Stage Left Theatre announces the upcoming rolling world premiere of The Luckiest People, written by Meredith Friedman and directed by Co-Artistic Director, Jason A. Fleece. The Luckiest People is the final production of Stage Left’s 36th season. Press opening is Thursday, January 11, at 8 PM in Studio 1 at the Athenaeum Theatre Chicago, 2936 N. Southport Ave. The show runs through April 29.
After the matriarch of the Hoffman family passes away, Richard is blindsided when his elderly father, Oscar, demands to leave his assisted living facility. With his sister Laura living in Shanghai, and Richard soon to become a first time father with his partner David, he is less than thrilled at the prospect of housing his–to put it mildly–difficult father. Accusations begin to fly and defenses are raised, drawing father and son, brother and sister, and spouses into a heated game of finger pointing with unintended consequences. The first in a trilogy of plays about the Hoffman family. As part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, The Luckiest People was produced by Curious Theatre Company in Denver, Colorado in May of 2017 and then at Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina in August of 2017, with the final production at Stage Left Theatre.
In keeping with Stage Left’s theme for Season 36, The Luckiest People asks “where are we going?” as the Hoffman family reconciles with the best way forward in the wake of the matriarch’s death. More broadly, the play also asks the following questions: what does family look like? How do we cope with generational differences? How do we find peace with those who challenge us? What is our responsibility to our families—both as a child and a parent?
TICKETS, DATES & INFORMATION
The Luckiest People runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, and Sundays at 3:00 PM from3/24/18 through 4/29/18. Tickets are $22-32 and will be available through the Athenaeum Theatre’s box office either online at
athenaeumtheatre.org or by calling 773-935-6875. Press opening is Thursday, March 29,
at 8:00 PM. Previews are Saturday 3/24, Sunday 3/25, and Wednesday 3/28 at 8:00 pm. Preview tickets are $20-22.
The Luckiest People will be performed at Athenaeum Theatre Chicago at 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. The theater is accessible and convenient to CTA via the Belmont El (Wellington Brown Line). Media comps, photos, videos, and interviews are available by contacting Alexandra Fliess at 773.883.8830 (office) or alex@stagelefttheatre. Hi-res photos, this release, and archived releases and
photos are available at stagelefttheatre.com/press-room.html.
Meridith Friedman (Playwright) was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. She received her BA from Connecticut College, and her MFA in Writing for the Stage & Screen from Northwestern University. She currently resides in Los Angeles and writes for television. Her plays have been produced, workshopped and developed at Stage Left, Curious Theatre Company, Kitchen Dog Theatre, Local Theatre Company, Actor's Theater of Charlotte, The Kennedy Center, Chicago Dramatists, The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, Florida Repertory Theatre, The Ashland New Play Festival, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Florida Studio Theatre, the NNPN National New Play Showcase, New Repertory Theatre, The Lark, Actor's Express, The Greenhouse Theatre Center, The Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival, The American Southwest Theatre Company at NMSU, and the Abbey Theatre in Orlando. Meridith was the NNPN Playwright-in-Residence at Curious for their 2010-2011 season, a 2012-2013 Dramatist Guild Fellow, and the recipient of a 2013-2014 Downstage Left Playwriting Residency at Stage Left Theatre. Meridith was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Drama at Kenyon College during the 2011-2012 academic year, and taught screenwriting to undergraduates while completing her graduate work at Northwestern University. She has also taught playwriting to talented high school and middle school dramatists at Interlochen Center for the Arts and Curious Theatre Company. She recently completed the book for the musical, The 30th Year, which was part of the inaugural New Musical Discovery Series in Orlando, and is writing the book for a new musical about art theft.
Jason A. Fleece (Director) is the Co-Artistic Director of Stage Left Theatre, along with Amy Szerlong. At Stage Left, Jason directed the Chicago premiere of The Body of an American by Dan O’Brien (Spring 2016), the world premiere of Warped by Barbara Lhota (Fall 2013), and Arthur Miller’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People (Spring 2011), as well as workshops in LeapFest 6, 7, 8, and 9. Jason has also directed plays and workshops for various other companies in Chicago, including Pegasus Theatre Chicago, BoHo Theatre, and Chicago Dramatists. Jason is also an adjunct instructor at both Oakton Community College and DePaul University. Jason holds an M.F.A. in Directing from the Theatre School at DePaul University.
The National New Play Network (NNPN) is the country’s alliance of non-profit professional theaters dedicated to the development, production, and continued life of new plays. Since its founding in 1998, NNPN has supported more than 250 productions nationwide through its innovative National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere program, which provides playwright and production support for new works. Additional programs - its annual National Conference, National Showcase of New Plays, and MFA Playwrights Workshop; the NNPN Annual and Smith Prize commissions; its residencies for playwrights, producers and directors; and the organization’s member accessed Collaboration, Festival, and Travel banks, and online information sessions - have helped cement the Network’s position as a vital force in the regional theater landscape. NNPN's programming allows its members and their affiliated artists to create, grow, and share new work across the country and around the world, and it strives to pioneer, implement, and disseminate ideas and programs that revolutionize the way theaters collaborate to support new plays and playwrights. Its most recent project, The New Play Exchange (www.newplayexchange.org), launched in January of 2015, is already changing the way playwrights share their work and others discover it. NNPN’s 29 Core and more than 65 Associate and University Members - along with the more than 250 affiliated artists who are its alumni, the thousands of artists and artisans employed annually by its member theaters, and the hundreds of thousands of audience members who see its supported works each year - are creating the new American theater. For more information please visit www.nnpn.org.
The cast of The Luckiest People includes Stage Left Ensemble Member Lisa Herceg (Laura) as well as Nelson Rodriguez (Richard), Christopher W. Jones (David) and Sandy Elias (Oscar) as well as Meagan Piccochi (Understudy) and Matthew Lunt (Understudy).
The production staff of The Luckiest People includes Stage Left Ensemble Members Adam Greye (Stage Management), John Kohn III (Lighting Design), Brenda McCann Winstead (Costume Design), Zev Valancy (Dramaturg) and Arielle Valene (Properties Design) and Stage Left Ensemble Artistic Associate Iris Sowlat (Assistant Director) along with Matthew Super (Production Manager), Anthony Churchill (Scenic Design), Stephen Gawrit (Sound Design), and David Moreland (Technical Director).
Drekfest On April 3rd, Stage Left will celebrate its love of new plays – both the good and the bad – at Drekfest. This annual contest to find the worst ten-minute play will be held at ComedySportz on April 3rd. Submissions are currently open with a deadline of March 16th. More details can be found on the Stage left website: https://www.stagelefttheatre.com/drekfest.
About Stage Left Theatre: Founded in 1982, Stage Left Theatre inspires debate by cultivating new work and producing plays that explore political and social landscapes. Through a full subscription season and our new play development program Downstage Left, Stage Left strives to ask provocative social and political questions by producing a mix of new works, regional premieres and timeless classics. The 2017/2018 season will be Stage Left’s first at the Athenaeum Theatre.
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