Wits’ End Theatre’s production inspires a Chatfield Community Conversation

In the play “Of Mice and Men,” being produced in March by Wit’s End Theatre in Chatfield, one of the characters is a grown man with a kind and almost childlike disposition, named Lennie. Lennie loves small animals and soft things. Unfortunately, Lennie doesn’t realize his strength and so, inadvertently, when he handles things of a soft nature . . . bad things happen. This gentle giant of a man, as most reviewers call him, is a man with a developmental disability.

Steinbeck knew a “Lennie,” which is one of the reasons he wrote this novella with the intent that it be made into a play. Steinbeck wanted his readers and listeners to ask questions about people with characteristics such as Lennie.

Sometimes, it is difficult for people to ask questions about a disability . . . questions that, if asked carefully, can help people learn about disability and how people in our communities who have disabilities, can be better supported to live a quality life where they feel respected, needed, safe and simply included within the communities.

On Monday, April 1, there will be an opportunity to engage the questions presented in “Of Mice and Men” about people in the community who are developmentally disabled. In this Chatfield Community Conversation, people from Arc Minnesota Southeast Region and the Rochester Diversity Council will be invited to help participants have a conversation about how they can continue to build relationships with people with disabilities.

People with disabilities are neighbors, friends, colleagues and employees right here in Chatfield. Participants can find ways to be more welcoming, supportive and inclusive of people with disabilities in the community!

This facilitated conversation will take place on Monday, April 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Chatfield United Methodist Church. All ages and abilities are invited to be a part of the conversation.