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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Steinbeck play draws attention

An old jalopy putted across the stage, the piercing headlights beaming across the audience, drawing them into the 1930s depression era. Campus junior and senior classes attended Fresno City College’s rendition of The Grapes of Wrath on March 20.

“We don’t usually read John Steinbeck, but the AP class does,” Molly Sargent, English teacher, said. “Steinbeck is one of California’s most famous authors. He represents the Valley; he knows about where we all live.”

Teachers required students to attend the play with the intent of exposing them to Steinbeck. However, some students were reluctant to sit in the theater for over three hours on a Saturday afternoon.

“I thought the play was really boring and a waste of my time,” John Stevenson, ?04, said. “The characters were so bland but the set was pretty good. For me, the book was thought provoking and interesting but the play was dull. I would have fallen asleep but the chairs weren’t comfortable.”

Contrary to this negative opinion, Elise Aydelotte, ’05, viewed the play as a great exposure to the depression era.

“The play was a real eye opener,” Aydelotte said. “It really proves how spoiled our society is now. We would never dream of that kind of desperation at all in our daily lives.”

Students share the same opinions in the boringness of the play and many felt they wasted their precious weekend time.

“The music was really bad and the play could have been better if those creepy musicians weren’t there,” Alyssa Villalpando, ?04, said. “I felt like it really wasted my time.”

Some students felt the play was not clear in plot and content and that they would not have been confused if they had read the book.

“AP was the only class to read the book and even though other classes went over it the play was really hard to follow,” Sara Wiens, ’04, said. “The storyline dragged on for three and a half hours and it would have been better if it was shorter.”

Despite some bad reviews by students, teachers felt the actors really pulled together and made the play all it could be.

“I thought the young man who played Tom Joad was really good,” Sargent said. “For a college kid he seemed to really know what he was doing. He was believable and portrayed Tom’s character very well.”

For more information on Grapes of Wrath, students and parents can contact the high school office at 291-1556, ext. 5 or go online at www.fresnocitycollege.com.

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