For grades: 3-12
Requirements for live visit: $100 travel fee beyond 100 miles from Vallejo, CA. $150 beyond 200 miles.
Fees for live visit: single performance - $695; two back-to-back performances - $760
Living History Theater »
"You really embodied Steinbeck. You became him!" --- Mary Harper, Turtle Bay Exploration Park
JOHN STEINBECK - Renowned Actor/Scholar Michael Oakes combines selected readings with personal anecdotes to bring to life the only American writer to win both the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes.
Born in the central valley of California at the turn of the 20th century, Steinbeck’s love of reading and writing was fostered by his school teacher mother. His summer jobs as a ranch hand inspired future writings, such as, Of Mice and Men. He attended Stanford, but before he graduated, moved to N.Y. to write, unsuccessfully. Returning to California he married, and gained success writing of the places and people he knew, as in Tortilla Flat, Cannery Row, and The Grapes of Wrath, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1939. His WW II dispatches were collected in Once There Was a War. Other influential writings include The Red Pony, East of Eden, America and the Americans, and Travels with Charley. John Steinbeck's writings continue to inspire many acclaimed screen adaptations. In 1962 the Nobel committee cited this seminal author, “...for his realistic as well as imaginative writings, distinguished by a sympathetic humor and a keen social perception.”
More Award-Winning Shows To see a full description of other shows in our repertoire, click any of the links below, or visit www.liveoakes.com.
Coyote Tales (grades K-12) Mythical tales of 'the trickster' from many tribal traditions.
A Christmas Carol (grades K-12) Dickens' literary classic comes to life with carols and student actor parts.
Ancient Greece and Rome (grades 3-12) The contributions of these cultural Titans are explored in an interactive show with evocative sets, classical costumes, a Greek game show, and a Roman Rap!
The Complete Condensed History of California (grades 3-12) An inspiring and hilarious whirlwind tour de force of history, including Native Californians, Explorers, Missions, the Gold Rush, African American '49ers, Asian immigrants, the Great Quake, Beats, Hippies, and dot-com-ers. Whew!
In the Wake of Gold (grades 3-12) A maritime voyage through Gold Rush California, with links to science, U.S., & World history.
Shakespeare: Live! (grades 3-12) An entertaining and accessible portrait of the 'Prince of Players.’
Edgar Allen Poe (grades 3-12) Combines details of Poe's tragic life with passionate passages from his poems and prose to exhume America’s most haunting author.
John Steinbeck (grades 3-12) Selected readings and personal anecdotes bring to life this seminal American author of The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, and East of Eden.
Grade Level: All shows can be performed appropriately for grades 3-6, or 7-12. Shows marked K-12 are also suitable for lower grades.
Format: Our living history shows have one of two formats: scripted, or un-scripted chautauqua. The scripted shows weave together many historic characters. Each chautauqua is an interactive visit with a major historical figure.
Show Length: Shows can be tailored to run from 35-60 minutes, with 45 minutes most common. We love to do Q & A sessions if you schedule extra time.
Live Oakes Educational Theater is dedicated to combining rigorous research with acting expertise to bring history to life. Since 1994 our mission has been to inspire our audiences with stories from the past that can make a difference for the future. We have a large repertoire of award-winning shows. We are seasoned professional actor/scholars, who research and write our own shows; we pride ourselves on really knowing our subjects. We have performed at Historical Societies, National and State Historic Parks, Museums, libraries, conferences, universities, theaters, Big Reads, and schools throughout the U.S.
Artistic Director Michael Oakes has been acting, directing, and teaching drama for over twenty-five years. He graduated from Stuyvesant H.S. in N.Y., earned his B.S. and M.S. at the University of Wisconsin, and trained at A.C.T. As a member of Actor's Equity, he performs with professional theatres, and tours his own shows throughout the country. His award-winning screenplay, DA VINCI'S DREAMS is being considered by Dreamworks, Warners, and Disney.
Our Managing Producer and Musical Director, Renee Oakes, is a classically trained soprano, a leading North Bay actress, and Musical Director. She is soprano section leader and frequent soloist with the Grammy nominated Pacific Mozart Ensemble, with which she has performed with Bobby McFerrin and recorded original works by Dave Brubeck. Ms. Oakes enhances our productions with women's history and traditional songs that touch the spirit.
2012 Hollywood Outreach Program Winner
Interpretive History Merit Award - California Historical Society