CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 21, 2015 – Based on the classic novel by Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck, “Of Mice and Men” will be performed on the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall stage at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4-7 and 2 p.m. Nov. 8 at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus as the University’s Department of Theatre and Dance brings this Depression era story to life.
“Of Mice and Men” is set in California during the Great Depression and follows two migrant workers, George and his friend Lennie, who have delusions of living off the “fat of the land” and have just arrived at a ranch to work for enough money to buy their own piece of land.
Lennie is a man-child, a little boy in the body of a dangerously powerful man. It’s Lennie’s obsessions with things soft and cuddly that make George cautious about with whom the gentle giant, with his brute strength, associates. His promise to allow Lennie to “tend to the rabbits” on their future land keeps Lennie calm, amidst distractions. But when a ranch boss’ promiscuous wife is found dead in the barn with a broken neck, it is obvious that Lennie, albeit accidentally, killed her.
George, now worried about his own safety, knows exactly where Lennie has gone to hide, and he meets him there. Realizing they can’t run away anymore, George is faced with a moral question: how should he deal with Lennie before the ranchers find him and take matters into their own hands.
“It is one of the most powerful stories ever written with one of the most tragic endings of any play you’ll see,” said Dr. Kenneth Stilson, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, who is directing the performance.
“Of Mice and Men” is based upon Steinbeck’s own memories of growing up in rural America and his experiences of working on farmlands alongside migrant workers during the summers of his youth.
“The play very closely follows the book that probably most everyone read in high school,” said Stilson. “We hope everyone who has ever read the book and every English class in the entire region comes to see it. We expect it to be a hugely popular show.”
Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (573) 651-2265, or online at RiverCampusEvents.com.