Durham News: Community

Deep Dish serves up ‘Good People’

Rasool Jahan and Mark Filiaci in "Good People." The play runs from Aug. 23 through Sept. 14 at Deep Dish Theater Company.
Rasool Jahan and Mark Filiaci in "Good People." The play runs from Aug. 23 through Sept. 14 at Deep Dish Theater Company. COURTESY OF JONATHAN BRADFORD YOUNG

Good fortune is a scarce commodity in the comic drama “Good People,” presented by Deep Dish Theater Company Aug. 23 to Sept. 14.

The play, by Pulitzer winner David Lindsay-Abaire, will be directed by Deep Dish Resident Director Tony Lea. It kicks off the company’s 13th season at University Mall in Chapel Hill.

Unemployed and facing eviction, Margie, played by Helen Hagan, learns that her high-school boyfriend Mike, played by Mark Filiaci, has returned to Boston to set up his medical practice. Encouraged by her friends, she decides to visit his office to see if he might have a job for her. She ends up getting invited to his upcoming birthday party, where things take an unexpected turn.

Playwright Lindsay-Abaire is the author of the celebrated play “Rabbit Hole,” as well as “Fuddy Meers,” “Kimberly Akimbo,” “Shrek the Musical,” and screenplays for “Oz the Great and Powerful” and “Rise of the Guardians.”

Hagan and Filiaci have been frequenters to the Deep Dish stage. Hagan was most recently seen in “Mi Vida Loca,” and Filiaci last appeared in “Henceforward…” The cast also includes Brian Fisher, who appeared in last season’s “She Stoops to Conquer”; Sharlene Thomas, “Uncle Vanya”; Page Purgar, “Nathan the Wise”; and Rasool Jahan, who is making her Deep Dish debut. The design staff is comprised of Rob Hamilton, set; Jenni Mann Becker, lights; Judy Chang, costumes; Karin Bagan, properties; and Michael Betts II, sound. Karen Blansfield is the dramaturg, Tania Chelnov-Snitnow the dialect coach, Michael Brocki the technical director and Jeff Phillips the stage manager.

“Good People is a play that is wildly entertaining and funny, in addition to being insightful and challenging,” said Lea. “Lindsay-Abaire writes about the clash of culture, of class, with clarity and a nonjudgmental voice – showing us those conflicts and the real situations from which they arise while allowing us to see the essential humanity of the characters. The characters behave as people do, sometimes with integrity and sometimes not, the contradictions of life warring inside them.”

The theater will present a preshow “Meet the Play” talk at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30. Post-performance discussions will take place Sunday, Aug. 25, with dramaturg Karen Blansfield and director Tony Lea; Sunday, Sept. 1 with the cast and Mark Dorosin of the UNC Center for Civil Rights; and Thursday, Sept. 5, a “Meet the Designers” discussion with the production staff.

The Deep Dish Book Selection, “Down the Up Escalator: How the 99 Percent Live in the Great Recession” by Barbara Garson, will be discussed at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Chapel Hill Public Library