"Grapes of Wrath"-Inspired Midsummer To Premiere at San Jose Repertory in Jan. 2004 | Playbill

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News "Grapes of Wrath"-Inspired Midsummer To Premiere at San Jose Repertory in Jan. 2004 A SITI Company production of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream inspired by John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" will make its debut at San Jose Repertory Theatre, Jan. 24-Feb. 22, 2004. Co-founder Anne Bogart directs.

"I chose a Steinbeck landscape in order to clear away the heaps of our own assumptions and look closely at the intricate relationships that develop and transmogrify in the course of Shakespeare's play," said Bogart in a release. "In the midst of poverty, the human imagination is capable of intense flights of fancy and originality.  The context of the depression era, dust bowl struggle offers an arena in which the magic of A Midsummer Night's Dream becomes even more special."

San Jose Repertory Theatre commissioned the work created and performed by the SITI Company. The staging — which marks the troupe's first Shakespeare endeavor — will open Jan. 30, 2004 at the southern California venue.

SITI, established in 1992 by Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki and Anne Bogart, was originally envisioned as a summer venture which would "emphasize international culture exchange and collaboration."  The company soon evolved into a year-round theater company based in New York City with a summer home in Saratoga Springs, New York.

The SITI Company and Bogart recently presented bobrauschenbergamerica, a creation with playwright Charles L. Mee (Big Love, True Love) at BAM's Next Wave Festival. Under the artistic direction of Bogart, the company has also produced La Dispute, Score, Hay Fever, Room, War of the Worlds, Cabin Pressure, Bob, Culture of Desire, Private Lives, Miss Julie, Alice's Adventures, Small Lives/Big Dreams, Going, Going, Gone, The Medium and Orestes.

Bogart will take part in a discussion on the new work for San Jose Rep's Ghostlight Forum Jan. 12, 2004 at 7 PM.  San Jose Rep artistic director Timothy Near will moderate the free forum which provides "a behind-the-scenes look." For tickets to A Midsummer Night's Dream at San Jose Rep, 101 Paseo de San Antonio in San Jose, CA, can be purchased by calling (408) 367-7255. For more information, visit www.sjrep.com.

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