Lagerfelt and Metcalf to Star in A.C.T's 'The Quality of Life'
September 25, 2008
|By BWW News Desk
Original award-winning cast members Dennis Boutsikaris, Laurie Metcalf, JoBeth Williams will join Steven Culp and Caroline Lagerfelt Moving in Jane Anderson's The Quality of Life, inspired by the events of the Mt. Vision Fire of 1995 at A.C.T.
This daring, star-studded cast explores hot-button issues of life and death in this riveting new play. When a religious Midwestern couple, Bill and Dinah, visit their free-spirited cousin Jeannette (alternately played by Metcalf and Lagerfelt) and her husband, Neil, both couples confront loss and survival in the face of explosive circumstance. An unforgettable, brave work of heart and humor, The Quality of Life was nominated for four 2007 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards and six 2007 Los Angeles Ovation Awards. Produced in association with the Geffen Playhouse and Jonathan Reinis Productions, The Quality of Life plays at A.C.T. October 24 through November 23, 2008. Press nights are Wednesday, October 29, 2008, at 8p.m. (with Laurie Metcalf) and Wednesday, November 5, 2008, at 8p.m (with Caroline Lagerfelt). Tickets—starting at $14—are available by calling A.C.T. Ticket Services at 415.749.2228, or at act-sf.org.
A.C.T. is thrilled to bring celebrated actors Lagerfelt and Metcalf to its stage to share the role of Jeannette—an opportunity that allows both actors to play this dynamic, demanding role while pursuing other professional and family commitments. "I can't wait to see how Laurie and Caroline, two enormously gifted actresses, put their own unique spin on this wildly complex character," adds Anderson. "Although the intent of the script will stay the same, it's going to be a different show every night. That's what makes live theater so exciting—all the marvelous variables that come with each performance."
Anderson found inspiration for the play from her brother's experience in the Mt. Vision fire of 1995, and set the play at Jeannette and Neil's makeshift encampment in the Oakland hills after a fire decimated their home. Against this haunting yet beautiful landscape, the couple must make difficult choices as Neil's cancer takes a turn for the worse, while Bill and Dinah struggle to find solace in their faith after the loss of their daughter. The Quality of Life explores our ability to transform and grow through personal tragedy as the two couples from different political and religious backgrounds confront these challenges together with honesty, compassion, and humor. "There's a terrible rift in this country between the far right and the far left," says Anderson, who splits her time between Los Angeles and Marin County. "One of the things I hope to achieve with The Quality of Life is to help the audience recognize that in the face of this dichotomy of ideals, there's the possibility of finding a common human connection."
A.C.T.'s production of The Quality of Life is made possible by executive producers Frannie and Mort Fleishhacker; producers Lloyd and Janet Cluff; associate producers Carol P. Dollinger, The Marmor Foundation, Drs. Michael and Jane Marmor, and Bruce and Adrienne Mitchell; company sponsors Roberta B. Bialek, Rena Bransten, Priscilla and Keith Geeslin, Burt and Deedee McMurtry, Jeff and Laurie Ubben, and Susan Van Wagner; and media partner KDFC.
Tickets for The Quality of Life can be purchased by visiting A.C.T. Ticket Services, located at 405 Geary Street, by calling 415.749.2228, or via the A.C.T. website at act-sf.org. Groups of 15 or more people are eligible for discounts; please call Edward Budworth at 415.439.2473.
Sponsored by Bank of the West, a Bring What You Can/Pay What You Wish performance will be held on Thursday, October 30, 2008, at 8 p.m. Patrons will be allowed to pay any amount for tickets when they bring a donation of children's books, diapers, or coffee beans to benefit Raphael House, a shelter and support program for homeless families in San Francisco's Tenderloin District. Patrons are limited to one ticket per donated item, one ticket per person. Tickets go on sale at 6 p.m. the day of the performance.