This week in Washington, DC, the East Coast will get to experience a little bit of California heaven when excerpts from John Steinbeck’s The Pastures of Heaven are performed alongside fellow inaugural selections of the National Endowment for the Arts New Play Development Program. January 19–30, the American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage presents the New Play Festival, full-length presentations and readings including selected scenes from Pastures, which was adapted by Octavio Solis and developed in collaboration with Cal Shakes and Word for Word Performing Arts Company.
For this presentation, Word for Word company member Sheila Balter will restage excerpts from Jonathan Moscone’s production, with members of the world-premiere cast—Catherine Castellanos, Julie Eccles, Amy Kossow, Andy Murray, Charles Shaw Robinson, and JoAnne Winter—reprising their original roles alongside such familiar Cal Shakes faces as Clifton Guterman (Smike in 2005’s Nicholas Nickleby) as Tularecito and Mannie Munroe; and Nicholas Pelczar (Banquo and Lennox in Macbeth, Don Pedro in Much Ado) as Richard Whiteside, Jimmie Munroe, and Bill Whiteside. Recent A.C.T. MFA grad Lakisha May will play Molly Morgan and Mae Munroe; and popular Bay Area actor Jarion Monroe will play John Whiteside, Allen Huenecker, Pancho, and Jakob Stutz.