Paul’s Pick of the Week: Centre Stage’s Fringe Series show, “Good People,” June 18-19 and 25-26.
Why you should go: David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Good People” explores what it really means to be working-class and down on your luck in America.
Margie, a tough-talking woman from South Boston, has just been fired from her job at a dollar store. She and her adult disabled daughter are close to living on the street.
“The story illuminates the struggles of the have-nots,” said Miranda Barnett, the director of “Good People.”
“We’re following the life of someone who is truly in dire circumstance,” Barnett said. “She can’t get a leg up, she can’t get ahead.”
When Margie learns that her high school boyfriend, Mike, is back in town, she drops by to see him, hoping for some employment leads. He’s also a Southie, but he has escaped the old neighborhood and became a successful doctor.
Their meeting sets up a cultural clash.
Privilege and poverty: The play looks at “social class, privilege, poverty, and the wide economic divide,” Barnett said. “It’s very easy for a person of privilege to point a finger and say, ‘You made bad choices.’ That is just not the case. We see this played out in Margie’s story. She is not just making lazy choices. There’s a domino effect in her life of unfortunate events.”
The six-person “Good People” also considers how there can be “suppression within the culture, how we actively keep some people down,” Barnett said.
The 2011 play speaks to our contemporary moment: how the American economy has rewarded the highly skilled but left many people behind, Barnett said.
It’s also a beautifully written and often funny play, she said.
“The dialogue is exquisite, the story is compelling, and we have an excellent group of actors,” Barnett said.
Theatergoers should note: The play includes some strong language.
Join Paul Hyde for Pizza With Paul, a talkback featuring the director and cast of “Good People” – and free pizza — after the Wednesday, June 26, performance of the play. Follow Paul on Facebook and Twitter @PaulHyde7.
If you go
- What: “Good People” by David Lindsay-Abaire, part of Centre Stage’s Fringe Series
- When: 7 p.m. June 18-19 and 25-26
- Where: Centre Stage, 501 River St., Greenville
- Tickets: $15
- Info: 864-233-6733 or centrestage.org