Elina de Santos Directs World Premiere Of THE THINGS WE DO
Bill falls for Sarah, but she is married to Ted. Ted might be a good match for Alice - who is married to Bill. Elina de Santos directs a painfully funny look at modern relationships by former attorney general-turned-playwright Grant Woods. The world premiere of The Things We Do, presented by Never Dark Productions as a guest production at the Odyssey Theatre, opens on April 6, with performances continuing through May 12.
Once trust is broken, how do you get it back?
"The play has a light, comic, sexy feel at the beginning, which draws you in," says de Santos. "But then, because of the things people do, it gets darker and more real. It's fresh and surprising."
According to Woods, "I wanted to explore the situation a lot of couples find themselves in when they reach a certain point in life - people who are in their 40s or 50s and have many years invested in their relationships, but who now must decide whether to go forward or make a change."
One of Arizona's premier attorneys, Woods served as Arizona's Attorney General from 1991-1999. He was the first chief of staff to the late Senator John McCain and delivered the first eulogy at the Senator's memorial services.
"When I was an undergraduate at Occidental College, I knew I would become either a writer or a lawyer," Woods says. "About ten years ago, I realized that if I was ever going to do the writing thing, it was now or never."
Since then, Woods has penned a crime novel and two plays. His other play, Dear Senator, about a traditional conservative politician who strikes up a friendship with a progressive Latino activist, received a production in 2018 at the Tempe Center for the Arts. As a songwriter, Woods' songs have been recorded and performed by award-winning artists such as Francine Reed, Walt Richardson, Blaine Long, Lawrence Zubia, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and E Street Band member Nils Lofgren. His columns and articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country, and he has been recognized by the Associated Press as Arizona's top radio show host. Mr. Woods is the founder of the Mesa Boys & Girls Club, the Mesa Education Foundation and the Mesa Arts Academy, one of Arizona's first successful charter schools. He has won top awards from the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, Salvation Army, Children's Action Alliance and Chicanos Por La Causa. He was one of the lead negotiators in the states' lawsuit against Big Tobacco resulting in the largest civil settlement in history.
The production stars Blake Boyd (You Love That I'm Not Your Wife at The Players Theatre, NYC; upcoming film Lost Girls: Angie's Story) as Bill; Marlene Galan (Hostage and Church and State at iTheatre Collaborative, Phoenix; Dead Man's Cell Phone at Long Beach Playhouse; former newscaster at KCBS, KPNX and KSAZ) as Sarah; Liesel Kopp (recently seen at the Odyssey in Arsenic and Old Lace and in several Hollywood Fringe Festival productions including the award-winning Katy and Jennifer) as Alice; and Stephen Rockwell (former resident artist at A Noise Within, numerous productions at Actors Co-op, International City Theatre, Antaeus, Theatricum Botanicum and more) as Ted.
The creative team includes set designer Stephanie Kerley Schwartz, lighting designer Brian Gale, sound designer Christopher Moscatiello, costume designer Kate Bergh and casting director Michael Donovan. The production stage manager is Tempest Rockbell. Susan Segal produces and Seth Sulka is executive producer.
The Things We Do opens on Saturday, April 6, with performances thereafter taking place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through May 12. On Sunday, April 7 only, the performance will be at 5 p.m. with no 2 p.m. matinee. There will be two preview performances on Thursday, April 4 and Friday, April 5, both at 8 p.m. All tickets are $35 (reserved seating) except opening night, which is $40. Discounts are available for seniors, students, and members of Actors Equity, SAG and AFTRA; call theater for details. The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025. For reservations and information, call (310) 477-2055 x2 or go to www.OdysseyTheatre.com.