BWW Review: A GOOD FARMER by American Theatre Group at SOPAC-Topical and Compelling

BWW Review: A GOOD FARMER by American Theatre Group at SOPAC-Topical and Compelling

"This country was founded by illegal immigrants."

By Dan in A Good Farmer

A Good Farmer, the new play by Sharyn Rothstein, is currently on stage at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) through Sunday, February 4th. Produced by American Theatre Group (ATG) and expertly directed by Kel Haney, it is an outstanding production that raises awareness of matters that immigrants and family farmers face in our country. See it and talk about it. This is an important piece of theatre.

In A Good Farmer, Bonnie, a widowed single mother, struggles to operate a small cabbage farm in New York State with the help of a young Mexican woman, Carla and the members of her family. Bonnie and Carla have developed a strong friendship over the years and they both have children in the local grammar school. Yet, there are people in town like Gabe, who angrily resents immigrants. And there's Rosemary, an upscale type, who fails to comprehend the day-to-day struggles of other people. Multiple perspectives about the immigrant experience and their rights to work and live in our country are woven into this very compelling story.

BWW Review: A GOOD FARMER by American Theatre Group at SOPAC-Topical and Compelling

The four-member cast of A Good Farmer is ideal as they portray their roles with just the right mood. The company delivers the drama, tension, compassion, and humor of the story. They include Ariel Woodiwiss as Bonnie Johnson and Janice Amaya as Carla Gutierrez. Assuming multiple roles are Brenda Withers as Rosemary Devlin/Lu/Officer Shirley Sender and Todd Lawson as Gabe DuBay/David Johnson/Rich Parks.

BWW Review: A GOOD FARMER by American Theatre Group at SOPAC-Topical and Compelling

The Production Team has done a great job of bringing A Good Farmer to Life with set design by Lianne Arnold; lighting design by Daisy Long; costume design by Summer Lee Jack; and sound design by Emily Auciello. Christen Donlon is the Prop Master; Ben Merrick is the Technical Director; Stephanie M. Holmes is the Production Stage Manager; Kristen Tunney is the Assistant Stage Manager; Jeffrey Rosolen is the Production Director; Robert Cruz is the Sound Engineer; and Michael Cassara, CSA is the Casting Director.

In an era when our country is being divided by partisan politics, A Good Farmer brings the much-needed sense of humanity to the issue of immigration and addresses many of the moral questions we face. We applaud American Theatre Group and its Producing Artistic Director, James Vagias for presenting this gem of a show to metro area audiences. See it while you can.

American Theatre Group has its home in the South Orange Performing Arts Center. The Center is located at One SOPAC Way, convenient to parking, restaurants and just steps from the NJ Transit South Orange Train Station. For ticketing and more information, visit http://www.sopacnow.org/ or call 973.313.2787. For more information on American Theatre Group, visit: http://www.americantheatergroup.org/.

Photo Credit: Lianne Schoenwiesner, Spotlight Photography

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