Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire won the Trustus Playwrights' Festival with his script Show of Hands in 1995. He went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2007 for Rabbit Hole, which Trustus produced in 2008. Now, Trustus is bringing Linday-Abaire's newest Tony-nominated script Good People to the Thigpen Main Stage under the direction of nationally-acclaimed guest director Jim O'Connor. Good People opens on Friday, March 22nd at 8:00pm, and runs through April 6th, 2013.
If you were to look in the current Trustus brochure you would see that a show called Venus in Fur was supposed to be opening in March on the Main Stage. However, because Trustus strives to stay so current, sometimes they are not able to obtain the rights to produce shows in time for their seasons. Instead, the theatre was delighted to be able to get the rights to Good People, an equally fresh and engaging piece of modern theatre. Plus, the show was penned by David Lindsay-Abaire who still stays in contact with co-founders Jim and Kay Thigpen through Christmas cards that include full career and family updates. So Good People was a great fit for the 28th Season.
Good People was nominated for the 2011 Tony Award for Best Play, the 2011 Outer Critics Award for Outstanding New Play, and was the winner of the 2011 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. The story follows Margie Walsh as she loses her job at a South Boston dollar store. She reaches out to her old friend and flame Mike, a Southie boy who made good when he became a successful doctor. What begins as an attempt to hit Mike up for a job takes on a threatening cast when Margie realizes the power that secrets from Mike's past life hold over his current one. Good People is, without doubt, an incisive and funny character study of old friends, old flames and the question of whether you can ever leave the old neighborhood behind.
Artistic Director Dewey Scott-Wiley brought guest director Jim O'Connor on board to direct this humorous piecE. O'Connor has directed internationally and was the recipient of Cleveland's Critics Circle Directing Award as well as a nominee for Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Award for Directing. He has directed Lindsay-Abaire's work before and is thrilled to be working with one of his scripts again. "Mr. Lindsay Abaire is an extraordinary story teller who creates text and structures that are evocative and stimulating from which the director can work," said O'Connor. "The story and theme of Good People is both universal and timely. Trying to get even a little ahead is difficult in the U.S. today and the needs of those who can't, for whatever reason, is a political debate in which the country is presently involved. It is a privilege to work on such a politically charged story that is still entertaining and funny."
O'Connor constructed a cast of familiar faces and audience favorites to bring this script to life. Trustus Artistic Director Dewey Scott-Wiley (The Kathy and Mo Show) takes the stage as Margie Walsh, the hard-luck protagonist. Trustus company member Jason Stokes (Next Fall, Rent) will be playing Mike - Margie's old flame who has become a successful doctor. Actors Barbara Lowrence-Hughes and Erica Tabolski play Dottie and Jean - Margie's pals who encourage Margie through her difficult times. Trustus company member Michelle Jacobs returns to the Main Stage after appearing in The Motherf**ker With the Hat to play Mike's wife Kate. Finally, Trustus company member Kevin Bush takes the stage as Stevie, Margie's ex-employer.
Director O'Connor is delighted with the chemistry of this dynamic Trustus cast. "One can always tell when one has a strong cast by the joy that is present in the rehearsal room where the production is created," said O'Connor. "That joy, which is so essential to a safe and fruitful environment, is what caps the production that the audience will see. This cast has confidence - which makes them very strong creative contributors to the process." Trustus patrons can expect a rich production through the collaboration of this talented cast and production team.