SHOWBIZ CHICAGO PHOTO OP: ENSEMBLE MEMBER K. TODD FREEMAN BRINGS SOUTH BOSTON TO THE STEPPENWOLF STAGE IN 2012/13 SEASON OPENER, GOOD PEOPLE
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 Regan. Good 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 DirectorMartha 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 People looks 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, andMolly 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 Plays, The Tempest, Art, Topdog/Underdog, A Clockwork Orange, We All Went Down to Amsterdam, One 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 Spunk, The 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 Slayer, NYPD Blue, A 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).