Marin Theatre Company to Open Season With Good People
Marin Theatre Company opens its 2013-14 Season with the Bay Area premiere of the national and Broadway hit play Good People by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. Running for a limited time from August 22 to September 15, this "poignant, brave and subversive" (New York Post) new play will be directed by TraCy Young, an Oregon Shakespeare Festival regular, and feature a local cast that includes Bay Area and Sacramento veterans Amy Resnick, Mark Anderson Phillips, Anne Darragh and Jamie Jones. Opening night is Tuesday, August 27. Based in Mill Valley, MTC is a 47-year old professional nonprofit theater that is a destination for exhilarating performances, inspired new American plays and powerful theatrical experiences.
"David Lindsay-Abaire's tough-yet-tender Good People is the perfect play to launch our 2013-14 Season," artistic director Jasson Minadakis said. "It's an insightful look at the difficult choices good people are forced to make when the well-being of their family is threatened. Margie, Mike, Kate and company are likable, relatable characters, though not without their flaws (like you or me), who just want to earn the best opportunities for their families."
In this "thoroughly absorbing... tough and tender play about the insurmountable class divide" (Variety), Margie, who has spent most of her life down on her luck, has never had it this bad. A middle-aged single mother with a disabled adult daughter at home, she is now unemployed, facing eviction and cut off from opportunity in South Boston, her insular working-class neighborhood. When Margie discovers that a high school flame is now a successful doctor, she swallows her pride and seeks his help, sparking questions about class, commitment and what it means to be a "good person."
Seen in 17 different cities during the 2012-13 season, Good People is currently the most produced play in America and has been hailed as "enthralling, utterly gripping, remarkable" by the Los Angeles Times, "painfully funny and gut wrenchingly real" by Washingtonian Magazine and "masterful and oh-so-compelling" by The Boston Globe. Staged by the Manhattan Theatre Club, the play premiered on Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in 2011 and ran for 128 performances. It won the 2011 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for best play and was nominated for the 2011 Tony Award for best play, 2011 Drama Desk Award for outstanding play and 2011 Outer Critics Circle Award for outstanding new Broadway play. The play was largely written in response to the playwright hearing "Where are the American plays about class? Why don't American Playwrights write about class?" Lindsay-Abaire told The Boston Globe, "With the economy being what it is, it seemed like there's not a more relevant time to talk about the struggles of the working class," adding in an interview with The New York Times, "Class is something I know about. I've lived it every day of my life, and it shaped me in my identity."
Good People is Lindsay-Abaire's first play set in his hometown of South Boston. A smart, artistic, but poor youth, he earned a scholarship when he was 11 years old from the local Boys & Girls Club to attend Milton Academy in a wealthy Boston suburb. The playwright attributes much of his future success to this milestone - and tapped that experience to write Good People: "From a young age, I was rubbing elbows with a very different kind of person and social class and I felt a lot of tension and conflict in my identity because of that" (Boston Globe). Lindsay-Abaire won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for drama for his play Rabbit Hole (2006), and his most recent work, Oz: The Great and Powerful, is the sixth highest grossing American film thus far this year, earning $491 million in revenue worldwide. MTC previously produced his play Fuddy Meers (1999) in 2011.
Good People features the MTC debut of TraCy Young. After "climbing to a place of prominence in the LA theater world and carving a loose niche for herself as a philosophical and somewhat post-feminist director" (LA Weekly) during her 14 years with Tim Robbins's the Actors' Gang, she has become a traveling regional theater director. Most notably, she has directed at Oregon Shakespeare Festival for four seasons - Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella (co-adapted and co-directed with OSF artistic director Bill Rausch), The Imaginary Invalid and The Servant of Two Masters (both co-adapted with Oded Gross), and Luis Alfaro's Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.