Herald-Whig

‘Good People' explores difficult situation

Jennifer Fray, Ann Pfaffe and Doris Malacarne act in a scene of the play Good People during a dress rehearsal at the Quincy Community Theater Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2018. The play will open on Sep. 13. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
Jake Shane 1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 12, 2018 11:15 am

QUINCY -- Admittedly, Brandon Thomsen says "Good People" is a different kind of project for Quincy Community Theatre.

"It is relevant to our time and relevant to Quincy," said Thomsen, artistic director of the play that will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, and Saturday, Sept. 22, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23.

In the play, Margaret (Jennifer Fray) loses her job and is on the verge of homelessness. Margaret goes to her high school sweetheart, Mike (James Riley), who is now a successful doctor, in hopes of finding a job. The show goes on to discuss how choices and circumstances play a role in determining life outcomes.

The production contains strong language, which Thomsen said is authentic to the story, and is set in contemporary Boston.

"Good People" was a Broadway production in 2011.

"It explores a lot of ideas through some tough characters in south Boston," Thomsen said.

A cast of only six actors, plus a seventh for voiceovers, is designed to provide an intimate experience for the audience.

"It's different, that's for sure," Thomsen said. "This should appeal to different age groups, and doesn't target any certain (genre)."

The cast for "Good People" includes Fray, Riley, Thomas Gooding, Doris Malacarne, Ann Pfaffe and Chaka Batley. Glenn Boettger will provide the voiceover material.

Thomsen thinks the strong language adds to the play's relevancy and also has sparked "a lot of conversation."

Thomsen said the core of the play deals with "how we think about our fellow man, (possibly) without knowing their story."

Riley, who is a local pastor, discusses "Good People" on the Quincy Community Theatre's website, 1qct.org.

"So, should everyone see the play Good People? Yes -- as long as it does not cause you to violate your conscience, and, for young people, you believe they are prepared to hear harsh language and have a discussion about it, if necessary," Riley wrote. "Why should everyone come? ... For me, a great story is one that leads me to see my life and other people and my relationships and even my faith in a new light. Can a play with swearing in it do that? Yes it can, and it did for me.

"These characters are very human and they make good and bad choices, and they suffer the consequences and reap the rewards."

Thomsen will address the audience before the performance. After each performance there will be an exchange between the cast and audience.

"This is a story worth talking about," Thomsen said.