Making God Laugh follows one typical American family over the course of thirty years’ worth of holidays. Starting in 1980, Ruthie’s and Bill’s grown children — a priest, an aspiring actress, and a former football star — all return home, where we learn of their plans and dreams as they embark on their adult lives. The empty-nester parents contend with their own changes, too, as old family rituals are trotted out and ancient tensions flare up. As time passes, the family discovers that, despite what we may have in mind, we often arrive at unexpected destinations.
Director: Sherry Triebert
Assistant Director: Madeline Silva
Stage Manager: Karrie Jones
Ruthie: Beth Inman
Bill: Walt Foegelle
Richard: Lee Dittman
Maddie: Debbi Friend
Thomas: Jackson Phillips
RUTHIE, the matriarch of the family. She starts the play in her late
forties or early fifties and ages thirty years as does everyone.
She’s bossy, authoritative, means well but tries to steer the
world more than is humanly possible. She needles each of her
children and even her husband, Bill, to an extent but at the bottom,
way down there, truly loves them all.
BILL, our patriarch. He loves everyone and is a go-with-the-flow
sort. Easygoing, wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings, desperately
in love with his kids and wife. Being the dad of these people
and Ruthie’s husband is his life’s work and he’s successful at
it. He lives a little in fear of Ruthie but the worm turns when
RICHARD, eldest son. Mid-to-late twenties as we start. He wants to
conquer the world and is always looking for ways to do that.
Not a plugger, more of an entrepreneur. He buys the latest
everything and dresses “up to the second” stylish. He’s a good
guy but has perhaps seen too many movies of how men behave
rather than behaving as he would. A one-time football hero, he
misses that kind of spotlight.
MADDIE, second child. Mid-twenties at the top. She’s an aspiring
actress. A strong-willed person who loves her family. She’s
closest to Thomas and the two of them have a long-standing
habit of picking on their big brother as a team. It’s goodnatured
except when it’s not. Of all the kids, she’s the only one
to have moved away from her hometown. She lives in New
York and struggles with the artist’s life as well as her life-life.
She and her mother have a difficult relationship.
THOMAS, son two, the baby of the family and the “good” son. A
nice, even-tempered guy, in the style of his father, who thought
his life was on a plan. A devoutly religious man studying for
the priesthood at the beginning he’s nonetheless, funny, warm
and not at all rigid in his approach to life. He means very
well but like everyone has his life turn out differently than he