Bay Street Theater’s Literature Live! this month presents Of Mice and Men, directed by Joe Minutillo, to bring the John Steinbeck novella to life for Long Island students studying the story in school while also entertaining audiences at large.
Performances will be held at the theater in Sag Harbor from November 9 to 28.
Of Mice and Men is a compelling tale of friendship and survival in the time of the Great Depression. George and Lennie are two migrant farm workers who dream of one day owning their own piece of land. But when Lennie gets too close to the wife of the boss’s son, George must choose between protecting his friend and staying the course towards his version of the American Dream. Steinbeck was a proud resident of Sag Harbor.
Steinbeck reveals through the play that oppression comes not only from the powerful and strong, but also from the meek and poor. The fully-staged professional production and its supporting programming offer students the unique opportunity to explore this classic tale and its themes in a variety of ways.
“The entire experience is supported with teacher-developed Common Core-aligned lesson plans and reference materials available for use immediately upon booking,” says Ava Locks, Bay Street Theater’s director of education.
Bay Street Theater is again offering the free student ticket initiative for all students. Literature Live! has served students from Wyandanch to Montauk.
“Since the start of this program seven years ago, we’ve brought nearly 10,000 students from 53 schools across Long Island,” says Bay Street Theater Executive Director Tracy Mitchell. “In working to ensure that theater remains accessible, this year we are once again offering the Free Student Ticket Initiative. And we’ve seen a large jump in the number of students attending because of it. I hope everyone will take advantage of this opportunity.”
The cast is made up of many local actors from Shelter Island, East Hampton, Hampton Bays and Calverton who have participated in a variety of programs at Bay Street Theater, as well as actors from New York City. The cast includes Preston Truman Boyd (Lennie), Joe Pallister (George), Terry Brockbank (Candy), Josh Gladstone (Boss), Jon Kovach (Curley), J. Stephen Brantley (Slim), Georgia Warner (Curley’s Wife), Sawyer Spielberg (Whit), Chauncy Thomas (Crooks) and William Sturek (Carlson). Many of the cast members have participated in Literature Live! productions such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Crucible and The Diary of Anne Frank, as well as in Bay Street’s Mainstage productions. Fight direction is by Rick Sordelet.
Bay Street Theater is partnering with the Bridgehampton Museum, which will provide historical artifacts that will anchor the exhibition’s themes of farming and migrant workers on the East End. In addition, The Roger Memorial Library will provide historic audio and visual files (Talking Histories) of local farm families. Images and graphs will be displayed in order to illustrate the impact of the Great Depression both locally and globally. Canio’s Books will provide an East End and Steinbeck centric presence in the lobby.
In addition, the lobby will also include information about the theater production process by explaining the terminology and showing images and sketches from the rehearsal process through the show’s opening. The seven-year history of Literature Live! will be exhibited through pictures and a map of participating local and regional schools.
Public performances will be presented on Fridays and Saturdays November 13–14, November 20–21, and Thanksgiving weekend November 27–28 at 7 p.m. Matinees will be held on Sunday, November 15, at 2 p.m. and Thanksgiving weekend Saturday, November 28, at 2 p.m. Groups and weekday showtimes vary and are open to the public based on availability.
Tickets are on sale at the box office at 631-725-9500 or online at baystreet.org. The Box Office is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 am to 5 p.m. All student admissions are free with a valid ID and adult admission is $27–$50.