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Cast and creative team announced for Mother Road

6 min read

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater announces casting for Octavio Solis’ Mother Roada sequel to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of WrathMother Road premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2019 and will run at Arena Stage from February 7 – March 8, 2020 in the iconic in-the-round Fichandler Stage.

The story follows the terminally ill William Joad and his quest to pass down his Oklahoma family farm to a descendant among the Joads who migrated west. When he discovers that the Joad’s are now Mexican-American Jodes’, he and his only living heir, Martín, must confront their ideas of family, legacy and America. Inspired by Steinbeck’s classic, the two men travel from California back to Oklahoma, making an epic and entertaining journey on the Mother Road all while forging an unlikely bond and coming to terms with their brutal past.

This powerful new play, written by Octavio Solis (El Paso BlueQuixote), examines the crossroads of family, immigration and the American dream.

“I have been a fan of Octavio Solis for many years,” stated Artistic Director Molly Smith. “Mother Road is a wonderfully original sequel to The Grapes of Wrath told from a contemporary point of view. This is a powerful story about land, family and survival which rocks the characters’ world—and ours. We’re pleased to be partnering with Oregon Shakespeare Festival to bring it to Arena audiences.”

Making their Arena Stage debuts and reprising their roles from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival production are Mark Murphey (Syracuse Stage’s To Kill a Mockingbird) as William Joad, Tony Sancho (Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s La Comedia of Errors) as Martín Jodes, Amy Lizardo (California Shakespeare Theater’s The Tempest) as Mo and Cedric Lamar (Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s The Wiz) as James/Cook.

Also making their Arena Stage debuts are David Anzuelo (Woolly Mammoth’s Oedipus El Rey) as Abelardo/Ranch Hand, Natalie Camunas (Cleveland Playhouse’s Native Gardens) as Amelia/Chorus Leader, Ted Deasy (Broadway’s The Great Society) as Roger/William’s Father/State Trooper/ Ranch Hand/Chorus, Derek Garza (Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Othello) as Curtis/Abelardo’s Father and Kate Mulligan (Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Hairspray) as Ivy/William’s Mother/Police Officer.

Mother Road was born out of a remarkable road trip that Octavio Solis undertook in 2013 with the Steinbeck National Center,” stated director Bill Rauch. “In traveling the exact same route that the Joads took from Sallisaw, Oklahoma to the migrant farmworker camp in Weedpatch, California, Octavio opened his eyes and ears and heart to how things have and haven’t changed in the 80 years since John Steinbeck captured our nation’s class-rooted divisions in his celebrated novel. Octavio’s work is rooted in the same moral outrage about economic injustice that makes The Grapes of Wrath a beloved American classic. The play proposes the inevitability of a diverse new American family that draws parallels between who we have been and who we are becoming.”

For company biographies, please visit arenastage.org/tickets/1920-season/mother-road/

Mother Road is generously sponsored by the David Bruce Smith Foundation.

Post-Show Conversations
Connect with our shows beyond the performance at a post-show conversation with artists and staff on February 19, 25 and March 2 following the 12 p.m. performance; March 3 following the 7:30 p.m. performance; and February 20 following the 8 p.m. performance.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Production of

Mother Road
Written by Octavio Solis
Directed by Bill Rauch
In the Fichandler Stage | February 7 – March 8, 2019

ABOUT: The story follows the terminally ill William Joad and his quest to pass down his Oklahoma family farm to a descendant among the Joads who migrated west. When he discovers that the Joad’s are now Mexican-American Jodes’, he and his only living heir, Martín, must confront their ideas of family, legacy and America. Inspired by Steinbeck’s classic, the two men travel from California back to Oklahoma, making an epic and entertaining journey on the Mother Road all while forging an unlikely bond and coming to terms with their brutal past.

CAST:
Abelardo/Ranch Hand: David Anzuelo
Amelia/Chorus Leader: Natalie Camunas
Roger/William’s Father/State Trooper/ Rach Hand/: Ted Deasy
Abelardo’s Father/Curtis: Derek Garza
Cook/James: Cedric Lamar
Mo: Amy Lizardo
Ivy/William’s Mother/Police Officer: Kate Mulligan
William Joad: Mark Murphey
Martín Jodes: Tony Sancho

CREATIVE TEAM:
Director: Bill Rauch
Set Designer: Christopher Acebo
Costume Designer: Carolyn Mazuca
Lighting Designer: Pablo Santiago
Original Music and Sound Design: Paul James Prendergast
Projection Designer: Kaitlyn Pietras
Wig Designer: Anne Nesmith
Associate Director: Kareem Fahmy
Fight Director: U. Jonathan Toppo
Movement Consultant: Jaclyn Miller
Vocal Coach: Anita Maynard-Losh
Casting Director: Joy Dickson
Stage Manager: Kurt Hall
Assistant Stage Manager: Emily Ann Mellon

PLAN YOUR VISIT
TICKETS:
 Tickets for Mother Road are on sale and are $41-95, subject to change and based on availability, plus applicable fees. For information on savings programs such as pay-your-age tickets, student discounts, Southwest Nights and hero’s discounts, visit arenastage.org/tickets/savings-programs.

Tickets may be purchased online at arenastage.org, by phone at 202-488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 Sixth Street, SW, D.C.

Sales Office/Subscriptions: 202-488-3300
Group Sales Hotline for 10+ Tickets: 202-488-4380
TTY for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing: 202-484-0247
Info for patrons with disabilities: 202-488-3300

PERFORMANCE DATES:
Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Weekday matinees at noon on Wednesday, February 19, Tuesday, February 25 and Wednesday, March 4.

Open-captioned performance: Thursday, March 5 at 8 p.m.
Closed captioning: GalaPro begins Friday, February 14
Audio-described performance: Saturday, February 22 at 2 p.m.
Full Calendar: arenastage.org/tickets/calendar

ARENA STAGE CAFÉ: Prix fixe meals are available at Richard’s Place, Arena Stage’s casual dining café, and include a choice of soup or salad, main entrée and dessert. Pre-ordered meals are only $29, and a la carte options are also available. To pre-order and see the menu, call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org/plan-your-visit/richards-place-cafe/prix-fixe. The café opens two hours before the show. To view the concessions menu, visit arenastage.org/plan-your-visit/richards-place-cafe/concessions.

METRO: Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater is only one block from the Waterfront-SEU Metro station (Green Line). When exiting the station, walk west on M Street toward Sixth Street, and the main entrance to the Mead Center is on the right.

PARKING: Parking is available in Arena Stage’s on-site garage. Subscribers may purchase parking in advance for $17. Single ticket buyers may purchase parking in advance for $20 or on the day of the performance for $24 on a first-come, first-served basis. Limited handicapped parking is available by reservation. Advanced parking must be reserved by calling 202-488-3300. The entrance to the Mead Center garage is on Maine Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets, and the garage closes one hour after the day’s last performance ends. Patrons can also park at the Public Parking Garage at 1101 Fourth Street, one block from the Mead Center, for $15.

VALET PARKING: Arena Stage offers valet service at no additional cost to patrons with accessibility needs who call 202-488-3300 in advance to request valet parking. On days when valet parking is being used for accessibility, it is also available to general patrons one hour prior to show time for $25, based on availability. To use valet parking, pull up to the main entrance on Sixth Street.

For complete 2019/20 Season details, visit: arenastage.org/tickets/subscriptions.