Wednesday, February 22, 2012


By Frank Galati, from the novel by John Steinbeck
Directed by Frank Licato

WHEN: March 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 8 PM and March 11 at 3 PM
the Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, in Chatham. TICKETS: $20 for adults and $18 for youth/senior.
To access the theater’s online ticketing service, simply CLICK HERE and click on the “TicketLeap” logo. The service is available 24 hours a day, and tickets can be purchased online up until three hours prior to curtain on the day of a performance.
The box office will begin accepting phone reservations on February 24 at 973.635.7363. For information regarding box office hours, please call the box office number listed above.

The Chatham Community Players enter their 90th year of producing local theater with the literary classic and Tony Award winning play, THE GRAPES OF WRATH, a story about the devastating impact of the Great Depression that strikes similar notes and themes to today’s economic climate. Surviving the drought of the 1930s Dust Bowl only to see their home repossessed by the bank, the Joad family embark on a agonizing and heartbreaking trek from Oklahoma to California, intending to restart their lives as migrant farm workers. Their arrival in this “promised land,” however, brings its own test of the human spirit.

"This is, overall, a thrilling theatrical achievement that gets its power from the still sharp relevance of its human message..." - New York Post.

Director Frank Licato added "We have a tendency to think of the story as a historical document, but nothing could be further from the truth.  It remains at the heart of who we are as society, and questions what our priorities are.  Some of these questions are just as pragmatic today as they were then; certainly for migrant workers, but Steinbeck, like any great artist, uses the specific to depict the universal.  This is no museum piece, and I hope that we can surround the Joads’ story with elements which challenge the audience to see beyond the familiar trappings of the period and to look at the images that reflect back at us today." 

GoW03_SepiaThe large and talented cast includes actors from all around New Jersey. The Joad family consists of Dale Monroe as Tom (Hackettstown), Debbie Bernstein as Ma (Maplewood) and Tom Hodge as Pa (Denville), Arnold Buchiane as Grandpa and Jeslyn Wheeless as Grandma (Summit), Amanda Prieto as Rose of Sharon (Madison), Thom Wolfe as Al (Florham Park), Ian McGonigle as Noah (Jersey City), Jacqueline Pothier (Summit) and Bridget McGarry (Chatham) share the role of Ruthie, Jaron Cole as Winfield and Steve Gabe as Uncle John (Madison). Others in the cast include Jeff Maschi as Rev Jim Casy (Milltown), Scott Tyler as Connie (Whippany), Anna McCabe as Aggie Wainwright (Morristown) and comprising the Ensemble are Frank Bläeuer (Hewitt), Victor Gallo (North Caldwell), Rory Hoban (Morristown), Charlotte Jusinski (Chatham), Shanna Levine Phelps (Livingston), Diane Lotti (New Providence), Chip Prestera (Stirling), Theo Errig (Summit) and Liz Royce (Cedar Grove). (Photo taken by Howard Fischer)

Adapted for the stage by Frank Galati, The Grapes of Wrath premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, and later transferred to the West End and Broadway. There it was nominated for eight Tony Awards, winning two for Best Direction and Best Play. Frank Rich of The New York Times declared the play "... majestic... leaves one feeling that the generosity of spirit Steinbeck saw in a brutal country is not so much lost as waiting once more to be found." Known for his sympathetic humor and keen social perception, John Steinbeck wrote "The Grapes of Wrath" in 1939 after seeing the devastation that blanked the country during the Great Depression. The novel won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 and was a cornerstone to the Nobel Prize in Literature he was awarded in 1962.

About the Chatham Playhouse
The Chatham Community Players has been entertaining residents of Morris County and the surrounding area since 1922. The organization’s mission is to produce high-quality theater for a diverse audience, while elevating its standard of excellence and providing a creative outlet with educational opportunities and outreach programs. For more information, including details of CCP’s entire 2011-2012 season, visit