It’s 1984 and Josephine Rosen has a dead-end job, lives in a working-class suburb of Boston with her mother, and has settled into the uncomfortable comfort of being single at age 37. When a chance flirtation with an old classmate and a new friendship at work give her hope for the possibility of change, she takes tentative steps towards a new life. A humorous and heartfelt play about the difficulties and joys of figuring out who you are and letting go of who you were supposed to be.
Nice Girl was first produced in New York in 2015 by the Labyrinth Theatre Company. The New York Times called it “A tenderly drawn drama” and said, “Nice Girl presents a slice of middle-class life with unpatronizing honesty and simplicity…And while the final image is a hopeful one, Ms. Ross wisely avoids the kind of pat or sentimental ending that would spoil the play’s mood of ambivalence, not to mention its truthfulness.”
Raven’s Chicago Premiere of Nice Girl will be directed by visiting artist Lauren Shouse, who staged Raven’s acclaimed production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayallast fall.
Nice Girl will take place in Raven’s 130-seat East Stage from January 24 to March 11, 2018.
Melissa Ross’s other plays includeThinner Than Water, You Are Here,Do Something Pretty, The Allies, Of Good Stock, and An Entomologist’s Love Story. Of Good Stock received its world premiere at South Coast Repertory as a part of the Pacific Playwrights Festival, followed by a production by Manhattan Theatre Club in June/July 2015, directed by MTC’s Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and starring Alicia Silverstone. Chicago’s Gift Theatre produced the world premieres of A Life Extra Ordinary in fall 2016 and Thinner Than Water in spring of 2014. TheChicago Reader’s Jack Helbig said of Thinner Than Water, “Playwright Melissa Ross has a gift for creating vivid, believable characters” and the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones called it “superb.” The Chicago Sun-Times said Ross’s A Life Extra Ordinary was a “gripping, heartbreaking new play.” She is currently working on commissions from South Coast Repertory and Manhattan Theater Club. Melissa is a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Program at The Juilliard School, a two-time winner of the Le Comte de Nouy Prize, and is a proud member of both the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages and Labyrinth Theater Company.