Cast Announced for GOOD FOR OTTO World Premiere at The Gift Theatre This Fall

The Gift Theatre's artistic director Michael Patrick Thornton presents the world premiere of GOOD FOR OTTO by Tony Award-winning playwright David Rabe.

GOOD FOR OTTO is directed by Thornton and features Gift ensemble members Cyd Blakewell (Body + Blood), Brittany Burch (The Royal Society of Antarctica), John Connolly (The Royal Society of Antarctica), Paul D'Addario (The Royal Society of Antarctica), John Gawlik (The Lonesome West), Alexandra Main (Absolute Hell), Kenny Mihlfried (The Countess), Darci Nalepa (Othello), Lynda Newton (Body + Blood) and Jay Worthington (The Royal Society of Antarctica) with guest artists Patricia Donegan (Love and Money, Steep Theatre), Caroline Heffernan (In the Garden, Lookingglass Theatre), Donna McGough (Thinner Than Water, The Gift Theatre), Rob Riley (Cadillac, Chicago Dramatists) and Justine Serino (Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride, Babes with Blades).

GOOD FOR OTTO runs tonight, October 1, through November 22, 2015 at The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Press opening is Friday, October 9. For more, visit

Haunted by his own childhood, a psychologist tries to minister to the distressed souls who find their way to the doors of the health center he runs in a cluster of Connecticut hamlets and villages. Absurd at times, sadly comic and touching in the twists and turns of their simple humanity, men and women, young and old, rich and poor bring their pain in from the bucolic setting of trees, white churches, streams and mountains ranges for Dr. Michaels and his collogues with hopes of relief in the world premiere of this whimsical, yet tornadic, ensemble piece.

"What every playwright wants to know is that the people doing their play will love it and care for it," said Rabe. "I watched The Gift do a cold read of GOOD FOR OTTO and was thrilled by what they did and revealed; the level of their acting is exceptional. Given their previous productions of my work as well as their strong reputation of supporting new plays, I'm excited by this opportunity to work with The Gift on the world premiere of GOOD FOR OTTO. It needs a true ensemble with heart and smart, humor and hurt, and that is precisely what The Gift is."

Playwright David Rabe received a Tony Award for Best Play in 1972 for Sticks and Bones and also received Tony Award nominations for Best Play in 1974 for In the Boom Boom Room, 1977's Streamers and 1985's Hurlyburly.


Cyd Blakewell - Marcy

Brittany Burch - Mother

John Connolly - Timothy

Paul D'Addario - Jimmy

Patricia Donegan - Teresa Gilchrist

John Gawlik - Dr. Robert Michaels

Caroline Heffernan - Frannie

Alexandra Main - Jane

Donna McGough - Mrs. Garland

Kenny Mihlfried - Jerome

Darci Nalepa - Nora

Lynda Newton - Evangeline Ryder

Rob Riley - Barnard Gilchrist

Justine Serino - Denise

Jay Worthington - Alex

The 2015 Season began in January with TEN, The Gift's annual kickoff celebration of ten-minute plays curated by artistic director Michael Patrick Thornton and associate artistic director Paul D'Addario. The season kicked off March 5 with the world premiere of Mat Smart's quirky and beautiful play The Royal Society of Antarctica, directed by Gift Ensemble member John Gawlik. Director Marti Lyons (Bethany) returned for Body + Blood written by The Gift Co-Founder, William Nedved; the season closes with David Rabe's (Hurlyburly, Streamers) GOOD FOR OTTO directed by The Gift Co-Founder and Artistic Director Michael Patrick Thornton. Subscriptions for the entire 2015 season, which includes three world premieres, are available for as little as $75. The Gift subscribers ("Gifters") receive admission to three shows, free parking at Gale Street Inn, free admission to all Wednesday night "Natural Gas" improv shows and invitations to special subscriber-only special events.

The Gift Theatre is conveniently located at 4802 N. Milwaukee in Chicago's Jefferson Park neighborhood, and is easily accessible by the CTA Blue Line, the Lawrence and Milwaukee Avenue buses and the Kennedy Expressway. For more information about The Gift Theatre's productions and programs, visit

Zoey's Playlist on NBC

Related Articles View More Chicago Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You