EPAC at the Sharadin Bigler Theatre ushers in its 2011 season with John Steinbeck’s dramatic Depression-era masterpiece “Of Mice and Men,” which runs from Feb. 24 to March 5. The show stars Tim Riggs as George and Matt Rush as Lennie – two characters who dream of finding a refuge from their lives as migrant workers. If you’re coming to the show on opening night, Thursday, Feb. 24, your ticket price includes the post-show Opening Night Celebration at Lily’s on Main, 124 E. Main St., Ephrata.
A WORD FOR OUR SPONSORS
EPAC extends its grateful thanks to the 2011 season sponsors, Terry Bigler and Terry Kurtz; to the "Of Mice and Men" show sponsors, The Anne Brossman Sweigart Charitable Foundation and the Lancaster Literary Guild, and to the sponsors of the Feb. 24 Opening Night Celebration, Jenn Farringon and everyone at Green Mountain Cyclery! If you see any of these people (or members of these organizations), please tell them how much you appreciate their support of live, community theater!
Speaking of the Lancaster Literary Guild: There's still time to join the Guild for its Sponsor Night Preview of the show, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23. The event is a fundraiser for the Guild, and also helps support EPAC.
FOOD DRIVE FOR THOSE IN NEED
EPAC’s upcoming production, “Of Mice and Men,” is set during the Depression – a time of economic crisis and personal struggle similar to that being experienced by so many in our community today. To help those in the community who may be struggling to put food on the table, EPAC is holding a food drive for the Ephrata Area Social Services Food Bank throughout the run of “Of Mice and Men.”
All EPAC patrons who donate two or more nonperishable food items will be eligible to enter a drawing to win dinner at The Olde Lincoln House, Ephrata, and two tickets to any 2011 EPAC show. If you’re not attending “Of Mice and Men” but still want to donate, visit the EPAC website or call the box office, (717) 733-7966, extension 1, to find out when you can bring food donations to the theater.
STUDENT TICKETS FOR $10!
Student tickets for all performances of “Of Mice and Men” are just $10; a current student ID is required. Contact the EPAC box office, (717) 733-7966, extension 1, to reserve your seats. Seats are also still available for the school-day performance of the show, on Friday, March 4. Contact Stephanie Harley at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“OF MICE AND MEN”: DID YOU KNOW …?
Ø John Steinbeck originally intended to call his 1937 novella “Something That Happened." He changed the name to “Of Mice and Men” after reading Robert Burns’ 1785 poem “To A Mouse …” That poem, in which the speaker expresses remorse that a mouse’s nest has been disturbed by a plough, contains the lines:
“The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men / Gang aft agley …” (which became the common saying, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”)
Ø John Steinbeck originally intended “Of Mice and Men” to be sort of a play in novella form. The structure of the book can be seen as three “acts” of two chapters apiece. Famed Broadway playwright and director George S. Kaufman contacted Steinbeck, soon after the publication of “Of Mice and Men,” about adapting the work to the stage.
Ø The first stage production of the work was written by Steinbeck and staged by Kaufman. Starring Wallace Ford as George and Broderick Crawford as Lennie, it opened on Broadway in November 1937 and ran for 207 performances.The play was revived on Broadway in 1974, with Kevin Conway as George and James Earl Jones as Lennie.
Ø The first film adaptation of “Of Mice and Men” (1939) starred Lon Chaney Jr. as Lennie and Burgess Meredith as George, and earned four Oscar nominations (including Best Original Score for Aaron Copland, and Best Picture).
Ø In 1969, Carlisle Floyd wrote an opera based on the book; it is still produced around the country.
Ø February is a great month for EPAC to present this production. John Steinbeck was born Feb. 27, 1902, and the book was published Feb. 6, 1937.
# -- Merv Wright