February 16, 2009

The Grapes of Wrath Blows Through Valdosta

VALDOSTA - Valdosta State University's Theatre and Dance Area will explore the resilience of the human spirit in the stage adaptation of John Steinbeck's epic novel, "The Grapes of Wrath," from February 19-25 on the Sawyer Theater stage in the Fine Arts Building.

The Tony Award winning play by Frank Galati follows the Joads, a poor sharecropping family driven from their Oklahoma land by the crippling Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Their hopeful travels to secure land, jobs and dignity in California introduce them to families dealing with similar plights. The production conveys the socio-economic impact of the Great Depression, and the importance of family and human dignity in the face of adversity.

"Bank failures, unemployment, loss of life style and loss of property have become as much a part of our daily lives in 2009 as they were in 1937. We are not on the road to California as the Joads are, but we are certainly on the road to what we all hope is a brighter future, said Professor Jacque Wheeler, who directed the play. "I hope the music lifts your spirit and reminds you that life is full of the happy and the sad - the hard and the easy. Even when things seem darkest before the dawn, there is hope in life renewed and humanity's ability to overcome obstacles."

Evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. Sunday's performance is at 3 p.m. The VSU Theatre and Dance Box Office is open from 2-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call the box office at (229) 333-5973 for advance reservations and information about season memberships. Tickets may be picked up outside the production's specific performance venue approximately 30 minutes prior to curtain. Reserved tickets not picked up within 15 minutes of curtain are subject to release to the waiting list.

Visit the VSU Theatre and Dance Web site at www.valdosta.edu/comarts/thaseason for a parking map and other production information.

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