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Children of the Dustbowl in stage at Gallo Center
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MODESTO – Children of the Dustbowl, a theatrical production based on the book by Jerry Stanley, will be brought to the Gallo Center for the Arts for two special performances on Friday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m.

The stage adaptation by Jim Johnson is a multi-media reader’s theatre production that tells the true story of the “Okie” migration to California in the 1930s and the construction of a remarkable school at a farm worker’s camp.

Tickets for this performance range from $8 to $15. A 15% discount is available for groups of 15 or more.  For tickets or more information, visit or call (209) 338-2100. 

The heart of the story is the work of a compassionate high school counselor named Leo Hart.  Facing widespread opposition to having Okie children in the public schools, Hart undertook the bold enterprise of helping the children build their own school.  Soliciting whatever materials he could find and hiring a small band of young teachers, Hart turned a vacant piece of land into an educational opportunity.  The production is a fascinating account of the cruelty society heaps on its underdogs as well as an inspiring lesson for adults; it demonstrates very eloquently the profound difference one person can make in the lives of children. It is told in the words of the migrants themselves and those Leo Hart who inspired the migrant families to build the school. 

Children of the Dustbowl is directed by Dyanne Durr.  The cast of four actors include Jim Johnson, Linda Johnson, Wes Page and Charlene West.  The musical performers are Drew Durr, Peter Magazionvic and Jacob Canada.