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Local college to stage Steinbeck novel

Junior and senior English classes will be attending a theatrical presentation of The Grapes of Wrath at Fresno City College on March 20 at 2 P.M. Based on Steinbeck’s classic novel, the college drama will be a production of Frank Galati’s award-winning screenplay.

“This live performance provides cultural experiences for our classrooms,” Jon Endicott, vice principal, said. “We do not endorse all of Steinbeck’s views, but his writing provides great in-class discussions.”

The Grapes of Wrath will run through March with tickets priced at $4 per person. The Fresno City College campus sponsors theatrical events to promote learning outside of the classroom.

“I have heard it is a great show,” Maury Turner, ’04, said. “I have never read the book, but I understand what it is about, and I think I will enjoy it.”

A drama of this caliber usually does not find its way to the San Joaquin Valley.

“It will be a fun and visual way to experience the book,” Sarah McComb, ’04, said. “I am looking forward to seeing how the actors depict the characters; I know it will be a really great performance.”

The controversial Saturday scheduling of the performance has caused anticipation for some students to dwindle. If a student chooses not to attend the weekend performance, he or she may have to write a two to three-page essay.

“I think this live performance of Grapes of Wrath will be cool,” Josh Wright, ’05, said. “But I don’t think our school should make us give up our Saturdays to go to a play, and then give us an essay if we can’t make it to the show.”

If continued, mandatory weekend field trips may discourage students, rather than motivating them in their quest for knowledge.

“I hate that our class is going to see the play on a Saturday,” Danae Cook, ’05, said. “Our school should not require us to give up our weekends, when we could see it during school.”

Some students, however, have a more optimistic outlook.

“I really don’t know that much about the Grapes of Wrath,” Hillary Kell, ’05, said. “I’m a little upset that we have to go see it on a Saturday instead of on a Wednesday, but I think it will still be a good experience.”

For more information about The Grapes of Wrath performance, contact Endicott at 297-2494, ext. 126 or Fresno Community College’s theatre box office at 442-4600, ext. 8221.

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