The Gift Theatre Company
by John Steinbeck
adapted by Frank Galati

Critics' Pick and Jeff Recommended Revival

3.5 stairs… fascinating new production…director Erica Weiss has made the Joads an interracial family, and thus afforded Steinbeck's iconic story a sense of timelessness as well as specificity. It works quite spectacularly well…the real force of this excellent piece of direction lies in its collection of beautifully wrought two-person scenes… these small and usually painful conversations are the heart of a production with an auteur point of view and a palpable embrace of complexity. – Chicago Tribune
4 stars…It’s a great show…Walking out feeling depressed is how you know it’s working…Most productions of Galati’s stage adaptation—including the 1988 Steppenwolf original—are predominantly white affairs, but, this production is not. And it is all the better for it. – Time Out Chicago
…faithful yet progressive, director Erica Weiss’ decision to cast the Joads as a mixed-race family recontextualizes the racial makeup of the Dust Bowl migration (where ninety-five percent of those fleeing their desecrated homelands were white) while skillfully and subtly locating parallels between the Okies of the Great Depression, persecuted for a disaster outside of their control, and the ongoing targeting of people of color by the powers that be…New City
Brilliant director, filmmaker and Gift ensemble member Erica Weiss guides Galati’s sprawling drama, using the cramped confines of the intimate Gift Theatre to her best advantage… This is an incredible production of an 80-year-old story that couldn’t feel more timely. – Chicago Theatre Review
I never saw the Steppenwolf original, but I find it hard to imagine that it could be any better than Gift's rendition (directed by Erica Weiss) of the Frank Galati adaptation of Steinbeck's novel. – Dueling Critics
Director Erica Weiss masterfully directs a cast of 19 in the claustrophobic Gift Theatre space. Weiss makes an interesting decision in casting the Joads as a multiracial family, which adds even more texture to the story. – 3rd Coast Review