Theatre department brings Boston comedy to Florence

by Associate Life Editor Monday Sanderson

The Theatre Department will perform David Lindsay-Abaire’s comedy “Good People” in the George Lindsey Theatre starting March 11 at 7:30 p.m. with student tickets costing $5.

There are multiple opportunities for people to watch the play. The group performs March 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 starting at 7:30 p.m. and March 13 and 20 starting at 2:00 p.m.

The play first premiered in 2011 and takes place in south Boston.

“It’s about a woman who loses her job and, out of desperation, tries to reconnect with a friend from childhood who is now a famous doctor,” said Assistant Professor of Theatre Charlton James. “She visits his office hoping to get employment, and he turns her down.”

Sophomore Kelley Riddle plays the main character Margie Walsh. Riddle said it has been an interesting experience working as the character.

“This was my first time playing a major role in a play,” she said. “So, the whole time I was just growing and growing as a performer. I have grown to like this character a lot more than I did in the beginning.”

James said the play covers themes, which are important for people to know.

“When I read it, it really spoke to me,” he said. “It actually hits on a lot of current issues as far as what it means to be an American and the separation of the 1 percent from the rest of society.”

Senior Elizabeth Long plays Margie’s friend Jean. Long said the play also covers the topics of interracial marriage and poverty.

James said he chose this production because it was time for the theatre program to do a contemporary play.

“We try to rotate the type of plays we do so that students have the opportunity to work on a play in different styles and genres,” he said. “This was one of the first plays I read, and it was the most produced play in 2014. So, that drew my attention to the fact that it must be a relevant play.”

This play will provide students to become aware of other people’s situations, said freshman Eric Bjork, understudy for senior Taylor McPeters.

“It helps you understand people who are in similar situations,” Bjork said. “Some people will tell a homeless person to ‘get a job,’ but this shows how difficult it is to get a job. There’s not really a bad guy in the play. The antagonist is the situation.”

James said the group will perform for seven days to practice for their careers.

“When you are doing a play at a professional theatre, those plays typically run for a month if not longer,” he said. “It’s to give them an opportunity to see what it’s like to do an opening weekend of a play, take a few days off and then have to come back and do it again.”

Riddle said her favorite part of performing in the play was working on the character’s accent.

“The dialect was the biggest challenge for all of us,” she said. “Most of us have lived in Alabama for most of our lives, so we have that southern accent. We had to look up videos to see how their words are translated phonetically.”

Long said she is happy to end her last year at UNA with this group of performers.

“My favorite part was working with these guys,” she said. “It’s really special for me to work on this great play with good people. I’m glad I’ve had the chance to work with them. I learned so much from them.”