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The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Frank Galati
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 143
Pub. Date: 1991
ISBN-10: 0822204754
ISBN-13: 9780822204756
Cast Size: 4 women, 18 men

About the Play:

Winner of the 1990 Tony Award and Outer Critics Circle Award

The Grapes of Wrath is a full-length drama adapted for the stage by Frank Galati, from the classic John Steinbeck novel of the same name. The Joad family is travelling from Oklahoma to California to escape the ravages of the Dust Bowl. Fiercely proud but reduced to poverty, volatile young Tom Joad grows increasingly impatient with the intolerance and exploitation the family encounters on their journey. Renowned first as a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, and then as a prize-winning motion picture, this is a powerful and deeply affecting stage version of one of the masterpieces of American literature.

The Grapes of Wrath tells the powerful story of the Joad family and their flight from the dust bowl of Oklahoma to the fertile but futile fields of California in the early 1930s. Desperately proud, but reduced to poverty by the loss of their farm, the Joads pile their few possessions on a battered old truck and head west for California, hoping to find work and a better life. Led by the indomitable Ma Joad, who is determined to keep the family together at any cost, and by the volatile young Tom Joad, an ex-convict who grows increasingly impatient with the intolerance and exploitation which they encounter on their trek, the Joads must deal with death and terrible deprivation before reaching their destination—where their waning hopes are dealt a final blow by the stark realities of the Great Depression. And yet, despite the anguish and suffering which it depicts, the play becomes in the final essence a soaring and deeply moving affirmation of the indomitability of the human spirit, and of the essential goodness and strength which – then as now – resides in the hearts and minds of the "common man," throughout the world. Holding to the simplicity and directness of the original novel, the play uses the sparest of technical means to convey its timeless message of the persistence and strength of the human spirit as it battles against the adversities of nature and an uncaring society.

The Grapes of Wrath premiered in 1989 at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, where it won the Jeff Award for Best Play. The production later transferred to London's West End at the Royal National Theatre and eventually to Broadway, in 1990 at the Cort Theatre where it won the Tony Award for Best Broadway Play. The play is regularly performed in regional repertory, middle school, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 4 women, 18 men

What people say:

"…majestic … leaves one feeling that the generosity of spirit he saw in a brutal country is not so much lost as waiting once more to be found." — New York Times

"This is, overall, a thrilling theatrical achievement that gets its power from the still sharp relevance of its human message…." — New York Post

"The Grapes of Wrath is a lesson in history, stagecraft, and truth that we cannot afford not to learn." — New York Magazine

About the Playwright:

Frank Galati is an American director, writer and actor. He is a member of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, an associate director at Goodman Theatre, and an emeritus professor of performance at Northwestern University.

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