Georgetown Preparatory School Of Mice and MenBy Cappies • May 9th, 2011 • Category: Cappies
Hazy air swirled around the scruffy trees populating one side of the stage. A lumbering man hurried into the dim spotlight, followed by his more sure-footed companion. So began Georgetown Preparatory School’s recent production of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.
The author adapted his 1937 novella of the same title into the play, which opened the same year. Both follow the friendship between George Milton, a small clever straightforward man, and Lennie Small, a big-hearted and mentally challenged man who doesn’t know his own strength.
The sets and actors brought an affecting touch to the production, gently transporting the audience to a world of hay bales, wash tubs, and emotive friendships.
The chemistry between Peter Fanone and Matteo Moran, who played Lennie Small and George Milton respectively, expertly conveyed the complexity of the characters’ friendship through its tenderness and simplicity. When Moran told stories to Fanone about how wonderful their life would be someday, he gradually built up his excitement, leaning towards Fanone with every new thing he could thing of that would make Fanone’s character excited. Fanone responded by beaming and playing with his overalls and jerking his fingers, as he consistently did throughout the show.
The challenges facing playing a character with mental disabilities did not hinder Peter Fanone. His heavy, thumping footsteps, jerky hand movements, and slow, childish voice were not exaggerated so that they seemed offensive, but his character’s disabilities remained clear.
Michael Brown, who played the ranch-hand Slim, conveyed his character’s state of mind through the way he carried himself. When first meeting Lennie and George, he was casual and relaxed, slightly puffing his shoulders as if trying to make a good first impression.
Joey Allaire, who played Candy, an aged and one-armed man, wholly absorbed his character. His stiff walk and scratchy cowboy accent emphasized the knowledge he’d gained from his years without being too obvious.
The long boards, saddles, and lanterns hanging from one side of the stage and scraggly trees on the other combined with the dusty air and messy hay bales created a flawless setting for the story. Details like a washboard next to a washtub and rusty shovels were strategically placed so that they did not distract from but supported the actors’ performances.
Georgetown Prep’s production of Of Mice and Men tenderly carried the story of George Milton and Lennie Small through the convincing actors and flawless sets.
by Clare Rock of Woodrow Wilson High School
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