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CPH Puts "Good People" On Stage

Posted March 4, 2013 in Press Releases

CLEVELAND, OH (March 4, 2013) – Cleveland Play House is thrilled to produce the hit Broadway comedy Good People, written by one of the most important new American playwrights. Nominated for a 2011 Tony Award® for Best Play, Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People takes an affectionate look at the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ through the eyes of characters who won't be ignored. Actress Kate Hodge returns to the CPH stage (Dinner with Friends, Bright Ideas) to play the tough-talking, blue-collar Margie Walsh, a role that won Frances McDormand a 2011 Tony Award for Best Actress. Also returning to the CPH stage to play Dottie, Margie’s landlord, is actress Denny Dillon (Well), a Cleveland native and former CPH Curtain Puller. Good People, a co-production with Syracuse Stage, is directed by Laura Kepley, CPH Associate Artistic Director, and will run in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare starting Friday, March 22 through Sunday, April 14, 2013. Tickets are available by calling 216-241-6000 or online atwww.clevelandplayhouse.com. Good People is produced with support from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and the Ohio Arts Council; promotional support for Good People is courtesy of Towards Employment, whose mission is to empower individuals to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through employment.

Good People is a remarkable piece of writing,” says Michael Bloom, CPH Artistic Director. “It is one of the new plays that is redefining the American comedy – not joke machines, with laughs every 30 seconds – but socially engaged, provocative, rooted in the moment, with realistically drawn characters.”

ABOUT THE PLAY and PLAYWRIGHT

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 has 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, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire explores the struggles, shifting loyalties and unshakeable hopes that come with having next to nothing in America.

The original stage presentation of Good People premiered at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City. After opening on Broadway in 2011, Good People won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. Film and stage actress Frances McDormand won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Margie Walsh. In 2012, David Lindsay-Abaire won the first ever Horton Foote Award for playwriting for Good People.

Boston-born-and-bred playwright/screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Rabbit Hole, a compelling meditation on grief (CPH production was in 2007, directed by Michael Bloom). Good People is his first play set in his hometown of South Boston. His other writing credits in theatre include the Tony Award-nominated book for Shrek the Musical; in film, Lindsay-Abaire wrote the script for the recent animated filmRise of the Guardians and co-wrote the screenplay for the upcoming film Oz the Great and Powerful.

GOOD PEOPLE Cast

David Andrew Macdonald:
(Mike) appeared on Broadway in Mamma Mia!, Coram Boy, and Two Shakespearean Actors, and in the national tour of Stephen Daldry’s An Inspector Calls (Jeff Award nomination/Chicago). Off-Broadway for Manhattan Theatre Club, he originated roles in The Green Heart and A Night and Her Stars. Regional theatre includesWhat We’re Up Against by Theresa Rebeck (world premiere), Alley Theatre; Jay Gatsby inThe Great Gatsby, Arizona Theatre Company; The Rocky Horror Show, The Old Globe; My Wonderful Day, Wilma Theater; Happy Now? (American premiere), Yale Repertory Theatre; Noises Off and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hartford Stage; A Seagull in the Hamptons (world premiere), McCarter Theatre Center; Actors Theatre of Louisville; Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; Shakespeare Festival St. Louis; Intiman Theatre; and Manitoba Theatre Centre. Television includes Sex and the City, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Another World, One Life to Live, and ten years as Guiding Light’s Edmund Winslow. Graduate of The Juilliard School.

Denny Dillon:
(Dottie) a Cleveland native and former Curtain Puller, returns to CPH after appearing in Well. Broadway: Gypsy starring Angela Lansbury, Enchanted April, Harold & Maude, The Skin of Our Teeth (with Elizabeth Ashley), and My One & Only opposite Tommy Tune and Twiggy for which Dillon received a Tony nomination. Regional theatre: Hartford Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Westport Country Playhouse, and Henry IV Part I at The Kennedy Center. An alumna of Saturday Night Live (’80 – ’81 season), Dillon won a CableACE award Best Actress in a Comedy Series on HBO’s hit Dream On. Television credits include Designing Women, Night Court, Nash Bridges, and the title role in the FOX movie Roseanne: Portrait of a Domestic Goddess. Film work includes Saturday Night Fever, Ice-Age (voice), and United 93 which won the Boston Critics’ Best Ensemble Cast award. A professional improviser, Dillon was trained by Viola Spolin, has her own company Improv Nation, and teaches this art form at Tom Todoroff Acting Conservatory in Manhattan.

Elizabeth Rich: (Jean) most recently appeared off-Broadway in the world premiere of Rxby Kate Fodor, and in Animals out of Paper at Chester Theatre Company in the Berkshires. Other New York credits include Civilization: All You Can Eat at Clubbed Thumb, Couldn’t Say as part of Midtown International Theatre Festival, and A Common Swallow at Bleeker Street Theatre. She has worked regionally at Steppenwolf, Goodman Theatre, Alley Theatre, The Wilma, Florida Stage and Theater J to name a few. She received a Jeff Award, an After Dark Award and a Helen Hayes Nomination for her portrayal of Hannah Arendt in Kate Fodor’s Hannah and Martin and an MITF Nomination and Talkin’ BroadwayCitation for Couldn’t Say. Film credits include the upcoming Side Effects, Knee High,Wings & Beer, The Couch, Watch, and The Transfiguration of Harold Maines. Television includes House of Cards, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, and Missing/Reward.

Kate Hodge: (Margie) previously appeared at Cleveland Play House in Dinner with Friends and Bright Ideas. Regional theatre includes The Accomplice at Two River Theater Company and Any Wednesday at Deertrees Theatre. She danced at The San Francisco Ballet School, studied theatre at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and trained in the art of mime with Marcel Marceau in Paris. Hodge also attended the master classes of Milton Katselas, George Dicenzo and Jennifer Gelfer. She has worked extensively in film and television. Selected credits include The Following, Person of Interest, Blue Bloods,Law & Order (all three), Boston Legal, Ellen, The George Wendt Show, Rapid Fire and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III. She has also worked in commercials, most notably Citracal for strong bones.

Patrick Halley:
(Stevie) recently appeared at Pioneer Theatre Company in Salt Lake City as Curley in Of Mice and Men, and with The Denver Center Theatre Company in The Taming of the Shrew. Off-Broadway, he played Clitandre and understudied the title role inThe Misanthrope with The Pearl Theatre Company at New York City Center (Lucille Lortel Nomination, Best Revival). Halley has worked extensively with the critically acclaimed Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, where he is also a resident teaching artist. In four seasons there, favorite productions include The Bomb-Itty of Errors, Love’s Labour’s Lost,Romeo and Juliet, Troilus and Cressida, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has co-written and performed student workshops for Lincoln Center’s Meet the Artists series, Point of Entry Theater, and Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, among others. Halley is a Poughkeepsie, New York native and graduate of Bucknell University.

Zoey Martinson:
(Kate) appeared in All's Well That Ends Well and 365 Days/ 365 Plays at The Public Theater; RACE and Good People at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. She has also appeared at Guthrie Theater, Shakespeare on the Sound, The Flea Theater, Penobscot Theatre Company, and internationally in South Africa; National Theatre of Ghana, West Africa; and New Diorama Theatre in London. She founded Bright Future Arts International in Ghana. Film and television includes Are We There Yet, Restless City andLaw & Order. As a playwright, her play Ndebele Funeral has toured South Africa. Skype Duet that she co-created and directed won the 100 Grand Award at the HAU2 Theatre in Berlin and toured Europe. Her production company Smoke & Mirrors Co. recently released the web series A Minority Report, www.aminorityreport.com. She has her Master of Fine Arts, New York University’s graduate acting program. For actor headshots, please go tohttp://www.clevelandplayhouse.com/main-stage/2012-2013/good-people and click on the “artists” tab.

GOOD PEOPLE Creative Team
David Lindsay-Abaire:
(Playwright) is a playwright, screenwriter, lyricist, and librettist whose play Rabbit Hole premiered on Broadway and went on to receive the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Spirit of America Award, and five Tony nominations. He was also nominated for a Grammy Award (Best Musical Show Album) and two Tony Awards (Best Book of a Musical and Best Score) for his work on Shrek the Musical. Prior to that, he was awarded the 2008 Kleban Prize as America’s most promising musical theatre lyricist. Lindsay-Abaire’s other plays include Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World, and A Devil Inside among others. Good People, starring Frances McDormand and Tate Donovan, premiered on Broadway in 2011 and won a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Best Play of the 2010 – 2011 Season and a 2012 Horton Foote Prize, Outstanding New American Play. In addition to his work in theatre, screen credits include the screen adaptation of Rabbit Hole (starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckart, and Dianne Wiest, and directed by John Cameron Mitchell), as well as Rise of the Guardians (Dreamworks) andOz: The Great and Powerful (Disney, directed by Sam Raimi). Lindsay-Abaire is a proud New Dramatists alum, a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and The Juilliard School, as well as a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Dramatists Guild Council.

Laura Kepley:
(Director) directed Cleveland Play House mainstage productions of A Carol for Cleveland (world premiere); In the Next Room, or the vibrator play; and My Name is Asher Lev; and CPH readings of Daphne’s Dive, by inaugural Roe Green Award winner Quiara Alegría Hudes; Silent Sky; The Fagin Effect; and Three Voyages of the Lobotomobile. Most recently, Kepley directed The Heidi Chronicles for Asolo Repertory Theatre (Fla.). She joined CPH in 2010 as associate artistic director, having arrived from Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island where she directed The Clean House, The Syringa Tree, and world premieres of Shapeshifter, Boots on the Ground, andSome Things are Private. She has directed over 20 new plays including Breadcrumbs at Contemporary American Theatre Festival, The K of D at The Kennedy Center and Orlando/University of Central Florida Shakespeare Festival, and several written by George Brant such as Grizzly Mama at Dobama Theatre, Elephant’s Graveyard at The University of Texas at Austin, and shoptalk for The Drama League’s DIRECTORFEST. She has worked with playwrights on the development of their work at The Public Theater (N.Y.), The Playwright’s Center (Minn.), PlayPenn (Pa.), Naked Angels (N.Y.), The New Harmony Project (Ind.), PlayhouseSquare’s Launch Program (Ohio) and WordBRIDGE Playwrights' Lab (S.C.). Kepley is a Drama League Fellow and a recipient of the 2009 – 2011 National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Career Development Program for Directors.

The design team for Good People includes Mimi Lien (Scenic Design), Michael Lincoln (Lighting Design), Jessica Pabst (Costume Design), Thom Jones (Voice and Speech Direction), and James C. Swonger (Sound Design). Also on the team: John Godbout (Stage Manager), Jamie Benetto (Assistant Stage Manager). For complete bios, please go to http://www.clevelandplayhouse.com/main-stage/2012-2013/good-people

Ticket Information
Single tickets
are on sale now; prices range from $49 to $69. Tickets are $15 for currently enrolled students under age 25 with valid ID. For single tickets, please call 216-241-6000 or go online at www.clevelandplayhouse.com. Groups of 10+ save up to 40% off single ticket prices; call 216-400-7027 or email cwheeler@clevelandplayhouse.com.

Special Events
· InsideCPH: "Thinking Like a Director" – 3/30 @ 2:30pm - 5:00pm - CPH Artistic Director Michael Bloom wrote the book on directing—literally. Join Bloom, author ofThinking Like a Director, and CPH Education Director Pamela DiPasquale to explore directing for diverse audiences. Then experience our Good People-inspired Classroom Matinee touring production, Margie & Mike. InsideCPH is FREE, but SPACE IS LIMITED and you must RSVP to InsideCPH@clevelandplayhouse.com by 3/29
* Play Date
– Saturday matinees, 3/30 and 4/13 - A new program for parents, grandparents, caregivers and their children. While grown-ups are watching Good People, children are in a play date where they will experience teamwork and learn what it means to be a leader on the field and the stage. Cost is $15 per child with purchase of Good People adult tickets. Call 216.400.7096 for tickets.
* Pre-show Conversations
– 45 minutes before every production. Led by CPH actors and staff, these interactive half-hour conversations pull back the curtain early to let you connect with the people, themes, ideas and creative choices that go into each production, in an engaging and relaxed setting.
* Post-show Discussions – Sunday, 3/31; Tuesday, 4/2; Sunday, 4/7, 2013 A chance to interact with the cast, creative team, local experts and fellow playgoers in a lively and wide-ranging discussion of each production and the questions it raises.
* Post-show Panels – Tuesday, 3/26; Tuesday, 4/9, 2013 – Special post-show panels give audiences a chance to continue the conversation started on stage. These 30 minute events are created with support of Community Partner, Towards Employment, and bring together a diverse panel of local experts whose experience will help us investigate and illuminate the connections between Good People’s South Boston setting and our own Northeast Ohio neighborhoods.
* Improv Master Class with Denny Dillon – 4/5 @ 3:30-5pm, Allen Theatre – For undergraduate students. FREE, but SPACE IS LIMITED and you must RSVP to InsideCPH@clevelandplayhouse.com by 3/29.

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