Asolo Rep to Be Featured in a Special Smithsonian Panel: Steinbeck on Stage

Asolo Rep to Be Featured in a Special Smithsonian Panel: Steinbeck on Stage

On the heels of its celebrated production of The Grapes of Wrath, Asolo Rep's Producing Artistic Director/Director of The Grapes of Wrath Michael Donald Edwards and the play's Tony Award-winning adapter Frank Galati will be featured speakers in a special panel entitled Steinbeck on Stage, presented by Smithsonian Associates and the National Steinbeck Center. Select scenes from Asolo Rep's production of The Grapes of Wrath will be performed by Asolo Rep actors Christian Conn (Tom Joad), Peggy Roeder (Ma Joad), and Andrew Sellon (Jim Casy). The panel will be Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 7pm at the National Museum of Natural History Baird Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

April marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning American epic, which tells the story of the Joad family's hope-fueled cross-country journey to escape the devastation of the Dust Bowl and create a better life for themselves. Frank Galati's Tony Award-winning adaptation was first performed at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre in 1988 and has since been performed by countless theaters around the world. Scenes from Galati's triumphant adaptation will be screened at the event.

Edwards and Galati will be joined by Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw. The panel will discuss the significance of transforming the novel's compelling, poetic text into a theatrical work of art. Moderated by Penguin Classics Editorial Director Elda Rotor, the panel will also feature Lois Smith, who originated the role of Ma Joad at Steppenwolf.

"We are deeply honored and excited to be a part of this incredibly significant panel and to continue to celebrate the 75th anniversary of this American masterpiece," said Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards. "Presenting scenes from our production of The Grapes of Wrath on a national stage with Frank Galati, the brilliant adapter of this novel, is quite thrilling."

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