Cornerstone Theatre Co. opens season with 'Good People'

A relative newbie on the Orlando theater scene has a production coming up in just a few weeks.

Cornerstone Theatre Company presented its first show, William Inge's "Picnic," in April. But it has a more ambitious slate of shows scheduled for its first full season.

The group was founded by Nicholas Murphy, a University of Central Florida graduate student who also works at Walt Disney World.

Presenting "Picnic," taught him a lot about Orlando's audience, staging shows here and the ins and outs of being a company's artistic director, says Murphy.

"I thought, 'If we can do this, we have the strength to go on and do a full season," he says.

The first show of the season will be David Lindsay-Abaire's drama "Good People," which hasn't previously been performed in Orlando. That show tells the story of a poor woman in South Boston who swallows her pride to seek help from an old lover, now a successful doctor, who is then forced to confront his humble past. It will be presented Sept. 6-9.

"I stumbled across it when I was in New York," Murphy says of the show, which received a 2011 Tony nomination for Best Play. "I liked the story. Even though the economy's had a slight improvement, it's still difficult for many people to cope with financial matters and finding work."

And he sees a deeper message in the play, as well. "It's about whether we can overcome our past, whether we can accept it," he says.

Later in the season: Stephen Sondheim's musical "Company" and "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress," a look at female relationships through the eyes of bridesmaids at a wedding.

A fourth show will round out the production schedule. Performances take place the Lowndes Shakespeare Center. For more information, call 407-722-7037 or go to

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