John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Moves Audience Members

by Brittany Robinson '08

"A guy needs somebody to be near him, a guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody," said Crooks in John Steinbeck's 1930's classic tale Of Mice and Men, brought to life by APU's Theater Arts Program. Performances began on January 31 and ran through February 9.

The American classic deals with the specific contradictions between fantasy and reality in depression torn California. Steinbeck tells the tragic tale of two friends, George and Lenny, on their journey to find true companionship and freedom.

It took more than 26 cast and crew members to make the play a reality. The actors put great preparation into its success through the guidance and direction of Monica Ganas, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Theater, Film, and Television, and Erin Gaw.

"The biggest challenge was to live what is happening in the story and be true to the characters by living through them," said Matthew Gilmore '08, who played Lenny Smalls.

A question-and-answer forum following opening night gave insight into the actors' feelings about the performance, and the raw challenges the cast and crew went through to accurately portray Steinbeck's themes.

"We cannot shrink the story to accommodate the person we are or the talent we already possess; we have to grow enough to accommodate the story. The students met the challenges and I am enormously proud of them," said Ganas.