Lawrence production honors long-time Playhouse supporter

Published 5:00 am Friday, August 16, 2002

MONTICELLO — This weekend marks a first for Lawrence County asthe Civic Center Playhouse launches its production of JohnSteinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.”

The production is the first drama the Playhouse has performedand is dedicated to Jimmie George, who recently passed away.George, a long-time supporter of the Playhouse, was also veryactive in other community groups.

“Jimmie had wanted us to do a drama for a long time, so I feelit’s only right that we dedicate the first one to him,” said JimOakes, director of the production and chairman of the Playhouseboard.

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“Of Mice and Men” is a classic tale by Steinbeck and is requiredreading in many schools nationwide. It is the tragic story of tworoving farmhands, George and Lennie, with a desire to “live off thefat of the land.”

George, portrayed by Oakes, is a relatively smart man whotravels with and helps take care of Lennie. Lennie, played by Lee”LeeBo” Mason, is big and strong but has the mind of a child.

At the start of the story, George and Lennie are arriving at aranch where they hired to do some work. Once there, the pair getmired in ranch politics and events that continue to escalate untilthe climatic scene.

That escalation of tension is made possible by the performancesof Johnny Clark as Curley, the boss’ son; David Nichols as TheBoss; and Jamie Hardison as Curley’s Wife.

Their hopes of “living off the fat of the land” are dashed whenLennie makes a mistake and George must make a moral decision on howbest to handle the consequences.

Cast in supporting roles as ranch workers are George Magee asCandy; Scott Tynes as Slim; Joy Lee Mason as Carlson; RichHunnicutt as Crooks; and Paul McLain as Whit.

The production tackles issues that were not only controversialand important in its day but still apply today.

Although the play was made for all ages, there are some sceneswith adult language or situations. It is slightly longer than mostPlayhouse productions with a running time of approximately two andone-half hours.

“Of Mice and Men” will be presented to the public at theLawrence County Civic Center at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at the door and at severalMonticello businesses.