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In ‘This Random World,’ connections are made and lives come together

Edgar Olivera

When it comes to finally opening at the 2nd Space Theatre, “This Random World,” the new play by Steven Dietz, certainly lived up to its title.

Events got a little random. We all know why.

The production was scheduled to open in 2020 following the run of “Enchanted April,” which itself had to be cut short after just a couple of weeks.

“We had a short hiatus,” says Dan Pessano, managing director of Good Company Players, with his trademark understated wit.

It opens Friday, June 18, and continues through Aug. 8.

Here’s a rundown on the production:

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The play: It’s a story about how people’s lives intersect — sometimes because they’re related, other times by chance. “It’s about how closely connected people are even when they don’t know each other well,” Pessano says. The subtitle of “This Random World” is “The Myth of Serendipity.”

The storyline: One of the major characters is Scottie Ward (played by Amelia Ryan), an older mother who does not want to be a burden on her kids. We follow her story and that of her grown children (played by Jessica Knotts and Joseph Ham), whose own serendipitous relationships with others help spin out the string of coincidences.

The rest of the cast: Marikah Christine Leal, Laura Dobbs, Kylee Leyba, Ted Nunes and Noel Adams round out the roster.

The production history: The play premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville in 2016. Known for such plays as “Fiction,” “Lonely Planet” and “God’s Country,” Dietz is one of America’s most prolific and widely produced playwrights.

What other critics say: Southern California writer Pat Launder writes: “Whether the situation is funny or tragic, poignant or seemingly pointless, there’s something just about everyone can relate to in this play, which is about missed connections, the road not taken, and choices made or regretted.”

A note about tickets: While the folks at Good Company Players are ecstatic to now be able to sell shows to 100% capacity, Pessano says that single-ticket sales are lagging. The company was saved during the pandemic thanks to season-ticket subscribers — particularly ones who didn’t ask for refunds when theaters had to shut down — but is finding it harder to attract audience members buying single tickets.


Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

donaldfresnoarts@gmail.com

Comments (1)

  • Jackie Ryle

    Thank you, Donald I’m going to see this tonight, and It’s nice to have an overview. Sure do appreciate you keeping track of everything and keeping us up to date out here’!

    reply

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