OCEANSIDE — Longtime San Diego actress Sandy Campbell is taking on a new challenge with her directorial debut of Oceanside Theatre Company’s “Good People” by David Lindsay-Abaire, an emotional, heartfelt drama broken up by poignant moments of laugh-aloud humor.
Having most recently worked as assistant director on “The Children” at the Moxie Theater, Campbell has won multiple San Diego Critics Circle awards for her acting and has worked at most of the theaters in town including the Old Globe, Moonlight, San Diego Rep, and La Jolla Playhouse. Her husband Danny Campbell joins her in this new endeavor as Associate Director.
Campbell was drawn to this particular play for its exceptional writing. “David Lindsay-Abaire is a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and it shows,” said Campbell. “ ‘Good People’ is an extraordinarily well-written play. It’s about life altering choices and who actually gets the opportunity to make them. The characters strike us as very real, very flawed and not always likable, but they are trying their best to be ‘good’ people. This play is about class, economic pressures, and race – big ideas, but you’d never know it, because it is so funny.”
Oceanside Theatre Company presents “Good People” by David Lindsay-Abaire May 12-28 at Brooks Theater in downtown Oceanside. Preview Night is Friday, May 12 at 8 pm; Opening Night is Saturday, May 13 at 8 pm; Military Matinee is Sunday, May 14 at 2 pm (2 tickets free for Military and Veterans with ID while supplies last.) Showtimes are Friday and Saturdays at 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday Matinees at 2 pm. (Please note: There is no Saturday matinee on Opening Weekend.) Tickets range from $20-45 and can be purchased through OceansideTheatre.org or by calling the box office at 760-433-8900.
“Good People” by David Lindsay-Abaire is the story of middle-aged Margie Walsh, a nice woman from the poor neighborhood of South Boston or Southie, as they call it. Some of her friends might even say she’s TOO nice. When she gets fired from yet another job, her landlord threatens eviction. Determined to keep a roof over her daughter’s head, she turns to a former friend, who made it out of Southie, for help finding a job.
From the moment she steps into Dr. Michael Dillon’s office, tensions mount in this reunion of old friends as they navigate the decisions that led them down different life paths. An emotional, heartfelt drama broken up by poignant moments of laugh-aloud humor, “Good People” by David Lindsay-Abaire will have audiences debating what it means to do the right thing.
“I would like the audience to continue to talk and think about this play on the way home,” Campbell said. “What REALLY makes a good person, what will happen next to these characters, who was right and who was wrong…and how nice it was to have an evening of laughter.”
Oceanside Theatre Company’s “Good People” cast includes three familiar faces. Ted Leib reprises the role of Mike, having played it previously in a production at Scripps Ranch Theatre in 2017. “I am drawn to Mike’s complexity. In the six years since I last played the role, I’ve revisited Mike many times in my mind,” said Leib, who is also Artistic Director at Oceanside Theatre Company. “It’s a role that allows for so many interpretations; I think I can bring something fresh and different to the role. Six years can add a lot of experience and perspective.”
Leib is joined by former castmate Susan Clausen, who received favorable reviews for her humorous portrayal of Jean, and is now taking on the main role of Margie. “Margie is strong – and works hard to provide for herself and her daughter. She also cares deeply for her friends. I connect very personally to both of those two truths,” said Clausen of her new character. “She is also imperfect, yet strives to find humor wherever she can and maintain an optimistic perspective. Though my personal background and life situation is quite different from the character Margie struggling in South Boston, there are a lot of personal traits where I have common ground with Margie.”
Additionally, Heidi Bridges has gone from playing Margie to portraying Dottie. “Dottie is very funny!” Bridges explained. “Dottie has no filter, she tells it like it is (or at least as how she sees it).”
New to the production and Oceanside Theatre Company are Amira Temple as Kate, Sherri Allen as Jean, and Dennis Peters as Stevie.
Currently studying performance at SDSU, Temple is a community activist who believes in the capacity for change through theatre. “One of the challenges I see in representing Kate is making the character more than just the token black woman,” Temple said. “Kate is the only character of color, at least on paper, and although it seems to be an intentional choice I hope to create nuance in my work that gives her even more depth then what is on the page.”
Leib looks forward to working with a new director and cast for “Good People.” “Whenever you have new people in the room, particularly with writing as rich and layered as Lindsay-Abaire’s, you have a different energy and nuance with which to play. It’s energizing.”
Campbell concurs, “I look forward to bringing the audience a really good story told well by excellent actors and designers. I can’t wait to watch OTC audiences go on this journey with Margie, Mike, Kate, Dottie, Jean and Stevie. To laugh with them, to strive with them and to hope with them.”
Preview Night: Friday, May 12 at 8 pm
Opening Night: Saturday, May 13 at 8 pm
Military Matinee: Sunday, May 14 at 2 pm (2 tickets free for Military with ID.)
Showtimes: Friday and Saturdays at 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday Matinees at 2 pm. Note: There is no Saturday matinee on Opening Weekend.
Tickets can be purchased through OceansideTheatre.org or by calling the box office at 760-433-8900. Tickets range from $20-45.
217 N. Coast Highway
Oceanside CA 92054