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Giving money to these kids who you don't even know. That's good people.

"An extraordinary play from a towering American talent, and Cinnabar has given it an outstanding staging. Definitely a don't miss."

Good People

by David Lindsay-Abaire
Directed by Michael Fontaine
Stage Manager Ross Tiffany-Brown
Scenic Design by Wayne Hovey
Costume Design by Ellen Howes
Lighting Design by Vincent Mothersbaugh


$28/$35 at the door  General Admission
$25/$30 at the door  Seniors 62 and older
$20/$25 at the door  Under 30 & Military
$15/$20 at the door  Youth under 18
 
$55 VIP Ticket  2/2, 2/10, 2/16 and 2/17 at 8pm
Includes Reserved Seating, Wine, Dessert  Plus free ticket exchange


This production contains strong language and adult themes and may not be suitable for all audiences.

Welcome to old-school Irish Catholic South Boston, 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” 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.

NEW! Now serving specialty cocktails at our concessions! $10
Irish Coffee – Irish whiskey, coffee, whipped cream
The Leprechaun – Irish whiskey, tonic, lime

Funding provided by Sponsor Circle Members Richard & Edith Kapash. Additional support provided by Buffington Clay-Miller

Cast

Margaret

Sarah McKereghan

Stevie

Caleb Noal

Dottie

*Kate Brickley

Jean

Liz Jahren

Mike

*Nick Sholley

Kate

Liz Rogers-Beckley

Crew

Stage Director

Michael Fontaine

Stage Manager

Ross Tiffany-Brown

Scenic Designer

Wayne Hovey

Costume Designer

Ellen Howes

Lighting Designer

Vincent Mothersbaugh

* Appears courtesy of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional stage actors and stage managers in the United States

THE CAST
BrickleyKate Brickley (Dottie) is thrilled to be working in her first show at Cinnabar Theater with a wonderful cast and director and at a place she has always admired. Kate has performed around the Bay Area at Spreckels Theater, Main Stage West, 6th Street Playhouse (where she just completed a production of Steel Magnolias playing Clairee), San Jose Repertory Theater, Porchlight Theater in Ross, and the American Conservatory Theater. She has also lived and worked in Seattle at such theaters as the Intiman Theater, Seattle Children’s Theater, ACT/Seattle, and Mercer Island Theater. She ran the off-campus program for the education dept. at Seattle Children’s Theater. And farther east, she’s worked in her home state of Wisconsin and in Reading, PA at the Reading Theater Project playing Lady Bracknell to her daughter Lily’s Gwendolyn. It was heaven. Some of her favorite roles have been Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, the mother in John O’Keefe’s All Night Long, Big Mama in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the British mother in Kinderstransport. She’s thinking that Dottie in Good People is going to be right up there in her list of favs. Other jobs that fill Kate’s time are acting as a dialect coach for various theaters and groups. The best of all has been her volunteer work at San Quentin Prison in the Shakespeare San Quentin Program sponsored by Marin Shakespeare Co.

JahrenLiz Jahren (Jean) holds an MFA in Acting from UTK, a post graduate certificate in LeCoq Training from Naropa University & a BA in Theatre with distinction from SSU.  Favorite local roles include the nurse in Romeo & Juliet at Shakespeare in the Cannery; Mae West in Dirty Blonde, Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf & Lisa in Well at the 6th Street Playhouse; Pinky in Pinky, Louise in Always Patsy Cline at MSW, Cinnabar and Luther Burbank Center for the Arts; and On the Verge, and We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay! at Cinnabar. Liz recently appeared as Maggie in MSW production of Dancing at Lughnasa, and on the Cinnabar stage as Cecily Robson in Quartet. Liz is the Artistic Director for Alchemia; an innovative visual and performing arts program for adults with special needs.

McKereghanSarah McKereghan (Margie) is absolutely thrilled to be working with this fabulous cast and crew on another show at Cinnabar Theater, where she has also been seen as Lenny in Crimes of the Heart and Margherita in We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay! . She is an actor, director, playwright and founding Artistic Director of RIPE Theatre in San Francisco. Sarah received  a BA in Theatre Arts from Humboldt State University and has studied with Bay Area companies such as A.C.T. and the California Shakespeare Theatre. Some of her other favorite roles include Margaret in Henry VI, part 2, and Arkadina in The Seagull. Sarah would like to thank her beautiful family for all of their love and support.

NoalCaleb Noal (Stevie) is excited to make his Cinnabar debut in Good People. His theatrical credits include Phil Davis in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Flute/Thisbe in three separate productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Rod in Avenue Q, and J. Pierpont Finch in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. He studied musical theatre at Circle in The Square on Broadway under the tutelage of Therese Hayden, Theodore Mann and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. He is an active playwright and musical theatre writer and has recently started work on his new musical A Pirate’s Wife for Me.

Rodgers BeckleyLiz Rogers-Beckley (Kate) is excited to join Cinnabar in their production of Good People. She holds a M.S. in Human Resources Management from Golden Gate University as well as a double B.A in Theatre and Organizational Communication with a Minor in Music from SF State University. Her main passions are ministry work and performing on stage. She was last seen in Pittsburg Community Theatre’s production of Hairspray, Left Edge Theatre’s Good People as Kate, Shotgun Players’ This World in a Woman’s Hand & Pinole Community Players’ Chicago & Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Liz is grateful for the opportunity to work with Cinnabar and looks forward to a thrilling experience. She thanks God, her family and dearest friends for their love and support. Enjoy the show!

SholleyNick Sholley (Mike) is honored to return to Cinnabar. He was last seen here in Is He Dead? (2010) and Enchanted April (2007). Recent productions in the area include A Steady Rain (2016/17) at Left Edge Theatre and Mainstage West, The Birds (2017) at Main Stage West, and Richard III (2015) and Ideal Husband (2014) at Marin Shakespeare Company. Last year, Nick directed both the adult and youth productions of Zombietown for Left Edge Theatre. Thanks and love to Thais and Sid for making magic everyday.


THE CREW

FontaineMichael Fontaine (Director) During the past 30+ years, Michael has acted in or directed dozens of productions with numerous organizations in the North Bay and beyond. Favorite roles performed at Cinnabar Theater include Carl in Lonely Planet, Graham in Talking Heads, Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale and Elomire in La Bete. Directing credits for Cinnabar include The FantasticksCandideMan of La ManchaSweeney ToddJacquel BrelWe Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!Hedda GablerMrs. Warren’s ProfessionA Moon for the MisbegottenCandidaThe Winter’s Tale, Lettice & Lovage and The Country Wife. Other area directing credits include – for 6th Street Playhouse – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf1940’s Radio HourCat on a Hot Tin Roof and Souvenir. For Santa Rosa Junior College and Summer Repertory Theater: Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatCinderellaBedroom Farce, and Hair. He has additionally served as stage director for the Sonoma City Opera productions of The Elixir of LoveDaughter of the RegimentAbduction from the Seraglio, and Don Pasquale. Currently working as Programs & Development Director for Pets Lifeline in Sonoma, Fontaine also teaches in the SRJC Older Adults Program and sings with several area choral ensembles. He was pleased to return to Cinnabar after a six year hiatus as actor to tackle the role of Reginald in last October’s production of Quartet. Six years prior, he appeared on the Cinnabar stage and directed Tomfoolery.

HoveyWayne Hovey (Scenic Designer) has been working in the technical side of theater for more than 40 years, doing everything from backstage work to set, sound and lighting design and stage management. He has provided set design for Cinnabar’s Jacques Brel is Alive and Well, The Marriage of Figaro, Bad Dates, Mahalia Jackson, The Most Happy Fella, this season’s opener, Man of La Mancha and My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra. He’s provided light design for more than 15 shows at Cinnabar, including The Magic Flute, as well as last season’s The Odd Couple, Pagliacci, and the world premiere of Trevor Allen’s One Stone (Einstein). Wayne serves as Cinnabar’s Technical Director.

HowesEllen Howes (Costume Designer) has worked in film, theater, dance, and fashion. While she primarily works as a costume designer, she often designs the props and sets for the projects she works on as well. As a costume designer particularly interested in subtle parody and satire, Ellen hopes to someday work for a sketch comedy series, but has been primarily working in live theater and fashion photo-shoots as of late. An eccentric soul with eclectic tastes, it was only natural that Ellen was drawn to design, a career that allows her to continue to learn and create well after her educational career.

MothersbaughVincent Mothersbaugh (Lighting Designer) is a technical theatre professional specializing in the areas of lighting/scenic design, technical direction and crew management. He has been directly involved in over 75 shows at Sonoma County theaters including SRJC, Sonoma State, Summer Repertory Theatre (SRT), 6th Street Playhouse and Cinnabar Theater. He also has unique work experience in Hydraulic, Pneumatic and Automation systems, Film and Video production, and Graphic Design.

An Air Force veteran, he earned 2 Associate Degrees from the Community College of the Air Force, where he later taught for 5 years, and a BS from the University of Maryland.

Tiffany Brown

Ross Tiffany Brown (Stage Manager) has been working on all facets of technical theater in Sonoma County for the past decade. He received his Bachelors Degree from Sonoma State University. You may have seen him Stage Managing, Set Building, Light Hanging, Sound Crunching, Wall Painting, Note Taking, and Button Pushing for productions at Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma, Spreckels Performing Arts Center in Rohnert Park, The Green Music Center and Sonoma State University’s Department of Performing Arts, Main Stage West in Sebastopol, and various other community theaters.

Pick up your phone and dial 707-763-8920 now so you don’t miss out on this excellent show at Cinnabar Theater. You may have seen David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People in one of the fine productions around the Bay Area already, but this one makes it worth seeing again, with a terrific cast, superb scenic design, and creative staging. The play itself scores high for its rampant humor, intriguing plot, and thoughtful exploration of class divide in America.
Lindsay-Abaire is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rabbit Hole, which was also put on film (starring Nicole Kidman). That was his most naturalistic and dark play at that time, his earlier plays sharing a whimsical, absurdist landscape. Good People is also naturalistic, focused on real people struggling with real issues, but it’s far from dark, and includes laugh-out-loud dialogue and endearing characters.
Margaret Walsh (Sarah McKereghan) lives and works in South Boston (“Southie”), eking out a living at a dollar store while caring for her adult disabled daughter. Like so many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, losing a job spells disaster—so when Stevie (Caleb Noal) fires her, she rapidly spirals downward, facing bleak prospects. Landlady and erstwhile daughter-sitter Dottie (Kate Brickley) threatens to evict her if the rent is late, but best friend Jean (Liz Jahren) brainstorms job ideas to boost her confidence. When Jean reports having seen an old school chum at a Boys Club dinner, Margie is encouraged to approach him for work.|
Not quite that simple, of course—Mike (Nick Sholley) is a high-profile doctor now, having distanced himself successfully from his Southie past, and reluctant to reconnect or even reminisce. Margie nevertheless drops like a bomb into his upper-class life, barging into his home, surprising his wife Kate (Liz Rogers-Beckley), and disrupting his self-image. The plot twists and turns come fast and furious, leaving the audience spinning with questions about where the truth lies.
But more to the play’s point: how is it that some people escape the circumstances of their early life, and others can’t seem to manage it? Is it purely luck? Or fortitude, or talent, or determination? Or what? Americans like to think everyone has equal opportunity to succeed in whatever they choose, but Lindsay-Abaire questions that with the example of Margie and her friends, “unlucky” to a fault, scrabbling to keep a tenuous hold on day-to-day living.
At one point the dialogue almost slips into sitcom-like banter, but suddenly shifts into high gear with serious intent. It never loses its sense of humor, though, with Margie embodying the smart, sarcastic joking style that Southies are known for. If you find yourself rooting for different characters at different points in the play, you will have made the playwright’s point. Any discussion of class issues in America feels like tiptoeing through a minefield. Throw race into the mix, as Lindsay-Abaire deftly does, and you’ve got a conflagration. Keep it this side of humorous, and there’s hope for progress.
McKereghan serves up a delightful, very real character, complex and savvy and determined. Her matter-of-fact delivery perfectly captures the Southie wisecracking style and carries much of the wit. She’s well-matched on stage by the entire ensemble, but especially with Sholley. Their scenes sparkle with chemistry and the memory of a shared past. Jahren is a total hoot as Jean, and Rogers-Beckley perfect as the upscale doctor’s wife. Brickley’s Dottie has a droll outlook and a penchant for blank looks; and Noal’s down-to-earth Stevie maneuvers his way into our hearts.
Director Michael Fontaine keeps the interactions lively, and nails the comedy so that the zingers hit home, but takes the turn into serious matters with a skilled hand. Marvelous scenic design by Wayne Hovey manages numerous locations in surprising realistic fashion, and Vincent Mothersbaugh’s lighting complements beautifully, with nice gobo touches. There’s no credit for sound design in the program, but the choice of music is affecting, and I loved the voiceover bingo. And who was responsible for those beauteous bunnies? Kudos to Brickley for natural-sounding dialects. Costume design by Ellen Howes elucidates character and status—what a difference between Margie and Kate.
It’s an extraordinary play from a towering American talent, and Cinnabar has given it an outstanding staging. Definitely a don’t miss.
–Jeanie K. Smith, Talkin’ Broadway

Humor and heartbreak in “exemplary” ‘Good People’
In an impoverished South Boston neighborhood, living paycheck to paycheck, Margaret loses her job, prompting a furious quest to find employment. This is the set-up of David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Good People,” which opened a three weekend run last Friday at Petaluma’s Cinnabar Theater. In the play, Margaret’s unfiltered commentary is often harsh and sometime duplicitous, formed by a reality where it is normal to claw and struggle through life.
In one powerful speech, Margaret (Sarah McKereghan) rants against the accusation that her choices caused the poverty she is trapped in, passionately listing the chain reaction caused by having no capital to draw on, leading to an endless cycle of poverty — unless exterior opportunities break through.
Playwright Lindsay-Abaire’s detailed portraits of “Southies” are not the gangsters or criminals we often see in dramas about Boston. In “Good People,” they are, indeed, good, ordinary people — stamping bingo cards while gossiping, or gathering in the kitchen for coffee and a laugh. The acting ensemble, under dialect coach Kate Brickley (also a member of the cast), recreates the signature accent with few slips and natural ease.
Director Michael Fontaine has clearly studied the structure of the play, giving meticulous instruction regarding shifting intentions of the characters. In one scene, Margaret clasps her purse, shoulders slumped protectively when she enters the action, based on false pretenses, and drops the bag to sit confidently as power shifts toward her side.
Exemplary actors Liz Jahren (Jean) and Kate Brickley (Dottie) form Margaret’s bulwark of friends. Slouching her way through vulgar quips, Jean encourages a series of terrible ideas for finding a job, insisting that Margaret ask for employment from an ex-boyfriend who has not seen her in years. Dottie, pragmatic and fiercely protective of her hobby crafting googly eyed styrofoam rabbits, insists that Margaret needs to find a way to pay her rent.
Costume designer Ellen Howes enjoys a nod to the character’s idiosyncrasies, giving Dottie a pastel sweater covered in embroidered Easter eggs.
Margaret’s desperation to find employment is fueled by a desire to provide for her developmentally disabled daughter. Partnering with Alchemia Gallery on Kentucky Street, the Cinnabar lobby features lively, expressive paintings that support creativity of individuals with disabilities such as autism and cerebral palsy. In her day job, cast member Jahren works with clients to share experiences and stories, giving them a voice in society through the arts.
Having successfully escaped the poverty of his childhood, Mike (Nick Sholley) — the former boyfriend — is now comfortably situated in his Chestnut Hill estate when Margaret arrives to shake up his paradise with unwelcome demands. Their passive-aggressive posturing leads to an awkward invitation to his home, through Margaret’s skillful maneuvering and “lace curtain Irish” accusations guilting him into cooperating. Wayne Hovey’s clever set design of sliding panels transitions between disparate locations, from a mud splattered brick alley to Mike’s minimalist chic living room, where Kate (Liz Rogers-Beckley) welcomes the unexpected intruder with openhearted sincerity.
Comedic exchanges occur through everyday situations, such as Mike’s disparaging remarks about a cheese platter resembling a “wedge of moldy basement,” and Dottie’s horror when Stevie (Caleb Noal) refuses to purchase a gaudy rabbit decoration for his apartment. The flowing humor stutters to a halt with a recurring theme of casual racism, called out by other characters in a lackadaisical manner, as if they are in on the joke. Margaret’s insistence that she is not racist, while constantly demonstrating otherwise, is chilling in the current political climate.
“Good People” is an astute observation of class identity in the United States, with an exemplary ensemble drawing out touches of humor, heartache and well-intentioned deceit.
–Alexa Chipman, Argus Courier


 

Good People…is the tale of Margie (Sarah McKereghan), a down-on-her-luck Boston “Southie” who some would say has made a string of bad choices in life, though Margie herself might say she never had any to make. At the encouragement of her friend Jean (Liz Jahren), she attempts to reconnect with her old boyfriend Mike (Nick Sholley), now a doctor who long ago abandoned the projects of South Boston.
Margie, for whom the term “pushy” is an understatement, wrangles an invitation to a birthday party for Mike being thrown by his wife (Liz Rogers-Beckley, reprising the role from the Left Edge production), where she hopes to connect with someone who can offer her a job, but then the party is canceled. Or is it? Margie’s gonna find out. It does not go well.
Funny, bleak and utterly real, Good People will have you nodding your head in recognition.
Rating (out of 5):★★★★
–Harry Duke, The Bohemian

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Kate Brickley, Sarah McKereghan, Liz Jahren and Caleb Noal

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Sarah McKereghan and Caleb Noal

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Liz Jahren and Sarah McKereghan

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Liz Jahren, Sarah McKereghan and Kate Brickley

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Kate Brickley

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Liz Jahren, Sarah McKereghan and Kate Brickley

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Nick Sholley and Sarah McKereghan

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Liz Rogers-Beckley

Photos by Victoria Vonthal