“In the Woods” by Jill Zasadny

March 27th, 2015 No comments »

by Jill Zasadny

Having seen Into the Woods for the first time at Lyric Arts, I did a lot of thinking about the woods, Sondheim’s analogous place of danger, turmoil, and change. A place we’ve all been, though few willingly. But it occurred to me, due to “circumstances beyond my control,” that I feel that I have lost the ability to move. There feels no longer any way to “go into,” nor to “go out of.” I am simply “in the woods.” Of course it isn’t at all true: I got here; I can leave, right? Maybe.  But the woods are my abuser and protector alike, yet inflicting pain and shielding me from others who would do the same. Is there a place for me where I am not treed?  I fear meadow and forest alike. Feeling paralyzed, here, in the woods.

Is anyone here with me?
Trees are the scapegoats of confusion,
Banding together,
as is their wont,
And casting shadow over might what otherwise seem clear.
They do not favor the straight path, the quick run.
They passively enforce circumlocution.

I live here, in the woods:
A coerced convert to Druidism, I pray for release

and protection alike.
They know, as I have resisted knowing,
that raised from the woods, I can never assimilate to the plains.
I am an orphan renegade.
Restless in the woods.
And at home here too.
I hand pushed up from the earth a wanton seed,
probably too shaded,
too shallow in my birth place,
too thirsty.

And sunlight comes in fingers here,
Pointing with Nazi nonchalance,Woods3

“You live.
You live.

You don’t.”

Living in the woods is an uneasy sleep.
I sense its heartbeat,Woods4
She does not rock me to rest,
But waits for my unconsciousness.

We pretend that we can build places of safety,
but we all live here in the woods,
where wild creatures fly and flee and flesh-feed.
For the trees have slowed us;
the trees have shown us that life is here,
without walls or halls or haloes.
Equal to the lowest life…
and certain of the same cycle.






In the Woods.


Copyright © 2015 Jill Zasadny. Used with permission of the author.


Jill Zasadny

Jill Zasadny earned her PhD in English from the University of Kansas in 2005. Her work has been published in various editions of poetry; her doctoral work about the foundress of Benedictinism in this country put into original song. She currently teaches at St. Cloud State University and Western Governors University.

Announcing our 2015-2016 season!

March 3rd, 2015 4 comments »

Last night we unveiled our 2015-2016 season, and we couldn’t be more excited! Keep an eye out for more information coming soon about season tickets and more, here on our website and on our Facebook page. We’ve got big things in store and we can’t wait to move forward with you!


The Explorer’s Club | September 11—27, 2015

By Nell Benjamin

Directed by: Matt McNabb, Resident Director

The place is London, 1879. The prestigious Explorer’s Club is in crisis: their acting president wants to admit a woman, and their bartender is terrible. True, this female candidate is brilliant, beautiful, and has discovered a legendary Lost City, but the decision to let in a woman could shake the very foundation of the British Empire, and how do you make such a decision without a decent drink? Grab your safety goggles for some very mad science involving deadly cobras, irate Irishmen and the occasional airship.

First performed in the summer of 2013 at the Manhattan Theatre Club II, The Explorer’s Club is a freewheeling farce lauded by Variety as “wildly funny” and “comic gold” by the New York Post. A rare comedy that fulfills its mandate: to do nothing more than make you laugh–and it surely will.

Spitfire Grill | October 16—November 1, 2015

By Fred Alley, James Valq, and Lee David Zoltoff

Directed by: Scott Ford, Resident Director

Percy Talbott, a feisty parolee, follows her dreams from the pages of an old travel book to a small town in Wisconsin and finds a place for herself working at Hannah’s Spitfire Grill. It is for sale, but there are no takers for the only eatery in the depressed town. Newcomer Percy suggests to Hannah that she raffle it off. Entry fees are one hundred dollars and the best essay on why one would want the grill wins. Soon, mail is arriving by the wheelbarrow full and things are definitely cookin’.

The New Yorker called it “touching and memorable,” while Variety proclaims “Poignant and spine-chilling! A show with universal appeal! The score is exciting, infectious, and lively!” This soulful and transcendent musical is full of soaring melodies, sure to send you home feeling warm all over.

From Home for the Holidays | November 20—December 20, 2015

By John Patrick Bray

Directed by: Daniel Ellis

Stay tuned for more details about this exciting holiday show—one that will not only be a world premiere piece, but one written especially for Lyric Arts!

“Mainly for Kids Production”: Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas | December 3—19, 2015

By Laurie Brooks

Directed by: Kari Steinbach

In their poorest winter ever, when the crops have been devastated by locusts and the family must deal with the death of baby Freddie, Charles Ingalls backtracks his family to Burr Oak, Iowa, to take over the running of a hotel. When wealthy Mrs. Starr asks for Laura as a companion to read to her in the afternoons, Laura is overjoyed to be invited into such a fine house, but when she overhears Mrs. Starr offer to adopt Laura, she is certain that Ma and Pa will give her up to look after the other children. As Christmas morning approaches, Laura is faced with a decision: Will she choose what she believes is best for the family or will she find a way to stay with Pa, Ma, Mary and Carrie?

This original play presents the poignant story of the “missing” two years in the life of the Ingalls family—the only substantial period that Laura chose not to write about in her Little House books. A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas tells a story of healing that celebrates the importance of enduring family bonds.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee | January 8—25, 2016

By Rebecca Feldman, Music by Jay Reiss, Book by Rachel Sheinkin

Directed by: To Be Announced

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home life, the tweens spell their way through a series of [potentially made-up] words hoping to never hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.

Using competition to define themselves from their crazy families and struggling to escape childhood, their search is overseen by grown-ups who never completely succeeded in escaping it themselves. A nominee for six Tony awards in 2005, and winner of two, this delightful comedy is fast-paced and loved by many.

“Theater for Young Performers” Production: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland | February 19—28, 2016

By Deborah Lynn Frockt (Adapted from the original works of Lewis Carroll)

Directed by: Cassandra Proball

It’s a very ordinary and rather boring day for Alice until she spots a White Rabbit with a pocket watch whizzing through a world that’s beyond imagination! Her insatiable curiosity draws her into a madcap adventure in which she meets remarkable characters like the Caterpillar, Talking Flowers, a Duchess and her Cook, a Gryphon and Mock Turtle, a Mad Hatter and a March Hare. When Alice finally catches up with the White Rabbit in the Queen’s Court, she’s in for her biggest adventure of all. In its inaugural year, this “Theater for Young Performers” production is a journey through the wonder-filled world of Alice and a delight for the adventurous of any age.

Shrek the Musical | March 18—April 22, 2016

By David Lindsay-Abaire, Music by Jeanine Tesori

Directed by Matt McNabb, Resident Director

Music Direction by Louis Berg-Arnold

In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre — not a handsome prince — shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won’t shut up, a bad guy with a SHORT temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand…and his name is Shrek.

Based on the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks film that started it all, Shrek The Musical brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to dazzling life in an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza to the stage.

Anatomy of Gray | April 22—May 8, 2016

by Jim Lenard, Jr.

Directed by Scott Ford, Resident Director

The award-winning author of The DivinersAnd They Dance Real Slow in Jackson, and Crow and Weasel describes his newest play as “A children’s story for adults.” When June’s father dies, she prays for a healer to come to the small town of Gray, so that no one will ever suffer again; the next thing she knows, there’s a tornado, and a man in a balloon blows into town claiming to be a doctor.

At first, the new doctor cures anything and everything, but soon the town’s preacher takes ill with a mysterious plague. And then the plague begins to spread. Set in Indiana during the late 1800’s, Anatomy of Gray explores death, loss, love, and healing in a unique coming of age story.

The Odd Couple | June 3—19, 2016

By Neil Simon

Directed by Christine Karki

It’s a night of cards at Oscar Madison’s apartment. And if the mess is any indication, it’s no wonder that his wife left him. Late to arrive is Felix Unger, who has just been separated from his wife. Fastidious, depressed and none too tense, Felix seems suicidal, but as the action unfolds Oscar becomes the one with murder on his mind when the clean-freak and the slob ultimately decide to room together and hilarity ensues.

Following its premiere on Broadway in 1965, and giving birth to a successful film and television series of the same name, The Odd Couple offers some of the funniest dialogue ever written and is a laugh a second in this hit Broadway play.

Nice Work If You Can Get It | July 8—August 7, 2016

By Joe DiPietro Music by Gershwin & Gershwin

Directed by Adrian Balbontin

It’s the Roaring Twenties and a cast of outrageous characters gather in New York to celebrate the wedding of wealthy playboy Jimmy Winter. But things don’t go as planned when the playboy meets Billie Bendix, a bubbly and feisty bootlegger who melts his heart.

The champagne flows and the gin fizzes in the hilarious, Tony®-winning musical comedy complete with extravagant dance numbers, glittering costumes and an unlikely love story. Featuring a treasure trove of George and Ira Gershwin’s most beloved, instantly recognizable hits, including, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “Fascinating Rhythm,” it’s a sparkling tale with laughter, romance and high-stepping Broadway magic!

Dig Deeper – Q & A with James Howe

April 30th, 2015 No comments »

The Scholastic Books website has lots of wonderful information about their published books and authors, including James Howe.  Here are just a few questions for Mr. Howe from his readers and his answers…

james howe

James Howe, author of the chapter book Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery

Why did you become an author?
I became an author because I love words. I enjoyed playing with them when I was a kid, writing stories and plays, and doing whatever I could think to do with words. I kept my love of them growing up and still love to see what they can do.

What inspired you to write the Bunnicula series?
Debbie [the late Mrs. Howe] and I loved vampire movies. This was in the 1970s when there were a lot of vampire movies shown on late night TV and we stayed up late many a night. Some of them were a lot sillier than they were scary. I don’t remember the moment when the character Bunnicula came into my head. I suspect it came from the asking the question, “What’s the silliest, least likely vampire I can imagine?” It was never intended to be a series; it just grew out of the first book. I loved writing about those characters so much, particularly Harold, so I continued the story.

Is there anything that you really hoped people would notice or think about when they read this story?
I would hope they laugh a lot. I did have a young reader write to me years ago that what she learned from the book was to accept other people’s differences the way that Harold accepted Bunnicula into the home. And I liked that. That’s become a theme in much of my work and it’s interesting that it might have unintentionally been a theme in my first book.

Cassandra Proball NEW SQ

Dig Deeper articles written by Cassandra Proball  Education Director

What advice would you give a student that wants to be a writer?
Two words: read . . . write. Reading is the best way to learn to write, but the way to get better and better as a writer, is to write, write, write. Write what matters to you, write what makes you laugh, write what makes you cry, write in order to get a reaction from the reader, write because you have to, and write because it is fun for you.

“Bunnicula” Audience Review—Roxy Orcutt

April 28th, 2015 No comments »

By Roxy Orcutt

When I saw Bunnicula up on the marquee at Lyric Arts, I may have let out a little squeal.  The Bunnicula books were one of my favorites when I was a kid, how could they not be?  A not-so-scary vampire bunny that sucked the juice from vegetables rather than the blood from humans was downright delightful.  I was curious as to see how the books would translate to the stage, and Lyric Arts did not disappoint.

The moment Harold the dog opened the show, played wonderfully by Sarah Frazier, I knew this production was going to do the Bunnicula I grew up with justice.  Harold, and his housemate, Chester the cat, played with such perfect feline precision by Brianna Regan, live comfortably with their humans, the Monroes, in suburban bliss.  One night, however, when the Monroe’s come home from seeing a movie and bring back a wayward bunny, Harold and Chester’s lives go from napping on couches and eating table scraps to investigating the unexplained, as only a dog and cat can.

Harold and Chester soon realize this bunny isn’t any ordinary bunny, he’s something downright supernatural.  Through their instincts and a few of Chester’s books, the pair come to the conclusion that Bunnicula lives up to his bloodsucking namesake.

While Harold, Chester, and the Monroes, are all played by a phenomenal cast of humans, (Mr. and Mrs. Monroe, played by Bailey Hess and Jason Stone, are particularly hysterical in their straight-outta-the-vintage-sitcoms Mom and Dad) Bunnicula is brought to life by the use of puppetry.  When Bunnicula goes into vampire mode, his eyes glow red and his fangs come out in full force, but not too scary to illicit nothing more than giggles from the mostly-kids audience.

Sarah Frazier (left) as Harold the dog and Brianna Regan (right) as Chester the cat. Bunnicula, the puppet, played by Tara Martinson (far right).


One of the best elements of the play was the music and lighting.  We are taken through several days as the play unfolded, all communicated through the great use of light and musical cues.  There is one piece of music used just off-stage to a great foreboding, and humorous, effect that may have been my favorite part of the play.

I was downright charmed by this entire production.  I brought along my four-year-old daughter whose eyes never left the stage and has since told everyone we see about the vampire bunny that turns the vegetables white.  I would recommend this play to all ages.  Like I mentioned, the audience was filled with mostly children, and not a single one of them seemed to lose interest or get antsy during the rapid-fire, entertaining 70 minute production.

Roxy Orcutt, The Halloween Honey, is a local author and theater enthusiast. Her book, “History and Hauntings of the Halloween Capital,” explores Anoka, MN, its spooky tales, colorful characters, and why it is named the “Halloween Capital of the World.” It is available for sale online at www.HalloweenHoney.com.

Roxy Orcutt

Roxy Orcutt

Cabaret 2015: Cast Interview with Brad Bone

April 24th, 2015 No comments »

Brad Bone

Brad Bone returned to Lyric Arts after a 10 year hiatus from the stage, but after making that comeback in our production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” Brad found  himself juggling multiple roles after being cast in both “Young Frankenstein” and “A Christmas Carol—A Ghost Story of Christmas.” Featured recently in the Star Tribune, Brad spoke about acting as “a way to eat” and finds Lyric Arts to be “the outlet I’ve been looking for.”

We’re very excited to have Brad Bone as a part of our upcoming Cabaret. Described by Resident Director, Matt McNabb as “such a warm person, you’re predisposed to like him,” we agree, it’d be hard not to. We interviewed Brad about his time with Lyric Arts. Here’s what he shared with us.

LA: How did you become familiar with Lyric Arts?

BB: I’ve driven by many times. One day I saw an audition posting for a show that got me to finally pull over. I’m so thankful I did.

LA: How would your life be different if it wasn’t for Lyric Arts?

BB: Without Lyric Arts, I would be living in a rut of structure. Lyric Arts gives me the outlet to explore and be creative.

LA: Why do you choose to share your passion on this stage?

BB: Honestly, for me, it started with location. But what has kept me here is the people and the opportunity to be working in a theater that is growing so fast as well known brand in Minnesota and has the real talent to back it up.

LA: What moment are you really looking forward to this year for Cabaret?

BB: I am really looking forward to a lyrical dance piece that I’m doing with Katherine Storm. It is a far cry from my character roles and has some great challenging lifts that we’re excited to pull off.

LA: What’s been your very favorite number to perform in your acting and singing career so far?

BB: At lyric arts, my only song I’ve really done was the song “Someone” as the Hermit in Young Frankenstein.

LA: Describe a favorite bonding moment with someone at Lyric Arts

BB: There is not one particular “bonding” moment, but I have found that the theater world is a small one. I have run into so many friends or friends of friends from other times in my life. It is great how Lyric Arts brings so many people back together. Way better than Facebook…as I’m not a social media fan.

LA: How and when did you decide to pursue a career in performing arts?

BB: I wish I had a “career” in performing arts, meaning that I didn’t have to go to a “real” job. My first attempt at anything in the performing arts was my senior year in High School. That opportunity opened the door to a BFA in Duluth.

LA: What other hidden talents might lurk below the surface?

BB: it’s a mystery.

LA: If you could live in any time period, when would it be and why?

BB: No better time than the present.

LA: If you could star in any film, which would you choose and who would you play?

BB: Steve Martin in The Jerk!

LA: What are your favorite musicals?

BB: Honestly, I’m not really a musical actor, so I usually don’t watch them. Being in Young Frank was awesome, and it seemed funny, butt I wish I could have seen it.

LA: Let people know what it feels like to spend your time and talents at Lyric Arts. Any stories that help describe this?

BB: I only want to say that I love every moment I get to spend here, but life is a balancing act between roles on the stage and roles as a husband and father.

Dig Deeper – Bunnicula Opens Tomorrow!

April 23rd, 2015 No comments »

Bunnicula sneaking up on a sleeping Harold and Chester

Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery opens tomorrow night and we’re so excited to once again show off the talents of puppet designer Gabriel Gomez.  There are only 9 performances of this wonderful show, so make sure you get your tickets early!  Also, don’t miss our family-friendly tradition of pre-show word games, puzzles, and coloring pages for the first weekend performances on this Saturday, April 25th.  See you at the show!

Cabaret 2015: Cast Interview with Hannah Weinberg

April 21st, 2015 No comments »

Hannah Weinberg

Hannah Weinberg has been in several productions at Lyric Arts, with her last performance as Edith in Noël Coward’s “Blithe Spirit.” She has provided choreography for past Cabaret Fundraisers and returns this year to choreograph and perform in our 16th annual Cabaret.

LA: How did you become familiar with Lyric Arts?

Hannah: I auditioned for Hairspray and was offered my dream role of Penny Pingleton.

LA: How would your life be different if it wasn’t for Lyric Arts?

Hannah: I wouldn’t have met my boyfriend. We met in a show here at Lyric and have been together ever since. He’s the best thing in my life and I am thankful to have met here.

LA: Why do you choose to share your passions on this stage?

Hannah: The people! It’s a gift when you can share a stage with your best friends. At Lyric Arts it feels like you are part of a community and something very special.

LA: What moment are you really looking forward to this year for Cabaret?

Hannah: There are a few moments I am excited for. I have two numbers I choreographed and they are going to be amazing! But the moment I think I am really looking forward to is the song I get to sing. Our audiences will be seeing a different side to me and I am excited to share that on this stage.

LA: What’s been your favorite number to perform in your acting and singing career so far?

Hannah: This is a difficult question to answer, but I think if I had to choose one it would be a choral arrangement of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. I am very emotionally connected to it. 

LA: Describe a favorite bonding experience with someone at Lyric Arts.

Hannah: I am not sure I can pick just one, but during “Hairspray” Reese Britts and I thought that Penny and Seaweed should have a totally awesome handshake. At every rehearsal we added a new part to the handshake. It is about 40 seconds long, but it is really awesome. 

LA: How and when did you decide to pursue a career in performing arts?

Hannah: Performing arts has always been apart of my life since I was born. I live and breathe on a stage. There has been nothing else that I have been as passionate about. I believe that in life you only get a few things that you truly love and when those things present themselves you should do everything you can to keep them apart of your life. 

LA: What other hidden talents might lurk below the surface?

Hannah: I can impersonate almost every female Disney character out there. I speak four languages other than English. I make some mean truffles. 

LA: If you could live in any time period, when would it be and why?

Hannah: I would probably say the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s. I like the idea of living in a simpler time. Not so disconnected from the world by electronics and social media, with no distractions when having dinner or a conversation.

LA: If you could star in any film, which would you choose and who would you play?

Hannah: That’s a question with many possible answers. I would say “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and I would love to play Audrey Hepburn’s character Holly Golightly. 

LA: What are your favorite musicals?

Hannah: Les Miserables, Singing In the Rain, Ragtime, Jekyll and Hyde, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Bonnie and Clyde, 1776, Next to Normal, Mary Poppins, Funny Girl, West Side Story, Hairspray, Chicago, Oklahoma…too many others to name. 

LA: If people asked what it feels like to spend time and talents at Lyric Arts, what would you tell them?

Hannah: It’s exciting! They think outside of the box with their shows and try to do something different. Everyone working there is extremely talented in what they do, and everyone is doing it because they love it. I am honored to be a part of it! 

Cabaret 2015: Cast Interview with Patrick Jones

April 17th, 2015 No comments »

Patrick Jones

Patrick Jones’ first interactions with Lyric Arts began with Rent, at the end of our 2013-2014 season. We’ve very proud to have him back on the Main Street Stage for our 16th Annual Cabaret Fundraiser. We caught up with him to get a little bit better feel for the man behind the performance, a theme we’ll definitely explore in this year’s Cabaret. We want to provide an inside glimpse into the lives of the talent that chooses to perform at Lyric Arts. And on this very sunny, warm mid-April afternoon, we’ll start with Patrick.

LA: How did you become familiar with Lyric Arts?

Patrick: I auditioned for RENT and was awarded the role of Tom Collins. 

LA: How would your life be different if it wasn’t for Lyric Arts?

Patrick: I would definitely not be as fulfilled—musically and emotionally. Lyrics Arts gave me another chance to share my love of theater. 

LA: Why do you choose to share your passion on this stage?

Patrick: The people! I auditioned to be in RENT. I came back because I fell in love the people and the culture that is Lyric Arts. 

LA: What moment are you really looking forward to this year for Cabaret?

Patrick: Stepping out onto the Main Street stage and being greeted post-show by the loyal members of the Lyrics Arts community. 

LA: What’s been your very favorite number to perform in your acting and singing career so far?

Patrick: I’ll Cover You-Reprise from RENT. I am always overcome with emotion by the sense of heartbreak that is present in that piece. 

LA: Describe a favorite bonding moment with someone at Lyric Arts

Patrick: I’m not sure I can pick just one. I had the chance to have a lunch date, post RENT, with two of my favorite people, Nykeigh Larson and James Ehlenz. They were two people that welcomed me to Lyric Arts right away and I am so thankful for that! 

LA: How and when did you decide to pursue a career in performing arts?

Patrick: I wouldn’t call it a career. I wish I could!! I have just always had the itch to be on stage and share my passion with others. 

LA: What other hidden talents might lurk below the surface?

Patrick: I am an accomplished swing dancer and can still do a lot of the fancy lifts. 

LA: If you could live in any time period, when would it be and why?

Patrick: I would have to say the 40’s or 50’s. It was a simpler time that wasn’t so dominated by social media. I feel like they were able to have more meaningful, face-to-face conversations without so many distractions. Call me old fashioned! 

LA: If you could star in any film, which would you choose and who would you play?

Patrick: This is a very loaded question considering that I am major film buff. I would have to say Kevin Spacey’s character “Verbal” in the film “The Usual Suspects.”

LA: What are your favorite musicals?

Patrick: Next to Normal, Jekyll and Hyde, Spring Awakening, Les Miserables, Once

LA: If people asked what it feels like to spend your time and talents at Lyric Arts, what would you say?

Patrick: It is a wonderful community that is way more talented than it gets credit for. The amount of work that goes into each production is amazing and I am so honored to be a part of it! Every time I step foot into the building, I am overwhelmed with excitement! 

See all your favorites at Cabaret!

April 8th, 2015 No comments »

Hello fans of Lyric Arts!

We recently announced the cast of our 16th annual Cabaret! We wanted to make sure you didn’t miss the fun, funny, and talented slate of some of your favorites from the Lyric Arts stage!

Make sure you don’t miss out on this evening of joy and fun-filled excitement as performers sing, dance, and bring their heart and soul to the stage. Cabaret is our opportunity to celebrate everything that is Lyric Arts and all that’s required now…is YOU!


Our silent auction is already filling with some fantastic prizes, a wine and beer reception, delectable desserts, and all your favorites on the Main Street Stage!

Our 16th Annual Cabaret Cast


We can’t wait for you to see what we have in store for this year’s Cabaret! Make sure you grab your tickets now! Plenty of great seats remain including table seating up close and personal right on the Main Street Stage!

We’ll see you there!

Dig Deeper – Swinging the Set

April 1st, 2015 No comments »

The Lyric Arts production of Good People closes this Saturday, April 4th and it’s the last chance to check out the rotating set design by Eric Gustafson.  The construction is based on the periaktoi, one of the oldest theatrical devices used for multiple rapid scene changes.  A typical periaktoi – from the Greek word meaning “revolving” – consists of a revolving solid triangular prism made of wood.  A different scene is painted on each face, so that, by revolving the periaktoi, you can quickly change locations.

Good People (Church Basement) 121514The set for Good People looks a bit like a square divided into four equal triangles centered around a doorway.  As the actors and crew rotate the set, the location changes from an alley to a doctor’s office to a kitchen to a living room.  Check out this initial ground plan – a bird’s eye view of the set – and see it in action this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Cassandra Proball NEW SQ

Cassandra Proball, Education Director



Dig Deeper – Class and Conscience in America

March 25th, 2015 No comments »

Class is something I know about.  I’ve lived it every day of my life, and it shaped me in my identity.  — David Lindsay-Abaire

In 2005, The New York Times issued a special section entitled “Class Matters,” in which “a team of reporters spent more than a year exploring ways that class – defined as a combination of income, education, wealth and occupation – influences destiny in a society that likes to think of itself as a land of unbounded opportunity.”  You can find plenty more information at their website and Times Books has published the series in paperback, but here is an excerpt that speaks to the questions of class and conscience raised in David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People now on stage at Lyric Arts.


Photo by Ozier Muhammad            The New York Times

Day 11:  Up From the Projects – A Success Story That’s Hard to Duplicate

The case of a welfare mother of six pulling herself into the ranks of the middle class is rare enough to compel experts on class and poverty to zero in on a single question: What would it take to create more Angela Whitikers?  (Angela Whitiker, her oldest son, and their struggle towards the middle class were profiled in The Times in 1993. )

“It shows the importance of work and marriage,” said Sara S. McLanahan, a professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton who specializes in family and poverty. “She found a good man and a good job. The thinking now is, it takes both to move out of poverty.”…

The reason is that upward mobility requires what sociologists describe as the twin pillars of success: human capital and social capital. Human capital is a person’s education, job credentials and employability. Social capital usually means emotional support and encouragement from a reliable stakeholder in one’s life, an asset commonly associated with marriage that is itself a form of wealth…

Of the small number of poor single mothers who marry, 56 percent are lifted out of poverty, according to a 2002 study conducted by Signe-Mary McKernan and Caroline Ratcliffe for the Urban Institute. Getting a job is more common, and 39 percent of poor people who are hired rise out of poverty, as against 35 percent who get at least a two-year college degree…

Cassandra Proball NEW SQ

Dig Deeper information assembled by Cassandra Proball Education Director

Still, the ups and downs of Ms. Whitiker’s middle-class existence show that the transition out of poverty is not an easy one. “As well off as her economic situation is, her success is precarious,” Professor Allen said. “This is a reminder that you can be middle class but in a very unstable situation.”…



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