The next selection in the Off the Page series of monthly play readings at Sierra Madre Playhouse will be a new stage adaptation of William Saroyan’s classic American novel, The Human Comedy. The playwright/adaptor is Thom Babbes.
“I thought a fellow would never cry when he got to be grown up, but it seems as if that’s when a fellow starts.” – Homer Macauley
Set in warfront America 1942, this coming-of-age tale tells the story of Homer Macaulay, a 15-year-old boy who delivers telegrams at night to make money for his family. During the course of two days, Homer grows from an idealistic boy to a mature young man as he struggles with the unfairness of the world around him and the pain of families to whom he delivers the War Department’s death notices. But in the midst of the decaying idealism of small town America, and the loneliness of growing up, Homer finds hope in humanity through Mr. Grogan, the old alcoholic telegrapher and Mr. Spangler, the manager of the telegraph office who becomes a father-figure. In these men, Homer learns to see the goodness in people no matter how desperate or broken they may be. He also finds the true meaning of home. In the end, it is a timeless American tale that celebrates our common decency. In our present society that is so divisive, The Human Comedy has a lot to show everyone about one’s humanity and… “the important things that bring us together”.
Thom Babbes’ screenplays for the films Body Chemistry and Deadly Dreams were produced by Roger Corman’s Concorde- New Horizons company. Babbes also wrote The Audition and co-wrote X-Treme Weekend, two prize-winning shorts. He is a resident director at Actors Co-Op in Hollywood, where his credits include Wait Until Dark, Summer and Smoke, A Man for All Seasons,and Ah, Wilderness! He is a graduate of Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.
Christian Lebano directs the reading. He is the producer of the Off the Page series and the Artistic Director of Sierra Madre Playhouse, where he recently directed his own adaptation of Little Women.
William Saroyan (1908-1972) won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1940 for his play The Time of Your Life. He won the Academy Award® in 1943 for his film adaptation of The Human Comedy.
Off the Page series coordinator: Roxanne Barker.
The Human Comedy. Staged reading. Monday, April 27, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. Suggested donation: Five dollars. At Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. This is just east of Pasadena. There is parking available on the street and in free lots behind the Playhouse and across the street. Phone: (626) 355-4318. Webiste: http://sierramadreplayhouse.org