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The Grapes of Wrath

Directed by Michael Moran

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@ Sheila & Hughes Potiker Theatre

November 19 - 24


About the Play

About the Playwright

When their homestead dries up in the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out for California, overcoming severe hardships in their search for better lives and spiritual rejuvenation. Galati’s adaptation won a Tony Award when it debuted in 1990 at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre. Director Michael Moran explores the paradoxical relationship between family and landscape in his vision of Frank Galati’s adaptation of Steinbeck’s Great American Classic.


Frank Galati won two Tony Awards for his adaptation and direction of Steppenwolf's production of The Grapes of Wrath on Broadway. Although he is known primarily as a director of epic plays and musicals (Steppenwolf's Homebody/Kabul, Broadway's Ragtime) he is an equally adept actor (Steppenwolf's The Drawer Boy) and adaptor (Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay for The Accidental Tourist.) Recently he has directed his adaptation of Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore and appeared in The Tempest. He is also an Associate Director at The Goodman Theatre and Professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University.

Adapted from: The Ensemble: Member Profiles: Frank Galati

About the Director

Michael Moran is a director and actor with a BFA from Boston University’s School of Theater. Most recently he founded The Ubuntu Theater Project in the Bay Area where he directed UCSD MFA actors in Dutchman by Amiri Baraka, Yellowman by Dael Orlandersmith, Fool For Love by Sam Shepard and performed the one man show Here Lies Henry by Daniel MacIvor.

UCSD credits: Hamelin by Kristin Idaszak, Elizabeth I (AD) and Tonight We Improvise (AD). Chicago directing credits include The Rose Parade with The Body Project Ensemble (CrisisArt Festival in Italy), a workshop of The Dreamland Tree by Jenny Rachel Weiner (Piven Theater Workshop). Actor credits include Pope Joan (Off-Broadway New World Stages/Incite Festival), The Corn is Green directed by Nicholas Martin and A Civil War Christmas (U/S) directed by Jessica Thebus with the Huntington Theater Company, Melancholy Play (Boston Premiere), Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream and the title roles in Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth with Shakespeare Now! He has worked with Chicago companies that include Piven Theater Workshop, Chicago Dramatists, Oak Park Theater Festival, Urban Theater Company as well as many wonderful storefront theaters.

In August he performed in David Jacobi’s Ex Machina directed by classmate Sarah Wansley at the NYFringe.

He is thrilled to be pursuing an MFA in Directing at UCSD.

Director's Statement

Considered one of the Great American Novels of the twentieth century, Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath follows the journey of the Joad family as they are displaced from their homestead in Oklahoma and seek survival and salvation in the fruit fields of California.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1939, Steinbeck’s masterpiece was adapted for the stage by Frank Galati at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago and won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1990. Set during the political landscape of the Great Depression, this production begins with the cosmic presence of a spiritual wasteland—an interconnected, recursive wasteland between nature’s caprice and the human spirit. Tom serendipitously meets the wandering Preacher Casey on his way home from prison and they forge a companionship that begins to break the spiritual immobility of the time. The family comes together and decides to seek out a better life. As they migrate to the fruitful fields of California the thunder rolls, the world as animated space is created, rain almost falls and the drought almost breaks. The family’s spirit is the surviving vibrancy of this world and its survival directly effects fate and the survival of man. This production follows the Joad family as they journey on the quest for birth, fertility, productivity and hope in a worn and weary world. As the family endures hardships at the hands of an oppressive reality this transformative empathetic spirit is brought into question. The ‘education of the heart’ that the Joads learn on their classic journey remains an enduring education for the American identity. As the Joad family pursues its destiny in the depression era Dust Bowl, the transcendence of the play pursues optimism amid fates’ vagaries and the audience is left wrestling with questions regarding survival, compassion, sacrifice and the cost of striving for that which is beyond oneself.

“And this you can know—fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.”— John Steinbeck


The Cast

The Creative Team

Ma Joad - Hannah Corrigan
Tom Joad - Ronald Washington
Casy - Gerard Joseph
Pa Joad - Danvir Singh
Uncle John - Tom Patterson
Grandma - Chaz Hodges
Grandpa - Keith Wallace
Rose of Sharon - Vi Flaten
Al Joad - William Hodgson
- Zakiya Markland
- Michael Hammond
Man Going Back
- MacGregor Arney
Camp Proprietor
- Emily Shain
Aggie Wainwright
- N'Jameh Camara
- Flynn Platt
Car Salesman
- Francisco Arcila
Car Salesman
- Timothy Barnett
Ensemble - Danica Bailey
Ensemble - Haya-Yasmeen Nasser
Ensemble - Mary Hill
Director - Michael Moran
Music Director - Tommy Crawford
Scenic/Designer - Lily Bartenstein
Costume Designer - Janet O’Neill
Lighting Designer - Bo Tindell
Sound Designer - Jeffrey Yang
Yen Chun
Dramaturg - Heather Ramey
Asst. Director - Jesca Prudencio
Asst. Costume Designer - Dominique Hill
Danae McQueen
Asst. Lighting Designer - Anthony Jannuzzi
Asst. Sound Designer - Grady Kestler
Production Stage Mgr. - Megan Sprowls
Asst. Stage Manager - Sarah Dion
Mandy Nussbaum
Production Assistant - Keili Fernando



Thu,Nov 217:30 pm OPENING
Fri,Nov 227:30 pm  
Sat,Nov 232:00 pm MATINEE
Sat,Nov 237:30 pm  
Sun,Nov 242:00 pm MATINEE
Sun,Nov 24 7:00 pm CLOSING

Located at: Sheila & Hughes Potiker Theatre

Parking Passes Required: Monday through Friday. Weeknight passes are $2 per vehicle from the vending machines located in the UC San Diego Theatre District/La Jolla Playhouse parking lots and entry display case. Please remember your parking space number. You will need it to purchase your parking pass.

Note: Machines take all major credit cards except Discover and when paying with cash you must use exact change, NO CHANGE GIVEN.

Parking Passes Not Required: Saturdays and Sundays

Cars without permits are subject to ticketing by UCSD Campus Police. The Theatre & Dance Department does not have the authority to waive and cannot pay parking tickets.



Advance tickets for this production are available Monday-Friday, noon to 6 pm by calling the Box Office at 858.534.4574 or in person at the Theatre District’s Central Box Office at the Sheila & Hughes Potiker Theatre. 

At-the-Door tickets, if available, can be purchased one hour before show time at the performing theatre’s box office at Sheila & Hughes Potiker Theatre.

General Admission: $20
UCSD Faculty/Staff/Alumni Association,
and Seniors (over 62): $15
UCSD Students/UCSD Alumni Association (with ID): $10

Of Interest:

TheatreForum - An international theatre journal since 1992
La Jolla Playhouse - UCSD is home to this Tony Award winning theatre
UC San Diego Home Page - UC San Diego's Main Web Site
9500 Gilman Drive MC0344
La Jolla, CA 92093
Tel: (858) 534-3791