From left -- David James, Craig Geoffrion, Bobby Welsh and Ian Wade with Pagaan as Dog in rehearsal for the Providence Players production of “Of Mice and Men.”
Photo by Chip Hertzog/Courtesy of Providence Players of Fairfax County
Where and When
Providence Players of Fairfax present "Of Mice and Men" at James Lee Community Center Theatre, 2855 Annandale Road, Falls Church. Performances Oct. 3-18. Thursday, Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Oct. 5 and 12. Tickets: $17-$20. For information and tickets visit www.providencepla... or call 703-425-6782.
One of Nobel Prize recipient John Steinbeck’s most acclaimed works, "Of Mice and Men," is coming to the James Lee Community Center Theatre. The Providence Players production will chronicle two traveling, migrant ranch workers who are on the road, seeking out better lives at the height of the Great Depression. They are fleeing a sketchy past, but still have a dream to own land.
One of the two men is physically strong, but with intellectual disabilities, the other is the guardian who looks out for both of them, or at least he tries. "Of Mice and Men" had its Broadway premiere in 1937. It was revived on Broadway only a few months ago.
For Providence director John Coscia "Of Mice and Men" is a labor of love about a book many may know, but may have not seen on stage. "We can relate to the people and situations depicted in the play. They could be our grandparents or parents who lived during such incredibility tough times; the Great Depression. Yet they found a way to survive and made lives better for the generations that followed them."
"This play is an inspiring powerful story about people who are struggling under the most dire circumstances. Yet even during the Depression they have their dreams. They still dare to dream," said Providence newcomer Julie Janson who plays a key character, a pioneer woman and wife. "The characters show their human spirit and toughness."
Mike Donahue, who plays George, spoke about the play's look "at the need to connect to other human beings; to not be alone even if feeling vulnerable. We must rise above loneliness to interact with others and feel alive."
At a recent rehearsal a lively dog named Pagaan was going through the paces rehearsing for an appearance on stage. A well-detailed set full of worn wood and working hand tools was nearing completion. It was as if a real ranch bunkhouse was parachuted into the James Lee Theatre.
The title "Of Mice and Men" is taken from Robert Burns’ poem “To a Mouse,” describing how a field mouse’s world is destroyed by a plow. It reads: “The best laid schemes of mice and men/Often go awry."
Inviting audiences to "Of Mice and Men," Coscia said, "This is a book that many of us read, now you can see it live on stage. I hope you come away moved."