Monday, November 21, 2011



An American Masterpiece
By Frank Galati from the novel by John Steinbeck
Directed by Frank Licato

The production runs March 2 – 17, 2012

WHEN: Monday, December 5, and Wednesday, December 7, at 7 PM
WHERE: The Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Ave., Chatham.

Director Frank Licato asks that actors be familiar with the play/novel and be prepared to read from the script. Sides will be provided at the audition.

The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. ALL roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition. Any questions, please call Kristin Furlong at 732.208.4184 or -email her at For directions or additional information, please visit

A powerful and deeply affecting stage version of one of the masterpieces of American literature. A poor Midwest family is forced off of their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression. Holding to the simplicity and directness of the original novel, the play uses the sparest of technical means to convey its timeless message of the persistence and strength of the human spirit as it battles against the adversities of nature and an uncaring society.

Character Breakdown:( 12 Men, 6 Women and other various roles)

  • Tom Joad: Mid 20s/early 30s The central character, he is a recently released inmate imprisoned for murder who returns home to find that his family has lost their farm and is moving west to California. Tom is a plainspoken, forthright and direct man, yet he still retains some of his violent tendencies.
  • Ma Joad: 50s The mother of Noah, Tom, Rose of Sharon, Al, Ruthie and Winfield, Ma Joad is a woman accustomed to hardship and deprivation. She is a forceful woman who is determined to keep her family together at nearly all costs.
  • Pa Joad: 50s Although the head of the Joad household, he is not a forceful presence. Without the ability to provide for his family, he recedes into the background.
  • Uncle John: 50st A morose man prone to depression and alcoholism, Uncle John believes himself to be the cause of the family's misfortune. He blames himself for the death of his wife several years ago, and has carried the guilt of that event with him.
  • Rose of Sharon: late teens early 20s Tom Joad's younger sister, recently married to Connie Rivers and pregnant with his child, Rose of Sharon is the one adult who retains a sense of optimism in the future.
  • Connie Rivers: 20s The shiftless husband of Rose of Sharon, Connie dreams of taking correspondence courses that will provide him with job opportunities and the possibility of a better life.
  • Noah Joad: Late 30s Tom's older brother, he suffers from mental disabilities that likely occurred during childbirth.
  • Al Joad: late teens early 20s Tom's younger brother, at sixteen years old he is concerned with cars and girls, and remains combative and truculent toward the rest of the family.
  • Ruthie Joad: 8 to 12 One of the two small children in the Joad family, it is Ruthie who reveals that Tom is responsible for the murder at Hooper Ranch, forcing him to leave his family to escape capture by the police.
  • Winfield Joad: 8 to 12 The other small child in the Joad family, Winfield becomes severely ill during the course of the novel from deprivation, but survives his illness.
  • Grampa Joad: 60 to 70 An energetic, feisty old man, Grampa refuses to leave Oklahoma with the rest of his family, but is forcibly taken on the journey after he is drugged by the other family members. He dies before they cross the state line.
  • Granma Joad: 60 to 70 She becomes severely ill on the journey to California, and dies as they reach the state.
  • Reverend Jim Casy: Late 30s/40 A fallen preacher who too often succumbed to temptation, Casy left the ministry when he realized that he did not believe in absolute ideas of sin. He espouses the idea that all that is holy comes from collective society, a belief that he places in practical context when, after time in jail, he becomes involved with labor activists.
  • Muley Graves: 50/60 Muley is a crazy elderly man who reveals to Tom Joad the fate of his family.
  • The Mayor: He is a half-crazed old migrant worker driven “bull-simple” from the police’s continued torture.
  • Floyd Knowles: 20/30s He befriends Al Joad and tells the Joad family about work opportunities and the government camp at Weedpatch.
  • Wilkie Wallace: 20/30s A Weedpatch camp resident who takes Tom to find work when they arrive at the government camp.
  • Aggie Wainwright: Late teens/early 20s She is the young woman to whom Al Joad becomes engaged.
  • Other characters: Ages can range from mid-20‘s to 50‘s and include a car salesman, the camp proprietor, salesman, the gas station attendant, narrators, agricultural officers, the man in the barn and his son and musicians. Some roles are double cast.