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Promising Playwright Contest Winner! The Colonial Players, Inc. of Annapolis, MD is pleased to announce the winner of their biennial Promising Playwright Contest!

2016 06 good people logoWritten by David Lindsay-Abaire
Directed by Edd Miller
Produced by Tom Stuckey
Performance dates:
June 3 - 25, 2016
Run time: 2h 15m

Welcome to Southie, a Boston neighborhood where a night on the town means a few rounds of bingo, where this month's paycheck covers last month’s bills, and where Margie Walsh has just been let go from yet another job. Facing eviction and scrambling to catch a break, Margie thinks an old fling who's made it out of Southie might be her ticket to a fresh new start. But is this apparently self-made man secure enough to face his humble beginnings? Margie is about to risk what little she has left to find out. With his signature humorous glow, Lindsay-Abaire explores the struggles, shifting loyalties and unshakeable hopes that come with having next to nothing in America.

To download the production postcard for Good People to share with your friends, visit the Downloads page of our website and look under the Production Postcard heading.

 

About the Playwright

David Lindsay-Abaire is an award-winning author best known for his Broadway play, Rabbit Hole, winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and for the book and lyrics of Shrek, the Musical. His plays often are filled with outlandish characters doing crazy, wacky things that envelop the stage with joyous lunacy. In Good People and Rabbit Hole, however, he pursues a more traditional form of storytelling; both plays offer finely detailed portraits of real people with real lives confronting real problems. The laughs are still there, but the humor derives naturally from the interactions of his characters rather than outrageous onstage antics. LindsayAbaire’s first commercial success in New York came in 1999 with an off-Broadway production of Fuddy Meers. His success as a playwright attracted attention of movie producers, and in 2010, he adapted Rabbit Hole, a Tony nominee for best play, for a movie produced by and starring Nicole Kidman. Other screenwriting credits include the DramaWorks Animation movie, Rise of the Guardians, and the 2013 movie, Oz the Great and Powerful. Lindsay-Abaire was raised in South Boston by parents who held blue-collar jobs; his mother worked in a factory and his father sold fruit from the back of a truck. When he was 11, he received a scholarship to the prestigious Milton Academy, and that was his ticket out of South Boston. His education continued at Sarah Lawrence College and then the Julliard School, where he studied playwriting under Marsha Norman and Christopher Durang. Rabbit Hole and another of his plays, Wonder of the World, were popular with Colonial Players audiences during the 2008-09 season, with Rabbit Hole receiving one of five best play nominations in the annual Washington Area Theatre Community Honors competition. 

 

About the Director

Miller EddEdd Miller is grateful to The Colonial Players for giving him the opportunity to show off, in many capacities, for over 50 years. As an actor he has performed in The Last of The Red Hot Lovers, Othello, Moon For The Misbegotten, and Over My Dead Body, to name just a few. You may have seen his set designs for The Diviners; Blithe Spirit; In The Next Room, or the Vibrator Play; Chapter Two; Coyote on a Fence; Two Rooms; Moon Over Buffalo; Going To St. Ives; and others. He has directed The Apple Tree, Carnival, Plaza Suite, Going To St. Ives, Two Rooms, The Diviners, 6 Rms Riv Vu, I Never Sang For My Father, On Golden Pond, Relatively Speaking, Coyote on a Fence, and more. Edd has also lent his talents to many other venues as both actor or director. He credits theater in general and CP in particular for bringing him friends, chosen family, and his late wife, Dolores. He feels he has two homes in Annapolis-one for sleep and one for showing off. Edd's work has earned CP a Ruby Griffith Award, a One Act Play Award (state and regional festivals), a few Washington Area Theatre Community Honors awards, and numerous nominations.

 

Director's Notes

To live in poverty is to exist in a war zone. Not necessarily with bullets and bombs, but with situational choices of conscience. While internal debates about what is right and the compromises one makes cut across all levels of our society, those debates can be particularly difficult for people living on the edge. I have been taught right from wrong. I try to live up to my family's mores and expectations, to follow my religion's teachings. I behave in a socially acceptable manner and associate with others of likemindedness. I want to be a good person. I have a job, sometimes two at a time – whatever I can get with my less-than high-school education. I am blessed with a child and sometimes a place to live. My pay check just does not go far enough. We are often hungry. I wish I could afford food; sometimes I can't. There is no money. I must eat and feed my child. Can I steal a loaf of bread and maybe some peanut butter? Is it ever acceptable to steal? How do I get some cash so I won't have to face the same thing next week. I know prostitution is wrong and dangerous, but it pays more than my job. I could sell drugs; dealers make a lot of money. Could I do that? Should I? I have a job, but is it better to stand in traffic and beg? Will my pride and self esteem allow me to do that? If so, do I take my child to stand with me? Just seeing her might help. But is it right or fair? The rent is due, and I have to do it. I have to. Pride be damned! Am I still a good person? I think so. I hope people understand. On the battlefield, facing the enemy, to go against conscience for God and country is a necessity for survival. In the USA, “Good People” face these battles of conscience every day; every day they fight the battle against poverty and live in their own personal purgatory. I hope tonight’s performance will give you some insight into their world and help create some empathy in yours.

– EDD MILLER

 

The Cast

Arvidson BernadetteBernadette Arvidson (Dottie) - Bernadette has performed on many a stage over the years, and she is pleased to be adding a new venue with her first performance at Colonial Players. Some of Bernie's favorite roles include Belinda in Noises Off, Rita in Educating Rita, and Juanita in Sordid Lives, for which Bernadette received a Washington Area Theatre Community Honors Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play. Bernie credits the entire cast and crew for such a wonderful show and such a spectacularly wonderful time! And to Director Edd Miller: “The pleasure has been all mine!” As ever, Bernadette thanks God for all the good in her life. She dedicates her performance to her brother Michael.

Carr BenBen Carr (Mike) - Ben is excited to be back performing at Colonial Players. Some of his previous roles at CP include Biff Loman in Death of a Salesman, Michael Wells in Two Rooms, Tom Donahue in These Shining Lives, Donnie Rowan in Rocket Man, Jonesy in Side Man and Hertel Daggett in Dog Logic. He has also performed at Dignity Players in Stones in His Pocket. He would like to thank Edd and the rest of the cast for making this such a wonderful experience.

Lambert KarenKaren Lambert (Jean) - A veteran of the stage, Karen’s performance in Good People is her second Colonial Players production with director Edd Miller at the helm. Previously, she portrayed Luella Bennett in The Diviners under his direction. You may have also seen her as Mrs. Modesto in Mrs. California and Myra Arundel in Hay Fever, among other CP productions. Favorite roles include LaVonda Dupree in Sordid Lives, various characters in Almost, Maine, and the staged reading of 8 at Dignity Players. Additional stage credits include performances with children’s theater, summer stock, and of original works, including historical characters. When not onstage, Karen works as an advertising account executive, writer, and marketing consultant. In her spare time you may find her hunting fossils and shark teeth near her home in North Beach, while helping to raise her two canine companion rescues. Special thanks to director Edd Miller for his vision and guidance, and to an outstanding cast and crew.

Panek ShirleyShirley Panek (Margaret) - Shirley is excited to be a part of this wonderful show and amazingly talented cast. Last seen in Colonial Players' Rocket Man (Louise), Shirley took time off to plan, produce, and stage manage a wedding to her real-life leading man, Jeff Mocho, whom she met playing opposite him in The Unexpected Guest on The Colonial Players stage. Shirley has spent more time backstage than onstage recently: lighting designer for A Few Good Men, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Communicating Doors, Trying, Moonlight and Magnolias, and Chapter Two (2012 Washington Area Theatre Community Honors nominee); and stage manager for Venus in Fur, Bat Boy, and 1776. But performing onstage is still her favorite, and this show is no exception. Some favorite roles include Laura Warwick in The Unexpected Guest, Kaye in Dog Logic, and Ofc. Randy Osteen in Superior Donuts at Colonial Players. Thank you to Edd for his vision, patience, and gentle guidance in bringing Margie out of me, to the cast for all the fun and laughter through rehearsals, and to Herb and crew for all your hard work. Love to Drew, Emma, and Jeff. Thanks for all your love and support.

Pearson GlenGlen Pearson (Stevie) - This is Glen’s debut with Colonial Players. He is very grateful to be given this wonderful opportunity. He comes from a family of performers. His mother, apart from being a professional clown, was an actress at Totem Pole Playhouse. Glen started performing with his family at a young age. The theater bug bit him in middle school when he played Huck Finn. In college he was seen as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast and Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, and he received an Irene Ryan nomination for his role as Silvestre in Scapin. Recently, Glen has turned his attention to television and film. Appearances include House of Cards, Turn, Veep, Legends and Lies, Nero Bloom, Where the River Goes, The Sultan and the Saint, Macbeth, and Distance. Glen would like to thank Tiffany for her support and kindness. She is the one who told him about the auditions for Good People. To his sister and West Street friends, a hearty thank you. “It has been such a pleasure to work with a cast of dedicated people. Thank you to Edd Miller for inviting me to join the journey.” When Glen is not acting he can be found making people laugh while juggling in downtown Annapolis.

Spooner AshleyAshley Spooner (Kate) - Ashley is delighted to make her Colonial Players debut in Good People. This production marks her return to the stage since her 2006 role as Sittah in Nathan the Wise with the Wake Forest University Mainstage Theater. Ashley is grateful to her family and friends for their encouragement and would like to thank the cast and creative team for making her reentry into theater a wonderful experience. 

 

The Production Staff

banscher loisLois Banscher (Properties Designer) Lois joins the Edd Miller team for Good People, a play centered around the livelihoods and culture of folks living in South Boston and ritzy Chestnut Hill, MA. Lois became involved with Colonial Players in 2009 working on The Curious Savage. Recent production prop challenges for Lois – in our productions of Why Torture Is Wrong, And The People Who Love Them; A Few Good Men; 1776; and Bat Boy – were searching for items such as AK- 47 weapons, 25 Blue Willow coffee cups, a horsehair whip, and now, clay-pot rabbits. Lois was nominated for a Washington Area Theatre Community Honors award for 1776 (2013) and Mrs. California (2010) with prop partner Grace Baumgardner. Other credits include The Diviners; Going to St. Ives; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; Sunlight; The Spitfire Grill; Little Women; Lettice and Lovage; Taking Steps; and Coyote on a Fence. Lois thanks her family and friends, who are often called upon to search for props, and the CP crew for sharing their ideas and designs. Lois always says: “If you can’t have fun at what you do, then don’t do it.” So, let’s play BINGO!!

Beschen NickNick Beschen (Assistant Director) This is Nick’s second time as an assistant director. He’s been on the stage often, most recently as Dr. Watson in Sherlock’s Last Case. Nick’s had the pleasure of being directed by Edd Miller and sharing the stage with him as well. He’s gotten a kick out of working with Edd and this very talented cast and crew. Enjoy this show. It is full of...Good People!

elkin herbHerb Elkin (Stage Manager) A regular presence behind the scenes in a variety of roles, Herb has stage-managed 16 productions at CP, including four nominations and one WATCH award for outstanding play. His most recent stagemanaging credits are Side Man (2015), Rocket Man (2014), Coyote on a Fence (2014), Trying (2013), and Going to St. Ives (2012). Among his most memorable experiences are flying a gorilla across the stage during Over My Dead Body (2009) and completely changing the stage during intermission from dreary London to dazzling Italy for Enchanted April (2008). Prior to becoming active behind the scenes, he appeared on the stage in several CP and other area productions until his resident critic (Bay Weekly's Jane Elkin) recommended redirecting his talents elsewhere. Herb is CP's Vice President and works by day as Deputy Director for IT/Finance at the Naval Academy.

florentine frankFrank Florentine (Lighting Designer) Frank’s background stretches over a wide array of lighting projects from ballet to museums to special events to show caves. He retired as the lighting designer of the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum on December 31, 2009, after 25 years in that position. Frank has also designed the lighting for three show caves in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Montana. Additionally, Frank has designed lighting for numerous museums throughout the United States. Frank worked in professional theater as a production manager, stage manager, and associate lighting designer. He traveled nationally and internationally with several ballet companies, including a 65,000- mile tour with the late Rudolf Nureyev. He has designed lighting for several productions at The Colonial Players. Frank won the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (WATCH) award for best lighting design of a musical for his design for last season’s Ernest In Love and for 2014’s production of Bat Boy. He was nominated for his lighting designs for Morning’s at Seven and Coyote on a Fence. Other credits at CP include 1776, Sunshine, and Chapter Two, which was a WATCH nominee for lighting design in 2012. Frank is a Fellow of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, Lighting Certified by the National Council of Qualified Lighting Professionals, and a member of United Scenic Arts 829 – Lighting Design.

Riffle TheresaTheresa Riffle (Sound Designer) Theresa previously served as sound designer for Coyote on a Fence (winner of a best sound design award from the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors), A Few Good Men, Sherlock’s Last Case, and, most recently, Morning’s at Seven. As an actor, she was last seen on the CP stage as Sara Mueller in Watch on the Rhine. You also may have seen her at CP as Anna Hauptmann in Hauptmann, Evelyn in Kindertransport, or Phoebe in Romantic Comedy. Theresa is the Secretary on the CP Board of Directors. She is excited to be working with this fabulous production staff, cast, and crew and would like to thank Edd for asking her to be part of this wonderful production. As always, she sends a big thank you to Jem and Josh for their boundless love and support.

Smith DianneDianne Andrew Smith (Costume Designer) Dianne arrived at CP to try out for Godspell and never left. She has performed in shows, worked on shows, and, most recently, designed the costumes for Morning’s At Seven, which earned her a nomination for a Washington Area Community Theatre Honors award for best costume design. Once again she is using her BFA in Design from Maryland Institute of Art. After all these years, she still says it’s “For the Love of It”. Many thanks to her "Theater Family”!

Stuckey TomTom Stuckey (Producer) Tom enjoyed having the opportunity to work on Good People with two of his best friends – Director Edd Miller and Costume Designer Dianne Smith. Tom was producer earlier this season for Morning’s at Seven and produced Rocket Man, the first show of the 2014-15 season. He was also stage manager for the 24th production of A Christmas Carol in December 2014. Tom has been involved with Colonial Players since 1969, when he appeared in the ensemble for Carousel, and has been involved with dozens of productions onstage and offstage. He currently edits programs for each show and is involved in other activities such as painting sets, hanging lights, ushering, and helping send out subscription notices and season tickets. He has served in four board positions, including president and production director. Tom thanks the cast and the staff for working so hard to bring to life the good people of Boston.