“Of Mice and Men”, a classic American masterpiece by John Steinbeck, will be presented on the Iowa River Players stage in Rowan. The show opens Friday, April 29 at 7:30. Additional performances are on April 30, May 6 and 7, all at 7:30pm. One matinee is scheduled for Sunday, May 1 at 2:00pm.
As those who have read this book for their high school American literature class will recall, “Of Mice and Men” centers around the touching relationship between two migrant farm workers in Depression-era California: Lennie and George. Lennie (played by Kurt Hartmann of Latimer) is as strong as an ox and mentally challenged. George (played by David Dean of Clarion) is slight and quick-witted. George is Lennie’s protector and care-giver, watching over him to keep him out of trouble. Living a hand to mouth existence and drifting from farm to farm for work, the unlikely pair has dreamed of a place of their own. The technicolor details of the dream are often recited by George upon Lennie’s insistence: the most important feature of which, to Lennie, is being able to tend the soft rabbits.
Lennie and George find themselves on a ranch with an assortment of society’s castoffs: Candy, an old man (portrayed by Paul Bamford of Belmond) who has lost a hand in a farm accident, and Crooks, the shunned black stable boy (portrayed by Kaluba Namoonde of Fort Dodge). While it may seem hopeful that the dream may come to fruition, the poet tells us that “the best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry” and Lennie being in the wrong place at the wrong time brings about the tragic end.
The cast is rounded out with Brian McGurk from Clarion in the role of the boss’ pugnacious son, “Curley”; Kimberly Conlon, Clarion, as “Curley’s Wife”, J Henry Arends (Belmond) as the fair-minded “Slim”, Dale Arends (Belmond) and Zach Reed (Lake Cornelia) as farm workers “Carlson” and “Whit”, and Steve Froehlich (Belmond) as “Boss”. The role of Candy’s dog is played by Maisy the dog.
Individual tickets to this production are $5 for students and $10 for adults, and are available only at the door. Special, half-price tickets are being offered to groups of 20 or greater. Call Shannon Walker Carlson (cell phone 515-851-8487) to arrange for group seating and payment.