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Colonial and Redfern Join Forces to Present Of Mice and Men

KEENE, NH - Vermonts oldest professional theater, The Weston Playhouse, winner of the New England Theatre Conferences 2001 Moss Hart Award for the Best Professional Production in New England, will present John Steinbecks Of Mice and Men at the Colonial Theatre of Keene Thursday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, Oct. 26, at 9:30 a.m. A directors talk precedes the evening performance.

The production, which is co-presented by the Colonial and Keene State Colleges Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond, will begin a two-week tour throughout New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine. The Keene performance is made possible through a grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts, with additional support from the six New England state arts agencies, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets are available through the Colonial box office, 603-358-7817 or the Redfern Arts Center, 603-358-2168. Tickets are $21.50 and $19.50 for the general public, seniors, KSC faculty and staff, and $12 for youth 17 and younger. Tickets may also be ordered through the Colonial web site,[, or the Redfern web site,

Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Steinbeck created a modern classic in Of Mice and Men. Written in 1937, its story captures the hardscrabble reality and unfulfilled dreams of the migrant farm worker. Against a canvas of intense loneliness and constant threats, Steinbeck draws an unlikely friendship between George, the tough-talking dreamer, and Lennie, the big-hearted, simple-minded giant who depends on him.

As we follow these unforgettable characters on their ill-fated course, we are haunted by images of displaced and discarded persons, past and present. This beloved American drama explores our fundamental need for companionship and caring, and our unyielding desire to root ourselves in the land on which we toil.

The gentle Lennie and his wily George share the dream of a patch of land and a life that they can call their own, but the jealousies and desires of others lead them to make a soul-searching sacrifice. Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, Of Mice and Men has been made into three films and remains a staple on and off Broadway and in the countrys top regional theatres.

Veterans of the New York stage and Weston Playhouse productions David Bonanno and Robert Jensen appear as George and Lennie. Bonanno recently played the title role in Westons Floyd Collins and was Houdini in the Chicago company of Ragtime. Jensens credits include the title roles in Sweeney Todd at Weston and Jekyll and Hyde on Broadway. Other members in the cast are David Cleveland, Susan Haefner, Robert Harriell, Michael Hicks, Ron Crawford, Guiesseppe Jones, Ken Triwush and Will Zahrn.

Weston Playhouse producing director Malcolm Ewen directs, drawing on his experience working on the Tony Award-winning adaptation of Steinbecks The Grapes of Wrath directs. He is supported by designers Howard Jones (set), Martha Hally (costumes), Stuart Duke (lights) and Duncan Edwards (sound). Michael Burnet is fight director and Christine D. Freeburg is production stage manager.

Other performances of Of Mice and Men can be seen at Weston on October 18 and 19 at 8 p.m., October 20 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., October 21 at 7 p.m. and October 23 at 8 p.m. Special 10 a.m. school performances will be held at Weston on October 23, October 24 and November 9.

Other touring performances are at the Maine Center for the Arts in Orono, Maine; the Flynn Center in Burlington, Vt.; the Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon, N.H.; the Chandler Music Hall in Randolph, Vt.; and the Paramount Center in Rutland, Vt.

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