THE CAST: Tracey A. Leigh, Jules Willcox, Paige Lindsey White and Richard Doyle.
If a phrase catches it all, maybe it’s this: Kings will make you laugh, think and hope. That’s according to SCR Founding Artist Richard Doyle, one of four actors in the cast. He’s joined by two theatre alumni and a brand new face and all are discovering the many layers of the play—and their characters—and enjoying the humor to be found in Sarah Burgess’s very funny script.
Character: Sen. John McDowell
SCR credits include more than 200 productions and through 32 years of A Christmas Carol. An SCR Founding Artist. Favorite plays include Frankie and Johnny and the Clair de Lune, The Weir, The Fantasticks and James and the Giant Peach.
Other credits include “Cheers,” The Abduction of Angie, Ready or Not, voice of Pageant of the Masters (Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts).
About Sen. McDowell: “He has been a senator for several decades and his district includes Houston. He’s a powerful figure in the senate and has presidential aspirations. Being from a working class family (his dad was an oil field mechanic), McDowell loves being a senator, enjoys his stature, and is well-liked and respected by his colleagues. He has the respect of his peers, donors, lobbyists and congressmen and women, for the most part. However, in the hands of playwright Sarah Burgess, we don’t exactly see him in the best of circumstances. He loves his country and his constituents, but events in the story seem at times to contradict this as events drive the story into some surprising—and comedic—outcomes.”
Laughter from Kings: “It's political story, as in a real-life sea of contradictions. The ironic, comic moments are, in some cases, deadpan and, in others, wonderful Sarah Burgess’s [playwright] comedic tones and the situations she sets up ensnare the senator. His efforts to control these situations, and the outcomes, are a source of much of the comedy. But, each character gets ensnared or affected by these wonderful contradictions and ironies.
The bottom line: “The systems around which the story revolves are iconic, involving lobbyists, donors, senators, representatives and government functionaries. All of them form the engine in the world of that play that drives our country's democracy. Those systems, and how they are revealed, will have our audience chuckling, laughing and shaking their heads in disbelief. Kings will make you laugh, think and hope."
Tracey A. Leigh
Character: Rep. Sydney Millsap
SCR credits include All the Way (as civil rights activist Fanny Lou Hamer and Coretta Scott King), Death of a Salesman, In the Next Room or the vibrator play, Safe in Hell and several Pacific Playwrights Festival readings.
Other credits include Rubicon Theatre Company, Echo Theatre Company, Sacred Fools Theater Company, The Theatre and Boston Court, The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, national tour of The Vagina Monologues, “Modern Family,” Grey’s Anatomy,” “Criminal Minds” and “Law & Order.”
About Rep. Sydney Millsap: “She’s a Gold Star widow* and single mother, newly elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She’s the first woman and person of color elected in her Dallas district to represent the state of Texas. An unflappable and strong-willed outsider with a blunt sense of humor, she’s extremely uncomfortable with the falseness and corruption of the political process.
Humor in Kings: “The complex and seemingly incongruous details that point out the absurd nature of American political life.”
*Learn more about Gold Star Wives of America.
Paige Lindsey White
SCR credit is Abundance (2015).
Other credits include Pygmalion (as Eliza Doolittle, Pasadena Playhouse), Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, The Theatre @ Boston Court, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, “Shameless,” “Days of Our Lives” and "Corporate."
About Lauren: “She’s a top finance lobbyist in Washington, D.C. She skillfully and confidently works within the system and is highly compensated for it. She is the former chief of staff for Texas Sen. McDowell and benefits from his success. She used to date fellow-lobbyist Kate."
Some laughs: “All the characters have quick minds and quick tongues. Playwright Sarah Burgess is whip-smart and funny and that permeates the play.”
At SCR: Making her debut.
Other credits include Rogue Machine Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Garry Marshall Theatre, A Noise Within, the Antaeus Theatre Company, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Under the Silver Lake, Midwife, Dependent’s Day, “Bloodline” and “Chicago P.D.”
About Kate: “She is a power-hungry lobbyist who, for a moment, questions the establishment and her own moral compass.”
Some laughs: “These come from the absurdity of the situations we find ourselves in—important meetings at Chili’s or fundraising events with creeps at Epcot Center. Not what you expect of our lawmakers.”
Learn more about Kings and purchase tickets.