Johanna Day, Andrew Long and More to Lead Arena's GOOD PEOPLE
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater announces the full company for Good People, the humor-filled Broadway hit about class, fate and economic hardship from Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole). Esteemed Canadian director Jackie Maxwell, now in her 11th season as Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival, makes her D.C. directorial debut and returns to direct in the United States after five years. Named Best Play by the New York Drama Critics' Circle during its Broadway run, Good People runs February 1-March 10, 2013 in the Kreeger Theater.
Tony Award nominee JohAnna Day (Broadway's Proof, Arena Stage's The Quality of Life and The Rainmaker) takes on the role of Margaret Walsh, a single mother in South Boston struggling to make ends meet. Day returns to the role after starring in the Boston premiere of Good People at Huntington Theatre Company, where the Boston Globe praised her performance as being "wonderfully war-weary…Day's exquisite sense of timing allows Margie to seem easygoing and amiable, before zapping her opponent with a sharp reply or insult delivered with a smile."
Day is joined by Helen Hayes Award winner Andrew Long (international tour of Richard III, Studio Theatre's Frozen) as Margaret's long-lost boyfriend Mike in a cast that also features Francesca Choy-Kee (Huntington Theatre Company's Luck of the Irish) as Kate, Michael Glenn (Kennedy Center's The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg) as Stevie, Rosemary Knower (Everyman Theatre's Rabbit Hole) as Dottie and Amy McWilliams (Ford's Theatre's A Christmas Carol, Signature Theatre's Best Little Whorehouse in Texas) as Jean.
"Jackie Maxwell is an exceptional director and a dear artistic colleague, and I'm pleased to introduce her work to D.C. audiences," shares Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith. "I've had the privilege of watching Jackie's work change over time, and I'm always impressed with her exquisite use of language to tell a story. I admire her absolute adherence to the written word, and I'm confident that in Jackie's skilled hands, this strong play will strike a chord with our audiences."
"When I first read Good People, I was immediately taken by Margie and her plight," comments Maxwell. "I was amazed by the combination of bravery, humor and humanity in the script, and I couldn't be more delighted to direct this telling and surprising examination of class in society today at Arena Stage-a perfect forum for this provocative story. Having so enjoyed having Molly's beautiful work at The Shaw, it is a real thrill to have the tables turned and now be with the terrific cast and wonderful group of people Molly has gathered here at Arena Stage."
"Most of my plays start as questions that I can't get out of my head. Good People is no exception," says Lindsay-Abaire. "Why aren't there more plays about class in America? Could I write about class without being didactic? Could I dramatize the complicated thoughts and feelings I've been wrestling with since I was 11 and got a scholarship to a fancy prep school out in the suburbs? Could I write about my old working class neighborhood in a way that accurately captured the attitudes and struggles of the people I know and grew up with? The only way I can ever answer those kinds of questions is to write a play, so out came Good People."
About Good People: Enter South Boston's Lower End, where minimum wage is the maximum wage and hard work and sacrifice don't ensure success. Facing eviction, single mother and mouthy "Southie" native Margaret Walsh reunites with an old flame, hoping that his fortune can somehow improve her own. But not every man wants to relive his past, and with each surprising twist of their meeting they discover the dire costs the truth can hold.
The creative team for Good People includes Set Designer Todd Rosenthal, Costume Designer Linda Cho, Lighting Designer Michael Gilliam, Original Composition & Sound Designer James Sugg, Stage Manager Kurt Hall and Assistant Stage Manager Christi B. Spann.
David Lindsay-Abaire (Playwright) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, screenwriter, lyricist and librettist. His play Good People premiered on Broadway and was awarded the 2011 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, The Horton Foote Prize, The Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award and two Tony nominations. TCG recently named David as the most produced playwright in America for the 2012-13 season, and Good People as the most produced play. His previous play, Rabbit Hole, received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, five Tony nominations and the Spirit of America Award. David was nominated for a Grammy Award and two Tony Awards for his work on Shrek the Musical. Prior to that, he was awarded the Kleban Award as America's most promising musical theatre lyricist. David's other plays include Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World and A Devil Inside, among others. In addition to his work in theater, David's screen credits include his film adaptation of Rabbit Hole (starring Nicole Kidman-Oscar Nomination), as well as the upcoming feature Rise of the Guardians (DreamWorks).
Jackie Maxwell (Director) makes her Arena Stage directorial debut with Good People. Currently in her 11th season as the Shaw Festival's Artistic Director, her select Shaw Festival credits include Ragtime; Come Back, Little Sheba; Drama at Inish; Age of Arousal; An Ideal Husband; The Entertainer; Mrs. Warren's Profession; The Stepmother; Saint Joan; Arms and The Man; The Magic Fire; Gypsy; Bus Stop; Pygmalion; Rutherford and Son; Three Sisters; The Coronation Voyage; Merrily We Roll Along; Candida and Picnic. She has worked extensively across Canada as a director, dramaturg and teacher for Tarragon Theatre, Canadian Stage Company, Mirvish Productions, Centaur Theatre, Theatre Calgary and the Charlottetown Festival. She made her U.S. directorial debut in 2007 at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre with the acclaimed production of Saint Joan. Additional U.S. directorial credits include the 2008 production of Conor McPherson's Dublin Carol (Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre). She is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Laws (Queen's University); Herbert Whittaker/Drama Bench Award; honorary Doctor of Humanities (University of Windsor); and Gascon-Thomas Award (National Theatre School).