Photo Flash: David Lindsay-Abaire's GOOD PEOPLE At Chance Theater
Chance Theater, Anaheim's official resident theater company, is excited to announce the second show in its 20th Season ... Good People. Written by David Lindsay-Abaire, and directed by Jocelyn A. Brown, Good People will preview from April 20 through April 27; regular performances will begin April 28 and continue through May 20 at Chance Theater @ Bette Aitken theater arts Center on the Cripe Stage.
The haves and the have-nots come face-to-face in this Broadway hit. Written by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), this Tony-nominated dramatic comedy finds struggling single mother Margie Walsh coming to terms with the reality that her South Boston neighborhood offers the same lack of opportunity it always has. For most people, it's a place where this month's paycheck covers last month's bills - and church bingo is a big night out on the town. Facing eviction, Margie's forced to turn to an old high school flame for help. But he's now a successful physician living in the suburbs ... and Margie is way out of her element there. With a keen eye for character and an uncanny sense of humor, Good People explores the struggles, shifting loyalties, and unshakeable hope that comes with having next to nothing in America.
Although originally produced on Broadway in 2011, Lindsay-Abaire's script is as timely as ever in our current cultural climate. The play takes plays in Southie, where many residents feel like their fate of scraping by in life has been sealed. One of these people is the main character, Margie. In a revealing monologue in the show, Margie explains how a succession of events outside her control led to her losing a job. The alternative outcome is personified in her former flame, Mike, who grew up in the same neighborhood but has managed to become a successful physician with a beautiful wife and child. However, an ever-present question looms over the show... "Are we in control of our own destiny?"
In an interview with The New York Times, David Lindsay-Abaire commented on this theme directly, "I've worked really hard, but I know people who have worked even harder but didn't have the chances I've had." He continues, "We have this myth that if you work hard, you can accomplish anything. It's not a very American thing to say, but I don't think that's true. It's true for a lot of people, but you need other things to succeed. You need luck, you need opportunity, and you need the life skills to recognize what an opportunity is."
MEET THE TEAM
David Lindsay-Abaire (Playwright) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, screenwriter, lyricist, and librettist. His most recent play Good People premiered on Broadway, and was awarded the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, The Horton FootePrize, The Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, and two Tony nominations. TCG named Mr. Lindsay-Abaire 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. He also wrote the book and lyrics for Shrek the Musical, which was nominated for eight Tonys, four Oliviers, a Grammy, and earned Mr. Lindsay-Abaire the Ed Kleban Award as America's most promising musical theatre lyricist. Mr. Lindsay-Abaire's other plays include Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World, and A Devil Inside, among others. In addition to his work in theatre, Mr. Lindsay-Abaire's screen credits include his film adaptation of Rabbit Hole (starring Nicole Kidman), Dreamworks' Rise of the Guardians, and MGM's Poltergeist reboot, among others.
Jocelyn A. Brown (Director) has been a resident artist since 2001 and has been serving as the Associate Artistic Director since 2011. Chance highlights include directing The Big Meal, spearheading and directing various new works through Chance's OTR Series for four years, writing and performing in A Celtic Holiday with Craic in the Stone (Best Special Event, Best of OC Theater 2014 by Examiner.com), portraying Reggie Fluty and Dave O'Malley in The Laramie Project and Ten Years Later (Ovation Recommended), directing Evita (Chancie Award for Best Production), portraying Blitzen in The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, the Witch in Into the Woods (Back Stage Critic's Pick), Cathy in The Last 5 Years (Back Stage Honorable Mention for Actor), directing Never In My Lifetime (Back Stage Critic's Pick), portraying Nancy in Closer Than Ever (L.A. Times Critic's Choice), Ann in Goodnight Children Everywhere (OC Weekly Award for Best Acting), directing The Cherry Orchard (OC Weekly nomination for Best Direction), and receiving the Outstanding Individual Artist nomination in 2003 by Arts Orange County. Jocelyn double majored in Theatre and Biology at the University of California San Diego, studied theater abroad at the University of East Anglia in England, and earned a Masters in Education from Vanguard University.
The production team for Good People includes scenic designer Christopher ScottMurillo (in a word), costume designer Bruce Goodrich (Tribes), lighting designer Jeff Brewer (Tribes), sound designer Darryl B. Hovis (James and the Giant Peach), props designer Megan Hill (Violet), dialect coach Glenda Morgan Brown (The Secret Garden: The Musical), dramaturgs Katie Dumas and Leana Romano, and stage manager Wade Williamson (Violet).
The cast of Good People includes resident artists Robert Foran (Middletown) and Karen Webster (Middletown), as well as returning artists Amanda Zarr (in a word) and Robin Walton (Hairspray). Alec Kenney, Bridget Campbell, and Taj Johnson are making their Chance debuts with this production.
Rachelle Menaker and Eddie Schuller are the Executive Producers. Bette & Wylie Aitken are the Season Producers for the entire 2018 schedule.
ABOUT CHANCE THEATER
Proud to be one of the leading ensemble-driven theatre companies in Southern California, CHANCE THEATER recently received a National Theatre Company grant from American Theatre Wing. The Chance has won six Ovation Awards, including two for Best Production of a Musical - Intimate Theater for its West Coast premiere of Triassic Parq - The Musical and Southern California premiere of Jerry Springer - The Opera, as well as four LADCC Awards, including the Polly Warfield Award for Outstanding Season. The Anaheim City Council named Chance Theater "the official resident theater company of Anaheim", and Arts Orange County has twice named the Chance as "Outstanding Arts Organization". Known for using bold and personal storytelling to promote dialogue and connection within the Southern California theatrical landscape, the Chance is committed to contributing to a more compassionate, connected and creative community. As a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group, Network of Ensemble Theaters, and the LA Stage Alliance, Chance Theater continues to bring national attention to the Southern California and Orange County theater scenes.
All photos by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio
Karen Webster and Alec Kenney in the OC Premiere of GOOD PEOPLE
Taj Johnson and Amanda Zarr in the OC Premiere of GOOD PEOPLE
Amanda Zarr and Alec Kenney in the OC Premiere of GOOD PEOPLE