Originally published in Community News, January 30, 2014
Opera House to host performance, discussion
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel of American tragedy, celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. On Saturday, February 8, at 7 p.m., Opera House Arts will present a live performance of an excerpt from The Grapes of Wrath, alongside a town hall-style discussion on the issues of poverty in the U.S., as the first in a new series of programs, The Living Room Project. This original adaptation of one of the novel’s chapters is conceived and directed by Portland-based author and theater artist Caitlin Shetterly and will be performed by Sedgwick actor Bob Burke.
Town hall panelists, who will be asked to respond to the performance, will include local and area representatives from food banks and other social service providers, as well as town officials and those who have experienced some of the issues presented.
The goal of the evening, and of OHA’s new humanities series, The Living Room Project, is to use the emotionally transformative and immediate power of performance to create community dialogue around poverty, one of the most divisive, complex ethical and moral issues of our time, and other challenging socio-cultural issues, according to a news release from OHA.
The Saturday night community presentation is part two of the event, with the first being a day-long student symposium of workshops, experiences, materials and performances on the novel and its themes of poverty, economics, history and migration on Friday, February 7, at the Opera House. OHA’s The Living Room Project is a collaboration with Portland’s Winter Harbor Theater Company; the Deer Isle-Stonington schools; and the Reach Performing Arts Center, and is funded in part by the Maine Humanities Council.
Advance tickets are available online at operahousearts.org. Tickets are also available at the door on a sliding scale. The OHA van will provide round trip service from Blue Hill to the Opera House for this performance; call the Opera House box office at 367-2788 for details and reservations.