Interview with the director of the Acting Company’s ‘Of Mice and Men’

Casey Delich

The Daily Sundial had a chance to interview director Ian Belknap, director of The Acting Company’s upcoming performace of “Of Mice and Men.” A tale of gritty reality based in the 1930’s, but that stil carries a message that transcends all generations.

“Of Mice and Men” will have a one night engagement at CSUN on Saturday, October 27 at 8:00 p.m. in the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall.

Based on John Steinbeck’s original novel and screenplay, “Mice” follows the story of two displaced migrant farmers struggling to survive during the Great Depression.

Moving from place to place in search of new work, the theme of friendship is a central part to the story, culminating in an act that defines the love the two have for each other.


Daily Sundial:How much of the novel and film are incorporated?

Ian Belknap: “John Steinbeck wrote the play.  He actually wanted it to be a play before a novel, but didn’t know how to do it.  This isn’t an adaptation of anyone’s work, but the same play that premiered in 1937.  A few things in the novel don’t appear in the play; the form is obviously different than a novel.  No parts of the film was used for this, nor studied.”

DS: How was your experience directing this?

IB: “It is a great play to work on as a director because it really puts the actors at the center of a powerful and gripping story.  The characters intentions are so clear.  Actors always have a great time with it and it was a joyous experience and I can’t say that about every play.”

DS: Can it relate to today’s world, with all thats going on?

IB: “Absolutely.  What is so wonderful is that despair is buoyed by hope.  There is always hope that things will improve and be better and that we can change our stations in life from a farm worker to a landowner. H ope is always what gets us through the day and through our lives.”

DS: Will there be a personal meaning for each audience member?

 IB: “Each audience member will take away something different.  What it says to me and others will differ.  At the heart of the story, it is undeniably two people that care for each other through the most desperate of times and its hard to ignore that.  A play about people who care about other people at their core.  Two men care about each other that is during a very masculine time in a hetero love story.”