NSB good people

Published on April 11th, 2013 | by NSB Observer

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Little Theatre Hosts Good People

The Little Theatre announces their upcoming production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Good People.” The show, directed by Ted Pack, will open on Friday, April 12 and run for two weekends until Sunday, April 21. Seven performances are planned on April 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 at 8 pm and Sundays April 14 and 21 at 2 pm.

“Good People” is a funny, moving, socially aware and well-constructed play. It was awarded a Tony nomination for Best Play and the Drama Critics Circle Award since its New York premiere in 2011.good people cast

This is a play about social class in America. Class consciousness and divisions fill every scene. “Good People” is a powerful portrayal of “miserable” poor working-class Americans facing the world of the “comfortable” professional class, as described in the play.

“Good People” lays out class difference for laughs and pathos. Margie Walsh, played by Patti Earl, hails from Southie, that district of Boston’s predominantly working-class Irish-Americans that is notorious for toughness and ethnic pride.  Having been fired from yet another job, Margie looks up an old boyfriend who made it out of Southie thinking he might be the ticket to a fresh start.

In the Second Act Kate, played by Sarah Horne-Rone, the sophisticated, African-American doctor’s daughter, apologizes to Margie for only being able to pay $15 an hour for babysitting, which, for Margie, would mean a doubling of her dollar store starting salary. For all of Kate’s supposed empathy for the unfortunate, she cannot grasp what it means to be hanging on by a thread.

good peopleDavid Lindsay-Abaire, whose play “Rabbit Hole” won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007, spoke about his reasons for writing “Good People”:

“I kept hearing over and over again about British playwrights writing about class in their country, and people were asking, where are the new American plays about class? And I asked myself, if I were to write a play on the subject, what would that be? I knew I wasn’t interested in writing any didactic, message-laden play, so I put it aside for a while. Then I went back to the idea of Southie and thought, wait a minute, if I write about Southie in any way, class will inevitably bubble up to the surface.”

This play addresses the issues of class within a familiar American structure: chance versus free will. There is a sense that the accidents of birth govern how we live and in what conditions. We just had the conversation in this country about whether or not anyone achieves independently or requires the underpinnings of society to achieve success.

Margie and MikeRunning through this play is the theme of “luck”- emphasized by scenes set in a parish hall bingo, and brought home by Margie when she dares Mike, her high school boyfriend who is now a doctor, played by Terence VanAuken, to admit that, despite his hard work, he was very lucky. Luck is very much on Lindsay-Abaire’s mind:
“I think that one of the things that the play asks is for us to consider the myth that anyone can achieve anything if they just work hard enough. All the things that Mike is contending with, I have thought about. I hope that I’m a nicer person than Mike is, but a lot of what he’s dealing with are things I’ve definitely thought about.”

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