MCCC Drama Students to Perform "The Grapes of Wrath" at Kelsey Theatre May 7-9




Cast members of "The Grapes of Wrath" include: (top row, l. to r.) Michelle Wood and Matt Gawloski; (middle row) Stephen Lewandowski, Henry Drift, John Cardiacotto, Debbie Ryan, Nick Fragale, John Devennie, Glenn Calhoun, and Peter Ogden; (front row) Toni Campbell, Kate Benincasa and Damien Gaeta.

"The Grapes of Wrath," John Steinbeck's great American classic, comes to Mercer's Kelsey Theatre in May. Performed by actors from the MCCC Drama Program, this moving stage adaptation was produced for Broadway by Frank Galati and uses original music, along with memorable songs by Woody Guthrie, to paint a broad historical context for the story. Dates and show times are: Friday and Saturday, May 7 and 8 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 9 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on Mercer’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

MCCC Drama Program Coordinator Nick Anselmo, who directs the show, said, "This great literary work was written in the 1939 but is incredibly relevant to us today. It is about average people coming together in times of trouble to help each other survive. Our talented cast has really embraced this powerful story of community.”

The saga follows members of the Joad family as they strive to preserve their humanity in desperate times. When they lose their tenant farm in Oklahoma, the Joads join thousands of others heading west with the dream of a finding a piece of land to call their own. Capturing the bitter conflict between the powerful and the powerless, "The Grapes of Wrath" portrays the suffering caused by the Great Depression as it probes the nature of equality and justice in America.

The cast for the show includes: Katherine A. Benincasa, Frank Bridgewater, Glen Calhoun, Toni Campbell, John A. Cardaciotto, Tarin Chalifoux, John P. Devennie, Henry Drift, Nick Fragale, Emily Franks, Damian Gaeta, Matt Gawloski, Guy Hutchinson, Stephen Lewandowski, Peter Ogden, Kerrin Paul, Rachael Platt, Lyndsey Potosky, Nicole Russano, Debbie Ryan, Dan Spalluto, Edmund Wittmann and Michelle L. Wood.

Tickets are $12 for adults, and $10 for seniors and students. Free parking is available next to the theater. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-584-9444. Events at Kelsey Theatre are made possible in part by the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission through funding from the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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