'Grapes of Wrath’ is all about community | Letters | March 26
March 26, 2010 · 1:46 PM
BPA’s “Grapes of Wrath” is an exceptional production. The elemental staging both works effectively and underscores the symbolic nature of the play; similarly, the human narrative is well communicated at no expense to the larger themes.
The acting is incredible, particularly the leads, and the entire cast’s chemistry magnifies the play’s emotional resonance. In other words – it really “clicks” – go see it!
It offers plenty of food for thought. In the playbill, Director Kate Carruthers wonders, “Who knows what form Tom Joad’s ghost will take in the future?” She lists migrant workers and victims of natural disasters like Katrina. In fact, alienation, loneliness and displacement can be found much closer to home.
In our own community, many are losing their livelihoods, their access to opportunity and the American dream, including their homes, their comfort and security in this downturn. Let’s keep a friendly smile and listening ear for our neighbors so the world is less harsh. This will build community even more than any intentional gathering. In the words of Ma Joad, “It ain’t kin we? It’s will we?”
Steinbeck cautions: “The quality of owning freezes you forever into ‘I,’ and cuts you off forever from the ‘we.’”
In the play, former Rev. Jim Casy says: “Maybe all men got one big soul everbody’s a part of. Now I sat there thinkin’ it, an’ all of a suddent – I knew it. I knew it so deep down that it was true, and I still know it.”
Thank you to BPA and the cast and crew of this play for sharing these relevant truths with such true and talented artistry.
Beth Rahe Balas