WMU News

'Grapes of Wrath' at Shaw Theatre through Nov. 18

Nov. 7, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- The Tony Award-winning play "The Grapes of Wrath" opens in Laura V. Shaw Theatre at Western Michigan University on Thursday, Nov. 9, and runs through Saturday, Nov. 18, with one matinee and six evening performances.

Frank Galati's adaptation of John Steinbeck's great American novel captures the struggle of the Joads, a Depression-era farming family, on their journey to California on Route 66.

Evening performances of "The Grapes of Wrath" begin at 8 p.m. in Shaw Theatre, Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 9-11, and Nov. 16-18. The single matinee begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12. The Thursday, Nov. 9, opening night reception is sponsored by the University Theatre Guild with refreshments provided by Bacchus Wines & Spirits.

Ticket prices are $14 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $5 for students. To purchase tickets, call the Gilmore Theatre Ticket Office at 616 387-6222 weekdays from noon to 5 p.m. The ticket office is also open two hours before the performances.

As a service to hearing-impaired patrons, Thursday, Nov. 16, will be a sign language-interpreted performance. Following that performance the audience is invited to a discussion with the director, cast and production team.

The University Theatre production of "The Grapes of Wrath" is directed by guest artist Leon Ingulsrud.

"Our approach is to look at the novel through the lens of the script," says Ingulsrud. "It's a universal story of people on a journey, the story of all of us."

An experienced director, actor and teacher, Ingulsrud was a member of the Suzuki Company of Toga in Japan for seven years and served as artistic director of ATM arts center in Mito, Japan. He helped found the world-renowned Saratoga International Theatre Institute (SITI) Company in New York with international artist Anne Bogart.

Ingulsrud holds a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from Columbia University and has taught acting in workshops, conservatories and across the globe, including the Julliard School, Trinity College Dublin and New York University.

The diverse cast features sophomore Nicholas Konow as the Joad family son, Tom; senior Jessica Kubiske and sophomore Jay Donnell as Ma and Pa Joad; senior Emily Podleski as their daughter, Rose of Sharon; and senior Joseph Schiltz as the preacher turned philosopher Jim Casey.

The accomplished production team includes senior Erich Keil (scenic designer), senior Jerome J. Hoppe, Jr. (lighting designer), senior Alexandre B. Corazzola (costume designer), faculty member Matthew Knewtson (sound designer), senior Michael Freese (technical director) and senior Monica Cuoco (production stage manager).

Media contact: Shauna Thieman; 616 387-6222; shauna.thieman@wmich.edu

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