People's Light & Theatre Presents Fallow


People's Light & Theatre presents the World Premiere of Fallow, by Kenneth Lin, running January 11 – February 5, 2012 on the Steinbright Stage. Jackson Gay directs. People's Light & Theatre is located at 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA 19355. For tickets call 610.644.3500 or visit Fallow has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, and by the National Endowment for the Arts.

In Fallow, award-winning playwright Kenneth Lin (Intelligence-Slave, Po Boy Tango) explores what holds us to the families we are born into and how we seek new families of our own. Upon discovering a cache of unsent letters, Elizabeth Hayes rushes to rural California on a quest to meet the men who murdered her son, Aaron, a young man who abandoned his Ivy-League pedigree to work as a beekeeper and migrant farm worker. A haunting and surprising drama about the love between a mother and son, and their travels through some nearly invisible parts of our country.

"This is the most personal play I've ever written. The character of Aaron is based on my own experiences backpacking through China on a Fulbright Scholarship in search of my own identity," Lin reveals. "Also, as a writer I'm often receiving input from the world and certain things just land. All throughout my life, I can remember hearing tragic stories in the news-a black man who was lynched in Texas, a Latino immigrant in Rhode Island who was beaten. These events deeply affected me and helped to inspire this play."

Lin will be reuniting with Director Jackson Gay on Fallow, their fourth collaboration. "We met in graduate school at Yale and I asked her to direct my thesis. We're great friends and collaborators, and I feel like my work is better in her hands." For People's Light, Gay previously directed successful productions of Dale Wasserman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 2010 and Deborah Zoe Laufer's End Days in 2009.

The cast of Fallow includes Robert Montano, a newcomer to People's Light's stage, in the role of Happy Lugo. Montano's extensive acting career includes roles on Broadway (Kiss of the Spider Woman, Cats), film (Chicago, It Runs in the Family), and television (Army Wives, Sex and the City). Joining him in the cast are George Olesky, Laura Giknis, and Joe O'Brien, as well as People's Light company members Stephen Novelli and Mary Elizabeth Scallen.
In conjunction with the play and its many themes, People's Light will feature a series of free events to enhance audience members' experience. The events include a special conversation with Kenneth Lin about the subject of identity, a panel discussion on bees and their impact on our livelihood, and a panel discussion entitled "The Road Not Taken," featuring members of the community who have taken unusual paths in life.
"Fallow brings up many issues concerning the state of our nation," Lin continues. "I'm grateful that People's Light, which is so focused on education and community, will be producing this play."


Fallow previews on Wednesday, January 11th and Thursday, January 12th at 7:30pm. The play opens on Friday, January 13th at 8pm and runs through February 5th. Audiences are encouraged to join the artists after each Thursday evening performance for a conversation about the production.

Single tickets range in price from $25 – $45. For tickets, call the box office at 610.644.3500. Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase group tickets, call 610.647.1900 x134 or email Actors, prices, performance dates and times are subject to change. Additional service charges will apply. Contact the box office for more details.

Subscription tickets are still available for the 2011-2012 Season. Productions in the 6-Play Series include Fallow (January 11 – February 5, 2012), Of Mice and Men (February 15 – March 25, 2012), Shakespeare's Will (May 30 – June 24, 2012), and Mr. Hart and MR. Brown (July 18 – August 19, 2012). Productions in the PNC Arts Alive Family Discovery Series include Shipwrecked! (March 22 – April 15, 2012) and A Wrinkle in Time (April 26 – May 20, 2012).


The following events are free, but reservations are requested. For reservations, contact the box office at 610.644.3500 or visit
Finding One's Identity: A Conversation with Playwright Kenneth Lin

Sunday, January 15th following the 2pm performance

Steinbright Stage

Join Playwright Kenneth Lin and Dramaturg Elizabeth Pool for a discussion about Fallow and the characters' struggles with the concept of identity. Lin describes this as his most personal play, following his own journey towards self-discovery. Bring your questions and any stories you might like to share.

To Bee or Not to Bee

Saturday, January 28th at 4:30pm

Steinbright Stage

Have you ever wondered what role bees play in our lives? In Fallow, Aaron grows disheartened as his bees fight for survival. As a new beekeeper, is he doing something wrong? Learn more about these incredible insects and how deeply important they are to our livelihood. You might be surprised! The panel will feature experts on bees, including Master Beekeeper Vincent Aloyo, Ph.D. Director of Data Analysis Amy Wilson will moderate.
The Road Not Taken

Saturday, February 4th at 4:30pm

Steinbright Stage

Meet four seemingly ordinary members of our community who have taken extraordinary paths in their lives, including Carol, a writer who helps victims of sexual slavery, and Michaelanne, a visual artist who directs Community Arts at the Ayuda Community Center in Philadelphia. These inspiring leaders will discuss how they switched from a more traditional life journey to something radically different and deeply meaningful. Producer for Arts Discovery Wendy Bable will moderate.


People's Light, a professional, not-for-profit theatre in Chester County, Pennsylvania, makes plays drawn from many sources to entertain, inspire, and engage our community. We extend our mission of making and experiencing theatre through arts education programs that excite curiosity about, and deepen understanding of, the world around us. These plays and programs bring people together and provide opportunities for reflection, discovery, and celebration. Founded in 1974, we produce seven to nine plays each season, in two black box theatres with 350 and 170 seats respectively, mixing world premieres, contemporary plays, and fresh approaches to classic texts for our 6-Play and Discovery Series.


Kenneth Lin (Playwright) Plays: Fallow, Intelligence-Slave, Po Boy Tango, (TCG Edgerton New Play Prize), said Saïd (Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition Winner, L. Arnold Weissberger Award, Princess Grace Award), Warrior Class, Life On Paper, Agency*, and Genius in Love have been seen at theaters throughout the country, including the ALLIANCE THEATRE, Northlight Theatre, Alley Theatre, South Coast Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Marin Theater, and East West Players. Education: Cornell University, Fulbright Scholarship, Yale School of Drama.

Jackson Gay (Director) Upcoming: David Adjmi's 3C (Rattlestick) and Red (Alley Theatre). Recent: First Lady of Christmas, a new musical (Sarah Lawrence); Fallow (Ojai Playwrights Conference); A Little Journey (The Mint); Light Years to the Delling Shore (Sundance at Banff, Canada); August: Osage County (Alley Theatre); 3C for Superlab (Playwrights Horizons); One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and End Days (PLTC); Atlantic Theater-Scarcity, Master Disaster, The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow (also at Yale Rep); Len, Asleep in Vinyl (Second Stage/Juilliard). M.F.A.-Directing, Yale School of Drama.

Laura Giknis (Chloe) Past credits: The Three Musketeers (Kestral, Peoples Light), Reefer Madness and Little Shop of Horrors (Mary Lane, Chiffon, 11th Hour), and Up (Maria, Bristol Riverside Theatre). Philadelphia Weekly named Laura Best Supporting Actress for her role as Maria in Up. Up next, see Laura as Annelle in Bristol Riverside Theatre's Steel Magnolias.
Robert Montano (Happy Lugo) Broadway: Kiss of the Spider Woman, On the Town, Cats, Chita +2, Legs Diamond. Theater: Mouth Wide Open, Cloud Tectonics, Fabulation, One Shot One Kill, Diosa, Marty, East Of Eden, Comedy of Errors. Film: The Yards, Chicago, It Runs in the Family, Center Stage. Television: Army Wives, CSI: Miami, Sex and the City, Law & Order, Without a Trace, Law & Order: SVU, and Undefeated. He has written the screenplay Under the Wire.

Stephen Novelli (Jimmy) Recently: Ensemble in The Return of Don Quixote, Halvard Solness in The Master Builder and Voltaire in Legacy of Light at People's Light. Other roles at PLTC include Gloucester in King Lear and Saladin in Nathan the Wise. Directed The Secret of Sherlock Holmes and Tuesdays with Morrie for People's Light. A member of the resident company since 1974, he now serves as Artistic Associate.

Joseph Michael O'Brien (Danny) was last seen here in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as Ellis/Technician. Other recent credits include Sarge in Pardon My Invasion and Aquaman/Troll King in Super Heroes Who Are Super.

George Olesky (AaRon Hayes) Theater: Tamar (Humboldt Street Studios, Los Angeles), Dionysus in '69 (The Bacchus, Los Angeles), Richard III (A Noise Within, CA), Musicophilia (FullStop Collective at The Dragon's Egg, CT), Ruby Red (Dixon Place, New York). TV/film: Allen Gregory, Party Down, What She's Got, Hourglass, Torches of Erin. Education: B.A., Hampshire College; The O'Neill National Theater Institute; Moscow Art Theatre School USA.
Mary Elizabeth Scallen (Elizabeth Hazzard Hayes) is a longtime company member and Artistic Associate. Recent appearances at People's Light include Hatchetman, Legacy of Light, King Lear, A Tale of Two Cities, and Getting Near to Baby. She's also worked with the Lantern, the Arden, Interact, PlayPenn, Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Weston Theatre (VT) and Gretna Theatre (PA). She teaches acting at Penn and consults for FAIMER, an international medical education foundation.

Related Articles

Philadelphia THEATER Stories | Shows  Like BWW Philadelphia  Follow BWW Philadelphia

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...