A Celebration of All Things Cultural, Artistic, and Entertaining in Madison
Apr 3, 2013
03:23 PM

Hard Times, Tough Decisions in ‘Good People’

Hard Times, Tough Decisions in ‘Good People’

For the final show of its fourth season, Forward Theater Company travels to Boston’s Southie neighborhood with Good People.

In this Tony-nominated play by South Boston native David Lindsay-Abaire, life is tough for most residents, including Margie Walsh, a single mother who’s just been fired from her job at a discount store. Desperate, she reaches out to an old boyfriend who long ago left the neighborhood and has become a successful doctor.

Actress and Forward company manager Celia Klehr plays the role of Margie’s friend Jean. She answered a few questions about the show.

What made you interested in this play?

Especially in Madison, theater is part of the community. We were all going through tough economic times [during the recession], no matter where you were on the strata. I asked for a play dealing with that. When Good People came along, I just fell in love with it.

Tell me about your character.

Jean is Margie’s loud-mouthed friend from Southie. This woman’s a fighter. What I love about this play is the skills [the characters] have are street smarts and fight—and Jean really personifies this. She gets back up and gets back up.

How are you approaching the role?

I come from a lower economic strata. I lived on this level day to day. I know this world and I know these people.

The playwright came from this also. It’s not false.

So the play rings true to life?

I think it’s spot on—the humor, the crassness, the way they smack you in the eyes with what they think is true. The language and the way [Lindsay-Abaire] put it down is so true.

Have you had to develop a Boston accent?

Of course—and it’s a real pain! Push too far and you go to Brooklyn. Come back too far and you’re in Chicago.

What have you enjoyed most about this play?

Just saying the words. It’s an incredible script and a very special story. My first reaction is to laugh, but at the same time I’m gasping.

What do you hope audiences get from seeing the play?

I want them to think, “Hey, that’s me and than you for telling this and making me laugh” or “You’ve opened my eyes—you and I are facing the same problems.”

I’m hoping we can all come together and talk about issues with humanity and love. That’s the whole point of theater.

Good People runs April 4–21. For more information, visit forwardtheater.com.

Photo of Laura Gordon as Margie courtesy of Forward Theater Company.

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About This Blog

As managing editor at Madison Magazine, I'm also an unabashed arts enthusiast. Paintings, plays, music, movies—I'm intrigued by all forms of creative expression. I enjoy talking with artists and sharing their insights, challenges, inspirations and latest endeavors. Check in regularly for details on events, previews and reviews, artist interviews and more! 

– Katie Vaughn
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