Summit High School Theatre Department and the High Desert Museum collaborate on finding unexpected inspiration in the economic hardships of the 1930s April 21-24.

Summit High School Theatre Department will perform a play based on John Steinbeck’s classic novel, The Grapes of Wrath, during the launch of the High Desert Museum exhibit “Art for a Nation: Inspiration from the Great Depression.”

The Grapes of Wrath, adapted for stage by Frank Galati, follows the Joad family on their desperate journey from Oklahoma to California in search of food, work, and hope for a better future. Witnessing the Joads’ struggle to stay together, the audience will be inspired by the indomitability of the human spirit and reminded of the very realistic circumstances in which many Americans still find themselves today.

“Art for a Nation – Inspiration from the Great Depression”-exhibit parallels the same time period to show the positive impact left by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a U.S. government program designed to battle the Great Depression. The WPA employed millions of unemployed people by commissioning work projects, such as the famous paintings by Jackson Pollock or the iconic Timberline Lodge.

The Grapes of Wrath depicts the hardships so many people experienced during the Great Depression and nicely pairs with our exhibition on the Depression, the New Deal, and the government’s support of the arts,” notes Dr. Laura Ferguson, Curator of Western History at the High Desert Museum. “We’re thrilled to partner with Summit High School on highlighting this important era in our country’s history.”

The Grapes of Wrath is performed on the Summit auditorium stage April 21-24 with tickets available at the door or online. Regular admission is $8; Students & seniors $5.

Art for a Nation – Inspiration from the Great Depression will run April 16-October 2. For more information on this exhibit, please contact the High Desert Museum at 541-382-4754,, or on the web: HDM Inspiration from the Great Depression.


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