NEPA Scene Staff

Act Out Theatre in Dunmore presents Steinbeck classic ‘Of Mice and Men’ Jan. 10-12

Act Out Theatre in Dunmore presents Steinbeck classic ‘Of Mice and Men’ Jan. 10-12
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From a press release:

Act Out Theatre Group plans to bring the classic Great Depression story ​“Of Mice and Men” to its stage in Dunmore this Friday, Jan. 10 through Sunday, Jan. 12.

Based on the classic novella written by John Steinbeck, “Of Mice and Men” tells the tale of two great friends and their struggle to live the American dream. George Milton and Lennie Small have been traveling together from ranch to ranch for years, working hard to make ends meet and save enough for a place of their own.

Tony Thomas from Wilkes-Barre portrays George. He believes “Of Mice and Men” is an American classic.

“‘Of Mice and Men’ ​is one of the great works of American literature,” Thomas said. “To be able to see an enduring work be performed live is an experience that everyone should take advantage of.”

Jahmeel Powers from Swoyersville portrays Crooks, a stable hand.

“​The fundamental core beliefs of my character Crooks are that he, like many of the other characters in this play, is affected by isolation and loneliness,” Powers said. “His loneliness is primarily based upon prejudice in a time when black people weren’t allowed in certain places that white people were. He feels unsafe and alone in a world that doesn’t fully accept him, despite being raised by land owners, not slaves.”

Along with Thomas and Powers, the cast also includes Justin Topa from Scranton playing Lennie, Nate Kuhns (Long Pond) as Curley, Frank Carey (Dunmore) as the boss, John Bubul (West Pittston) as Whit, Matt Williams (Luzerne) as Slim, Gregg Germano (Scranton) as Carlson, and Elizabeth Guarnieri Powers (Swoyersville) as Curley’s wife. Nate Scullion (Bear Creek Township), a GAR Memorial High School student, is costuming the production.

Act Out’s real-life power couple, Jahmeel Powers and Elizabeth Guarnieri Powers, works both on and off stage in this production.

Dan Pittman (Plymouth) is the artistic director and owner of Act Out. He is serving as this show’s director as well as playing the role of Candy.

“Candy has lived a life where happenstance has beaten him down a lot. He is looking for that one thing to look forward to and can’t seem to hold onto a dream,” Pittman said. “His plight is heartbreaking and definitely a challenge to portray.”

He isn’t the only one pulling double duty for this play. In addition to playing Curley’s wife and Crooks, respectively, Elizabeth Guarnieri Powers and Jahmeel Powers are serving as the production’s fight coordinators.

The first stage production of this play opened on Broadway in 1937, and Guarnieri Powers believes the messages in “​Of Mice and Men​” resonate today.

“It’s important for people to see ‘Of Mice and Men’ because it is a beautiful portrayal of many issues that are still relevant today, like loneliness and understanding,” she said. “In this interconnected world of technology and talking through screens, we begin to lose that sense of direct connection with other people. This play is, in a way, showing the audience the potential damage that can be done because of a lost sense of community and belonging.”

“Of Mice and Men” runs on the Act Out stage (150 E. Grove St., Dunmore) from Jan. 10 through Jan. 12, with performances on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. All tickets are $10.

The theatre is also hosting a “Cabaret for a Cause fundraiser on Friday, Jan. 24, with partial proceeds benefiting Griffin Pond Animal Shelter in South Abington Township. Tickets can be reserved by visiting or purchased at the door.

Lennie Small, played by Justin Topa, pets his dead mouse.