The Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street) continues its sixth season of the Irish Rep Reading Series, with a free reading of JOHN STEINBECK'S THE PASTURES OF HEAVEN -- Octavio Solis's adaptation of the novelist's collection of short stories, first published in 1932 -- on Friday, October 26 at 3 p.m. at the Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street).
These are the interweaving stories of the residents of the "Pastures of Heaven," a fertile valley ensconced in the mountains just west of Salinas, California. They recount the struggles that people undergo when they force the land they live on, the earth itself, to make their dreams come true, resolve their problems and subdue their inner demons. Only one recently transplanted family, the Munroes, enter into the valley with their eyes open, but at each turn they encounter people who nurse their delusions and thereby suffer for them.
The cast of John Steinbeck'S THE PASTURES OF HEAVEN includes Carlo Alban (A Summer Day, “Margaret”); Renata Friedman (Upright Grand, The K of D); Mahira Kakkar (Harper Regan, Jesus in India); Florencia Lozano (Red Dog Howls, Dirty Story); Howard McGillin (The 39 Steps, Irish Rep’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales); Brian McManamon (It or Her, The Clearing); Drew McVety (Cyrano De Bergerac, Billy Elliot); Kellie Overbey (Rapture, Blister, Burn, Lemon Sky); Jennifer Rau (Once in a Lifetime, Texas Homos); and C.J. Wilson (Glengarry Glen Ross, The Lady from Dubuque).
Octavio Solis is a playwright and director living in San Francisco. In addition to John Steinbeck'S PASTURES OF HEAVEN, his works include, Ghosts of the River, Quixote, Lydia, June in a Box, Lethe, Marfa Lights, Gibraltar, The Ballad of Pancho and Lucy, The 7 Visions of Encarnación, Bethlehem, Dreamlandia, El Otro, Man of the Flesh, Prospect, El Paso Blue, Santos & Santos, and La Posada Mágica. They have been mounted at the California Shakespeare Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Yale Repertory Theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Dallas Theater Center, the Magic Theatre, Intersection for the Arts, South Coast Repertory Theatre, the San Diego Repertory Theatre, the San Jose Repertory Theatre, Shadowlight Productions, the Venture Theatre in Philadelphia, Latino Chicago Theatre Company, the New York Summer Play Festival, Teatro Vista in Chicago, El Teatro Campesino, the Undermain Theatre in Dallas, Thick Description, Campo Santo, the Imua Theatre Company in New York, and Cornerstone Theatre. His collaborative works include Cloudlands, with music by Adam Gwon, Burning Dreams, co-written with Julie Hebert and Gina Leishman and Shiner, written with Erik Ehn. Solis has received an NEA 1995-97 Playwriting Fellowship, the Roger L. Stevens award from the Kennedy Center, the Will Glickman Playwright Award, a production grant from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, the 1998 TCG/NEA Theatre Artists in Residence Grant, the 1998 McKnight Fellowship grant from the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, and the National Latino Playwriting Award for 2003. He is the recipient of the 2000-2001 National Theatre Artists Residency Grant from TCG and the Pew Charitable Trust. He has also just been awarded a United States Artists Fellowship for 2012. Solis is a Thornton Wilder Fellow for the MacDowell Colony, New Dramatists alum and member of the Dramatists Guild. His new anthology, “The River Plays” has been published by NoPassPort Publishing. He is working on commissions for the Magic Theatre SF and Yale Repertory Theatre.