North Coast Rep to Revive American Classic OF MICE AND MEN

By: Oct. 18, 2017
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For its second play of Season 36, North Coast Rep is reviving John Steinbeck's classic drama novella-turned play, OF MICE AND MEN.

The play electrified the opening night audience at the Music Box Theatre in 1937. Now, eighty years later, the story of these two iconic figures, Lenny and George, continues to be part of our country's collective imagination - a tale of friendship in a world of solitude that is sustained by illusory dreams. OF MICE AND MEN is must-see theatre for those who treasure timeless, compelling storytelling.

Richard Baird directs Ted Barton,* J. Stephen Brantley,* Lawrence Brown,* Wallace Bruce, Sierra Jolene, Justin Lang, Max Macke, Nicolas Mongiardo-Cooper,* and Jacob Sidney.* The design team includes Marty Burnett (Scenic Design), Aaron Rumley (Sound Design), Matthew Novotny (Lighting), Elisa Benzoni (Costume Design), and Andrea Gutierrez (Props). Aaron Rumley* is the Stage Manager. *The actor or stage manager appears through the courtesy of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.

OF MICE AND MEN previews begin Wednesday, October 18. Opening Night on Saturday, October 21, at 8pm. There will be a special talkback on Friday, October 27, with the cast and artistic director. It will play Wednesdays at 7pm, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm with Sundays at 7pm, through November 12 (See Schedule below). North Coast Repertory Theatre is located at 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach, CA 92075. Tickets: Previews- $45, Week Nights - $52; Sat. Eve. & Sun. Mat. $56; Sat.Mat. & Sun Night - $49. Seniors, Students, Military & Educators - $3 off admission. There is also a $20 rush tickets half hour before performance if available. Call 858-481-1055 or visit to purchase tickets.


John Steinbeck (Author) was an accomplished American writer best known for his novels about the social consequences of the great depression in America. His most famous works include: Of Mice and Men (1937), Pulitzer Prize winner, The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. John Steinbeck wrote profoundly about the economic problems faced by the rural class during the Great Depression. His deep interest in the subject and authenticity came from his own experiences working as a manual laborer before choosing writing for a career.

Richard Baird (Director) is the founding Artistic Director of New Fortune Theatre Company: The Birthday Party, co-director Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Henry V (San Diego Critics Circle Award for Direction). He served as Associate Artistic Director of Southwest Shakespeare Company: As You Like It, The Winter's Tale. Intrepid Theatre: Much Ado About Nothing; Diversionary Theatre: Edward II; Oregon Shakespeare Festival BLACK SWAN Series: The Changeling. As Poor Players Artistic Director he directed over 20 productions of Shakespeare's plays. Of Mice and Men marks Mr. Baird's nineteenth production at North Coast Rep. He is a proud member of Actor's Equity.

Ted Barton* (Boss) is pleased to return to North Coast Rep, where he played Mayor Meekly in Unnecessary Farce and Saunders in Lend Me a Tenor. He has worked at Mark Taper Forum, TheatreWorks, Sacramento Theatre Company, Ensemble Theatre Company, Foothill Theatre Company, MainStreet Theatre Company, Coeurage Theatre Company, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Warehouse Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Phoenix, Native Voices at the Autry, Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum; California, Colorado, Lake Tahoe, and Kingsmen Shakespeare Festivals; Southwest Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare Sedona, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, on a national tour of On Golden Pond, and as an Equity Guest Artist at the University of Alabama.

J. Stephen Brantley* (Slim) is a New York-based actor, playwright, and producer. Off-Broadway: Mope (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Murder In The First (The Directors Co. at 59E59), Pirira (Theatre 167). Regional: The Night Alive (Guild Hall), Of Mice And Men (Bay Street), and Romeo And Juliet with its zombie sequel R & J & Z at Stonington Opera House. TV: "The Blacklist" (NBC), "Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter" (Adult Swim), "Difficult People" (Hulu). Brantley is an eight-time New York Innovative Theatre Award nominee and recipient of the Micheál MacLiammóir Award for Best Actor at the 2013 Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival.

Laurence Brown* (Crooks) is a San Diego native and a member of SAG/Aftra. He attended Dillard University in New Orleans. He was awarded a Craig Noel Theater award in 2017 for his role as Canewell in Seven Guitars. Some of his local theater credits include: North Coast Rep's Gee's Bend, Moxie Theater's WET and Devil Dog Six, Cygnet Theater's King Henley II, A Rasin in the Sun, Piano Lesson, Gem of the Ocean, and Muthafucker with the Hat. Some of his national commercial and TV credits include: "Hulu Plus," "Chevy," "Scrubbing Bubbles", "Monk", and "I Carly."

WALLACE BRUCE (Curley) is honored to work on this great American classic. He studied theater at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, moved to Los Angeles and has acted steadily since. He's appeared in over fifteen plays in LA. His regional theater credits include: The Judy Garland Story, End of the Rainbow, David Ives' The Heir Apparent, and most recently, Crimes of the Heart. He has enjoyed memberships in both the Echo Theater Company and Theater of Note. Wallace would like to thank David Ellenstein for this opportunity and the Quinn family of Maine for raising him behind the curtain.

John Greenleaf* (Candy) North Coast Rep: The Amenuensis/Geronte in The Illusion; Oriole in Now You See It. Four years with John Houseman's The Acting Company, four years with The Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, shows with Steppenwolf, South Coast Rep; Northlight Rep; PCPA; Players Theatre, Columbus. Nicholas Nickleby at the Blackstone Theatre, Chicago. New York and Washington DC Fringe: Alternative Methods. Theatre Row, New York: Doc in Small Craft Warnings, directed by Austin Pendleton. Dickens Museum, London, Christmas Eve 2014: Marley in my adaptation of A Christmas Carol. TV: PBS Theatre in America: Christy in The Playboy of the Western World. Thank you, Richard and David!

SIERRA JOLENE (Curley's Wife) spends most of her time acting in the San Francisco Bay Area and is thrilled to be performing at the North Coast Repertory Theater for the second time after being seen as Saskia in At This Evening's Performance. Favorite Bay Area theater credits include: Ann Deever in the Jewel Theater Company's production of All My Sons, Tamsin in the Bay Area premier of The Monster Builder at The Aurora Theater Company, as well as Malcolm in Macbeth and Lucrece in The Liar at the Santa Cruz Shakespeare Festival. She was also seen at South Coast Repertory Theater's Pacific Playwright's Festival as Bianca in Amy Freed's new play Shrew! Sierra is a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in acting.

Justin Long (Whit) This is Justin's North Coast Repertory Theatre debut. He has worked with; ion Theatre, Diversionary, Intrepid, Moxie, La Jolla Playhouse, New Village Arts, and Sierra Rep. Mr. Lang is currently teaching and directing with San Diego Junior Theatre. He is a company member and the production manager for New Fortune Theatre Company.

MAX MACKE (Carlson) is ecstatic to be back at North Coast Rep. He was last seen here in Way Downriver as Deputy Buckworth and Leading Ladies as Butch. Other credits include: Moe in Awake and Sing, Brendan in the Weir, Bob Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird, Martini in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Carlino in Wait Until Dark and Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing for New Village Arts. Stanley in The Birthday Party with New Fortune. Jeff Skilling in Enron, and the Devil in Eurydice for Moxie. Max is an original member of the Poor Players Theatre Company, with whom he appeared in over a dozen Shakespearean plays. Max would like to thank his wife and daughter for their continued love and support.

Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper* (Lennie) Off-Broadway: Rothschild and Sons, Lonesome Traveler, Julius Caesar. NY: SubUrbia, The Female Terrorists Project, Iolanthe, Slavs!, Three Days of Rain. Regional: Our Lady of 121st St., Ferdinand the Bull, Behind the Gates, Slaughterhouse Five (Action!) Once, Lucky Duck, The Borrowers, Edward Tulane (SCR), A Midsummer Night's Dream (SBCCLO), Words By (SDTCC Nom.), Side By Side By Sondheim, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush (North Coast Rep), and Side Show (La Jolla Playhouse). TV: "Fuller House" (Netflix/WB), "Superstore" (NBCUniversal) "Casual" (HULU) LaGuardia High School, BFA: NYU. Proud AEA member since 2003.

Jacob Sidney* (George) Uncanny Valley (ICT Long Beach). Los Angeles: The Tragedy of JFK (The Blank); The Behavior of Broadus; Hamlet Max (Hamlet, SacRed Fools); You Can't Take It With You (Antaeus); The Government Inspector, The Treatment (Boston Court); Sparks' The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman (Ford Amphitheater, Dir. Guy Maddin); Hamlet (Horatio, Dir. Jessica Kubzansky); Hamlet (Guildenstern, A Noise Within, Dir. Michael Michetti); The Beastly Bombing; Peer Gynt (Peer). Films: "Worm," "Cockroaches," "Killer Bud," "The Velocity of Gary." Further stage: Bent (Horst); The Normal Heart (Felix); A Chorus Line (Paul); The Grapes of Wrath (Tom). Baritone Soloist, San Gabriel Valley Choral Company.

AARON RUMLEY* (Stage Manager/Sound Design) North Coast Repertory Theatre: Travels with?My Aunt, Marjorie Prime, The Cocktail Hour, Hedda Gabler, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush, The Fox on the Fairway, Betrayal, Unnecessary Farce, Gunmetal Blues, Fallen Angels, Who Am I This Time?, Broken Glass, Two by Pinter: The Lover and The Dumb Waiter, THIS, The Lion in Winter, Heroes, Lend Me a Tenor,?My Name is Asher Lev, The Drawer Boy, Becky's New Car, Voice of the Prairie, Ghosts, Glorious!, Talley's Folly, Over the Tavern, Rabbit Hole, The Dresser, Don't Dress for Dinner, Madagascar, Mornings at Seven, String of Pearls, Dracula, Rashomon, Wit, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Leading Ladies, Collected Stories, Halpern & Johnson, Romeo and Juliet, The Bungler, The Chosen, A Life in the Theatre and The Rainmaker. North Carolina Theatre: Talley's Folly, Picnic, The Miser and On Golden Pond. Aaron received a B.A. in Theatre from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and is the production manager at the North Coast Repertory Theatre. Aaron is a member of Actors' Equity Association.

MARTY BURNETT (Resident Scenic Designer) Marty is in his 26th season as Resident Designer/Technical Director at North Coast Rep. He has designed the last 175 shows. Other venues include Laguna Playhouse, Portland Stage Company, Drury Lane [Chicago), Claridge Hotel (Atlantic City), Union Plaza, Sahara Hotel, Hacienda in Las Vegas, Coronado Playhouse, Scripps Ranch Theater, Harrah's Lake Tahoe. Marty is a proud alumnus of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

MATTHEW NOVOTNY (Light Design) is pleased to be designing another show for North Coast Rep, where he has designed close to 40 shows over the past seven years. Matthew is currently the Lighting Designer in Residence for San Diego Musical Theatre as well as North Coast Rep, and his work can be seen at a wide variety of theatres across San Diego. Matthew holds a BA in Technical Theatre from San Diego State, and a master's degree in Lighting Design from Boston University. Matthew is married to his beautiful wife Amanda, with 3 gorgeous children: Ragan, Harper and Heston.

ELISA BENZONI (Costume Design) is thrilled to be working with North Coast Rep again. Previous work with North Coast Repertory Theatre includes: At This Evening's Performance, The Spitfire Grill, Travels with my Aunt, The Illusion, Marjorie Prime, Laughter on the 23rd Floor; The Cocktail Hour; Hedda Gabler; Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush, Chapatti, The Fox on the Fairway, for which she was nominated for a Craig Noel Award; Other select credits: Sex with Strangers (Geffen Playhouse), Constellations (Old Globe) Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Reckless, Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure (Old Globe/USO); The Who and The What, Our Town, Tall Girls, Brahaman/1, Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir (La Jolla Playhouse); Emilie, Sylvia, Much Ado About Nothing (New Village Arts), Snakeskin, Lifeblood Harmony, Chagall, A Man Found Wanting (Malashock Dance); The Storm, The Threepenny Opera, A Man, His Wife, and His Hat (UCSD). Assistant costume credits: Dialogues des Carmelites (Teatro Petruzzelli), Baril, Paradise Found (Menier Chocolate Factory, London), Milk Like Sugar [La Jolla Playhouse), As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Old Globe). Elisa holds a costume design MFA from UCSD.

ANDREA GUTIERREZ (Prop Design) has been working at North Coast Rep since 2012, beginning as the Stage Manager and Prop Master for our theatre school. She worked as backstage crew for the 32nd and the beginning of the 33rd Season, before taking over as Supervising House Manager and Volunteer Coordinator. Her previous prop credits include: At This Evening's Performance, The Spitfire Grill, Travels with my Aunt, The Illusion, Marjorie Prime, Laughter on the 23rd Floor; The Cocktail Hour; Ain't Misbehavin', Hedda Gabler; Way Downriver; William Faulkner's 'Old Man·, Now You See It, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush, Chapatti, and The Fox on the Fairway, as well as two seasons as Properties Assistant at Starlight Theatre. She received her B.A. in Theatrical Design and Production from UCLA's School of Theatre, Film & Television, and a M.A. from Johns Hopkins University.

North Coast Repertory Theatre, under the artistic leadership of David Ellenstein since 2003, is a professional Equity theatre founded in 1982 by Olive and Tom Blakistone. Currently celebrating its 36th season, North Coast Rep has received critical acclaim from media and audiences alike, and has evolved into one of the area's leading performing arts organizations. North Coast Rep prides itself on employing the majority of its actors from Actors' Equity Association for its high quality, award-winning productions, and staging works by established and emerging playwrights. Throughout its history, North Coast Rep has created a platform where artist and audience thrive through the intimacy of live theatre, recognizing the power of theatre to challenge complacency, revitalize the imagination, nurture the unexpected, and embrace the variety and diversity in our lives.


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