Steppenwolf Theatre Company, National Medal of Arts, 1998
Steppenwolf adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath
"I would like to suggest the inclusion of the adaptation, by Steppenwolf
ensemble member, Frank Galati, of John Steinbeck's great novel The
Grapes of Wrath...The production was significant in launching
into national and international prominence as the producer of great
American writing so its meaningfulness to our theater is central. Further, I think that the novel captures a profound and constitutive experience in the composition of the American psyche and culture. This is a nation defined by the courage and fortitude of a citizenship seeking a better, fairer, and more generous life. The Joad family embodies much in the American spirit that is noble and enobling, and the core belief, expressed in the novel, that the welfare of each individual depends profoundly on the interdependence of us all is central to the philosophy that guides our nation's governance."