red and Brown Water (Studio), The Piano Lesson (Arden, Barrymore Award nom.), My Children! My Africa! (Wilma), Fences (Playmakers). Training: Morehouse College (BA), Brandeis University (MFA), The Shakespeare Theatre’s Academy for Classical Acting (MFA).