Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men' Opens Ashland University Theatre Season

9/28/10 ASHLAND, OH -- Ashland University Department of Theatre opens its 2010-2011 award-winning season with the classic "Of Mice and Men" by Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck.

Directed by Professor of Theatre Ric Goodwin, the production begins Friday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre. Evening performances continue on Oct. 16, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. with an afternoon matinee scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 24, at 2 p.m. In addition, a special student matinee is offered for local high schools on Friday, Oct. 22, at 9 a.m., and a talkback is scheduled after the Oct. 22 evening performance.

Steinbeck's powerful tragedy follows the lives of two hopeful migrant workers during the Great Depression. George, rough but protective, takes care of Lennie, physically strong but mentally disabled, as they drift from farm to farm struggling to find work that will bring them closer to George's American dream of owning land and Lennie's simple dream of caring for rabbits.

Steinbeck's realistic depiction of desperation in the harsh world of the Great Depression plumbs the depths of our conscience, asking what it means to be human. Its message and language are powerful enough to make it a standard in today's classrooms despite (or because of) its high ranking on the list of the most-banned books of the 20th century.

The character of George is played by senior theatre major Sean Smith, while sophomore Nathaniel Sayatovich plays Lennie. Ashland resident and senior music major Jake Kinney portrays the aging ranch handyman Candy and sophomore Jensen Glick plays The Boss of the ranch. Senior Taylor Hale and freshman Becca Ribley are featured as The Boss's son, Curley, and his wife. Crooks, the stable-hand, is played by freshman Benjamin Black, while the other ranch-hands Slim, Carlson and Whit are portrayed by sophomore Aaron Arnold, sophomore David Wagar and junior Drew Rothhaar respectively. Sophomore Austin Arnold is the understudy for Lennie and Candy's dog is played by Lola, a Labrador Retriever/Shepherd mix from the Ashland County Dog Shelter.

Student designers include senior Rachel Turos as lighting designer, sophomore David Wagar as sound designer and senior Amanda McKinney as costume designer. Junior Bekah Frient is the stage manager, senior EdNick McCrea is the dramaturge and sophomore Austin Arnold is the fight captain.

Season tickets are still available and include admission to all four season productions at a reduced price compared to single tickets. Season tickets for all four productions are $32 for adults and $28 for senior citizens, students and Ashland University faculty/staff. Single tickets are $10 for adult; $9 for senior citizens, students, University faculty/staff; $8 for groups of 10 or more; and $2 for Ashland University students with Eagle Card.

To purchase tickets, call the Ashland University Central Box Office at 419-289-5125, Monday through Friday, 12 noon to 6 p.m. For more information, visit the website at www.ashland.edu/operations/theatre<http://www.ashland.edu/operations/theatre> or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu<mailto:tapplega@ashland.edu>.

Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.