Voice in the Well

Please check back for touring dates.

From 2002:

The Legacy of John Steinbeck (1902-1968)

Our talented cast of presenters will include: William H. Bassett, Richard Kuhlmann, Eric Vollmer, Cain Camagro, Michael Lindsay, Carmen Vega, Brenda Petrakos, Mirjana Delaney, Laura Robbins and Catherine de las Casas. Leon Rubenhold and Phil Van Tee will also play tunes and recount anecdotes reminiscent of Steinbeck's contemporary populist: 'Woody Guthrie.'

Our program will feature choice selections from favorite Steinbeck novels, short stories and prose--- with special honor and emphasis placed on his classic work THE GRAPES OF WRATH, the saga of 'Dust Bowl' immigrants and their struggles to find their place and their dignity in California's Central Valley.

We plan to give our audience a sense of the full scope of Steinbeck's narrative powers by also featuring light-hearted scenes from PASTURES OF HEAVEN and TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY - matched with scenes of passion and despair drawn from OF MICE AND MEN and THE PEARL.

We'll bookend the program the author's own inspirations recounted in his reminiscent essay: "I Remember the 30s" and crown the event with John Steinbeck's majestic Nobel Prize Address.
In honor of the Steinbeck Centenary this year, Eric Vollmer and the Voice In The Well Ensemble will present a special program of selected concert readings and music celebrating the work of one of California's favorite sons!

Steinbeck held to the promise of California - and especially on behalf of those who could not find a public voice. He immersed himself in the plight of the 'common man' and began spinning tales of characters like 'George' and 'Lennie,' immortalized in OF MICE AND MEN--- simple men who find themselves trapped in a world of failed expectations. With tragic Depression era parables such as this, John Steinbeck captured the conscience of his readers and allowed them to attend to the eternal calling of the human heart once more.

So, you may well be asking yourselves:

"Where are the Steinbecks of yesteryear, now, when we need them most?!" Good question. The Voice In The Well hopes that by commemorating the voices of past writers who helped conceive the American character, we can initiate a dialogue into how we can all act collectively to encourage the arts and cultivate the public mind for new 'Steinbecks' to emerge. Come and take part in this exciting new effort!

"*...The writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man's proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit--for gallantry in defeat, for courage, compassion and love. In the endless war against weakness and despair, these are the bright rally flags of hope and of emulation."
* Excerpt from: John Steinbeck's Nobel Prize Address

Contact: [email protected]

Re: "California Stories: Reading The Grapes of Wrath" October Programs If you haven't completed your programming for October, several new names have been added to the speaker and scholar list. We are continuing to add to the list over the summer. Remember to visit the web site at www.californiastories.org, click on the "toolbox for libraries" section for the speaker/performer/scholar list, program graphics, great information on Steinbeck, Schedule of Events listings for many of the participating libraries, and other program materials.

Below please find some information on a great theatre group eager to come and perform in California libraries. They are already scheduled at Santa Monica Public Library and Los Angeles Public Library!

To All Public Librarians interested in commemorating the John Steinbeck Centennary this October. We have a ready-made Readers Theater Program that has already met with acclaim in its first three previews at Village Books, Pacific Palisades, the Arts Institute of Santa Monica and the venerable Ruskin Art Club in Los Angeles. We would be happy to bring our program to you for a reasonable charge.