Steinbeck classic on stage at NWC

John Steinbeck’s Depression-era classic The Grapes of Wrath will be presented by Northwestern College theatre on Nov. 9, 10 and 14–17 in the England Proscenium Theatre of the DeWitt Theatre Arts Center. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m.

The play follows the Joad family. Evicted from their Oklahoma farm and facing starvation, they head to California, where they and thousands of other Dust Bowl victims have been promised jobs and a better life. Accompanied by Jim Casy, a disillusioned preacher, the Joads encounter death and despair, eventually realizing their prospects may not be as they had hoped.

Northwestern theatre professor Bob Hubbard, who is directing the play, says the story’s exploration of the ways society responds to migrant workers and those who are poor are timeless. “Jim Casy’s dilemma—how to put one’s faith into action in a way that actually helps people—is one contemporary Christians face as well,” he says. “Perhaps the social justice gospel is the gospel.”

Steinbeck’s novel, published in 1939, won the Pulitzer Prize. Frank Galati’s adaptation of the novel won Broadway’s Tony Award for Best Play in 1990.

Tickets for Northwestern College theatre productions are $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under; John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath is not suitable for young children. The DeWitt Theatre box office opens Oct. 29 for Theatre Patrons; it is open Oct. 30 to Nov. 17 for the general public.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting the box office between 4 and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday or between noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday. The box office can also be reached by phone, 712-707-7098, or e-mail,