Kansas City Repertory Theatre continues its 2018/19 season with John Steinbeck’s classic story OF MICE AND MEN at Copaken Stage in the Power & Light District, from October 19 through November 17. The play, directed by KCRep’s Interim Artistic Director, Jason Chanos, explores the decay of the American dream and the enduring threads that bond friends together for life.
Called “one of the ten most important pieces of American literature” by The New York Times, OF MICE AND MEN is a novella published in 1937 that tells the story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place throughout California’s Salinas River Valley in search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression in the United States. Tackling universal themes such as the friendship of a shared vision, and giving voice to America’s lonely and dispossessed, OF MICE AND MEN is one of Steinbeck’s most popular works, achieving success as a novel, a Broadway play, and three acclaimed films to date.
Around eight months after its initial publication, OF MICE AND MEN made its way to the theatrical stage, opening in New York in November of 1937. The following year, Steinbeck accepted the New York Drama Critics’ Circle’s ‘Best Play Award’ for the production.
In his own words, Steinbeck explains his intent in penning OF MICE AND MEN, “In every bit of honest writing in the world there is a base theme. Try to understand men, if you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love. There are shorter means, many of them. There is writing promoting social change, writing punishing injustice, writing in celebration of heroism, but always that base theme. Try to understand each other.”
“The mark of great story is its ability to endure time. It has been over two decades since our patrons have seen this classic production and I’m overjoyed to bring this important play to life again with an all-star Kansas City cast and our talented production team,” says first-time KCRep director Jason Chanos.
KCRep’s production of OF MICE AND MEN features an all-star, all-Kansas City cast. Jake Walker and Rusty Sneary star as George and Lennie respectively.
Along with Walker and Sneary, the cast for OF MICE AND MEN is made up entirely of Kansas City-based actors. They are (in alphabetical order): Scott Cordes (Carlson), Molly Denninghoff (Curley’s Wife), Kyle Dyke (Curley), Robert Elliott (Candy), David Fritts (Boss), L. Roi Hawkins (Crooks), Dalton Mobley (Whit), and Brian Paulette (Slim).
In addition to direction by Jason Chanos, the creative team consists of lighting design by Jeffrey Cady, set design by Jack Magaw, sound design by Kevin O’Donnell, and costume design by Maria Nieto. Kim Martin-Cotten serves as assistant director and Kelsey Brennen York as production stage manager.
OF MICE AND MEN is generously sponsored by Burns and McDonnell, the Hall Family Foundation, and the Hall Family Foundation Theatre Enhancement Fund. KCRep is underwritten in part by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Tickets for OF MICE AND MEN start at $38 (student tickets with i.d. start at $10) and may be purchased by visiting kcrep.org/show/of-mice-and-men or by calling the KCRep box office at 816-235-2700. Groups of nine or more receive discounted tickets, call Andrew Cotlar at 816-235-6122 for details.
For information about student matinees of Of Mice and Men, contact Lydia Fuqua at email@example.com or 816.235.2707.
KCRep holds Conversation Series talks before or after the show to learn more about each production. Check out the schedule at kcrep.org/conversation and the individual show pages for more detail.