USD theatre brings Steinbeck classic to the stage

USD theatre brings Steinbeck classic to the stage
The University of South Dakota's Department of Theatre will present John Steinbeck's enduring Depression -era drama, Of Mice and Men, Oct. 17-20 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for youths (12 and under) and non-USD students, and $4 for USD students. The University Theatre box office opens Oct. 10 with hours from noon to 5 p.m. daily. Reservations can be made by calling the box office at (605) 677-5400 or logging on to

Of Mice and Men, which is set in Salinas, CA, during the Depression, focuses on two drifters, George and Lennie, who have dreams of living off the "fat of the land" once they have earned enough money as farm laborers to buy their own place. Their plans go horribly awry, however, when Lennie has a fateful encounter with the wife of his boss's son.

Over the course of the play, Steinbeck examines George and Lennie's struggle for survival in the face of economic hardship, discrimination and loneliness. The novel, which was published in early 1937 and was Steinbeck's first work to receive national attention, was rendered in dramatic form later that year and ran on Broadway for 207 performances.

Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best New Play for 1937, Of Mice and Men has also been adapted to film four times. A 1939 version featured Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney Jr. as George and Lennie, while Gary Sinise and John Malkovich played those characters in the 1992 film.

The cast includes seniors Rob Garness of Bell Fourche and Andy Heller of Armour as George and Lennie. Dan Workman, a USD Theatre alumnus from Vermillion, plays the Boss, while Kevin Earlywine, a freshman from Rockford, IL, is Curley, and Lindsey Straw, a junior from Ralston, NE, is Curley's Wife. Eric Adams, Omaha, NE, portrays Candy, and Victor Mohamed and Mike Husby, both of Sioux Falls, take on the roles of Crooks and Slim. Paul Petersen, Cheyenne, WY, and Tyler Hudson, South Sioux City, NE, play Carlson and Whit.

Charlotte Guyette and Dennis Chandler, associate professors of theatre, direct the action and design the sound, while three seniors comprise the remainder of the artistic team: Randy Niles of Aberdeen, scenic design; Chris Schloss of Yankton, lighting design; and Steven Buechler of Centerville, costumes. For more information, contact Eric Hagen at (605) 677-5732 or

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