Support Group for Men premieres at Goodman Theatre
"We are brothers, we are men. We do not give advice or comment on other people's feelings or situations. We only talk when we have the stick." These are the rules of Support Group for Men, a new comedy by Ellen Fairey (Graceland, TV's Nurse Jackie, Masters of Sex, The Sinner) about what it means to be a man in today's America. Directed by Kimberly Senior, Support Group for Men explores shifting social and gender roles through the lens of four Chicago guys-Delano (Anthony Irons), Brian (Ryan Kitley), Roger (Keith Kupferer) and Kevin (Tommy Rivera-Vega)-who gather weekly to vent about middle-aged maladies in a Wrigleyville apartment. Also cast are Jeff Kurysz, Sadieh Rifai and Eric Slater, and the creative team includes Jack Magaw (sets), Noel Huntzinger (costumes), Jen Schriever (lighting) and Richard Woodbury (sound). Support Group for Men appears June 23 - July 29, 2018 (opening night is July 2 at 7pm) in the Goodman's Albert Theatre. Tickets ($25 - $80; subject to change) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/SupportGroup, by telephone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn).
"Hilarious, warm-hearted and honest, Ellen Fairey's Support Group for Men is the perfect summertime entertainment-a witty, timely exploration of who we are, who we thought we were, and who we can become," said Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls. "When this play appeared as part of our 2016 New Stages Festival, audiences were immediately captivated by its humor and intrigued by its insights. Ellen's obvious empathy and affection for her characters, rendered through their earnest but sometimes painful journey to enlightenment, is at once laugh-out-loud funny and incredibly perceptive. We are thrilled to welcome back director Kimberly Senior-a perfect match for this world premiere."
Fairey returns to Chicago 10 years after Graceland-her break-out play that, in part, inspired Support Group for Men. Her work has been hailed as "a must-see for anyone who follows important new plays" (Chicago Tribune), and as a writer "with bracing wit and stylistic delicacy" (Variety).
"I began writing Support Group for Men almost eight years ago, and in the time since, the national conversation around gender has come to the forefront in a way I never could have imagined," said playwright Ellen Fairey. "It's incredibly exciting, meaningful and at times challenging. I'm no longer just writing about a bunch of middle-aged guys trying to figure their stuff out; I'm writing about a group of men who find themselves in a world where everything has changed, and will continue to change-and what it means when 'to be a man' finds itself on the sociological chopping block."