Steppenwolf’s ‘Good People’ Begins Rehearsals: Previews Sept. 13th

Rehearsals began this week at Steppenwolf Theatre Company for the 2012/13 season opener, Good People, Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire’s surprising, humorous and deeply moving tale of a modern American story set in economically opposed South Boston and Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Ensemble member K. Todd Freeman directs Lindsay-Abaire’s Steppenwolf debut, featuring ensemble members Alana Arenas, Mariann Mayberry and Molly ReganGood People begins previews September 13  and runs through November 11, 2012 in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Tickets ($20 – $86) are on sale now (prices are subject to change).

“This is the perfect moment to be producing Good People. With our country immersed in a conversation about economic opportunity, class and whether we, as a country, are providing a level playing field for all of our citizens to achieve the American Dream, Good People gives us an opportunity to witness what those questions mean for a small group of people whose lives are intertwined but whose paths are widely divergent,” comments Steppenwolf Artistic Director Martha Lavey. “Are we responsible for the outcome of our lives or do privilege and luck trump personal integrity? What does it mean to be a ‘good person’ in the face of another’s need?”

When Margie Walsh loses her job at a South Boston dollar store, she reaches out to old flame Mike, a Southie boy who left the neighborhood and became a successful doctor. Margie’s attempt to hit Mike up for a job takes on a threatening cast when she realizes the power a secret from Mike’s past holds. From Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire, Good Peoplelooks at the dangerous consequences of choosing to hold on to the past or leaving it behind.

“People in general present themselves in a way that they want others to see them. And in particular, in this play people want to be seen as ‘good people,’” adds director K. Todd Freeman. “And while it seems so specific to the South Boston neighborhood, the female characters make this play universal—Margaret, Dottie and Jean. I recognize those women from the neighborhoods I grew up in, the black neighborhood—my sisters, my mother and their friends. Those women staying true to who they are is so meaningful to me.”

 

Steppenwolf’s 2012/13 season, The Reckoning, explores the moment when we are called to account. Will our deeds be repaid? Will our secrets be revealed? Will we get what we deserve? Good People is one of five stories about what happens when the past comes knocking.

The cast of Good People features ensemble members Alana Arenas as Kate, Mariann Mayberry as Margaret, and Molly Regan as Dottie, with Will Allan as Stevie, Keith Kupferer as Mike, and Lusia Strus as Jean.

Director K. Todd Freeman has been a Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble member since 1993. At Steppenwolf he has appeared in The Brother/Sister PlaysThe TempestArtTopdog/UnderdogA Clockwork OrangeWe All Went Down to AmsterdamOne Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (also on Broadway) and The Song of Jacob Zulu (also on Broadway; Tony Award nomination for Best Actor) and has directed “Master Harold”…and the Boys for Steppenwolf for Young Adults. Additional directing credits include Need: Hedges 3 (Pine Box Theater Company); and A Raisin in the Sun (New York University, Graduate Program). Off-Broadway credits include SpunkThe Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (The Public Theatre); and Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Drama Department). Regional credits include Miss Evers’ Boys and Angels in America (Mark Taper Forum). Television and film credits include Buffy the Vampire SlayerNYPD BlueA Different World, A Gifted Man, The Dark Knight, The Cider House Rules and Gross Pointe Blank.

Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, screenwriter, lyricist and librettist. His most recent play, Good People, premiered on Broadway last season, and was awarded the 2011 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play of the Year, as well as two Tony Award nominations. His previous play, Rabbit Hole, received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as five Tony nominations and the Spirit of America Award. David was nominated for a Grammy Award and two Tony Awards for his work on Shrek: The Musical for Best Score and Best Book of a Musical. Prior to that, David was awarded the Kleban Award as America’s most promising musical theater lyricist. His other credits include Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World and A Devil Inside, among others. In addition to his work in theater, David’s screen credits include his film adaptation of Rabbit Hole (starring Nicole Kidman; Oscar nomination), as well as the upcoming features Rise of the Guardians (Dreamworks) and Oz: The Great and Powerful (Disney).

The production team for Good People includes: Walt Spangler (scenic design), Nan Cibula-Jenkins (costume design),Kevin Rigdon (lighting design), and Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound design and original music). Additional credits include: Erica Daniels (casting), Christine D. Freeburg (stage manager) and Michelle Medvin (assistant stage manager). Photos and bio information for all artists are available upon request.

Tickets to Good People ($20 – $86) are currently on sale through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650and steppenwolf.org20 for $20: twenty $20 tickets are available through Audience Services beginning at 11am on the day of each performance (1pm for Sunday performances). Rush Tickets: half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show. Student Discounts: a limited number of $15 student tickets are available online using promo code “PEOPLE15”. Limit 2 tickets per student; must present a valid student ID for each ticket. For additional student discounts, visitsteppenwolf.org/studentsGroup Tickets: all groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance throughout the season. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org/groups.

Free post-show discussions are offered after every performance in the Subscription Season. Steppenwolf is located near all forms of public transportation and is wheelchair accessible. Street and lot parking are available. Performances featuring American Sign Language interpretation, open captioning and audio description are offered during the run of each play. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance.

Good People is supported by Corporate Presenting Sponsor, United Airlines, and Corporate Production Sponsor, Bank of America.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is America’s longest standing, most distinguished ensemble theater, producing nearly 700 performances and events annually in its three Chicago theater spaces—the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat Garage Theatre. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an ensemble of 43 actors, writers and directors. Artistic programming at Steppenwolf includes a five-play Subscription Season, a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season and three repertory series: First Look Repertory of New Work, Garage Rep and Next Up. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Off-Broadway, Broadway, London, Sydney and Dublin. Steppenwolf has the distinction of being the only theater to receive the National Medal of Arts, in addition to numerous other prestigious honors including an Illinois Arts Legend Award and nine Tony Awards. Martha Lavey is the Artistic Director and David Hawkanson is the Executive Director. Nora Daley is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visitsteppenwolf.orgfacebook.com/steppenwolftheatre and twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr.

Currently on stage is Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, adapted by ensemble member Tracy Letts, directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro (through August 26, 2012) in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St).

The 2012/13 Subscription Season also includes The Motherf**ker with the Hat by Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro (December 27, 2012 – March 3, 2013) in the Downstairs Theatre; The Birthday Party byHarold Pinter, directed by ensemble member Austin Pendleton (January 24 – May 19, 2013) in the Upstairs Theatre; Head of Passes by ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by ensemble member Tina Landau (April 4 – June 9, 2013) in the Downstairs Theatre; and Belleville by Amy Herzog, directed by Anne Kauffmann (June 27 – August 25, 2013) in the Downstairs Theatre.