Local playwright puts personal story of love and loss onstage at Found Theatre

Just when you think you’ve got love right, everything goes wrong. The Found Theatre is presenting a brand-new play by Long Beach writer Todd Cunningham about life, love and spirits. Directed by Virginia DeMoss, The Good Hours features a cast of Found regulars: Mike Brown, Barbara Duncan, Joyce Hackett, Kay Richey and John Sturgeon, as well as original songs by pop recording artists Kerry Getz and Drayfus Grayson.
Inspired by the untimely death of the playwright’s fiance a week before their wedding, the play was a way for Cunningham to deal with his grief.
The story takes the audience from the time Todd and Patty meet, through the complications of two adults who were abandoned or betrayed as children, and what those tragedies do to their ability to live and love and, in Patty’s case, to raise her own child. It turns the spotlight on the kind of abusive relationships so many people seem to be trapped in.
DeMoss said Cunningham had approached her and asked if she’d stage it, and she agreed.
“He wrote a draft; I read it and offered advice. He wrote another, and a bunch of the Found regulars met and did a read-through and offered more suggestions for subsequent rewrites,” DeMoss said. “This is a collaboration of many longtime Foundlings.”
DeMoss said the Found Theatre regulars were drawn to the compelling story and the fact that it is a new play that’s never been produced.
“The Found likes to experiment, to gamble, and to produce new work. Most of our material was written by the late Cynthia Galles, the founder of the Found and the person who created magic here for over 30 years,” she said. “She liked relevant, edgy material, and so do I, and we are trying to maintain that legacy.”
The Good Hours runs Fridays and Saturdays, May 9 through June 7 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $12. For info and reservations, call (562) 433-3363 or visit www.foundtheatre.org. The Found Theatre is located at 599 Long Beach Blvd. in Long Beach.

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