Great Play, Misleading Title – Swing State at The Goodman Theatre (Through November 13, 2022)

Peg lives alone in rural Wisconsin. Her husband died one year ago. Ryan, a local young man who she has known since he was six, is her only friend. She paid the taxes on his house while he was in prison for three years. In her will, she plans to leave her house to him. One day, Peg notices that some of her late husband’s tools and gun are missing. The local sheriff immediately lists Ryan as the top suspect. Her new deputy isn’t so sure and makes a great good cop to counter the sheriff’s bad cop personality. Who took the gun and what was Peg planning to do with it?

Rebecca Gilman has written a great play about a widow’s life in rural Wisconsin. The title is misleading, as there is only one line about politics. It is much more about Peg’s friendship with Ryan and her relationship with the police. These are explored in a very natural way to starts off light and funny and leads to being dramatic. At an hour and 45 minutes, it quite long to not have intermission.  

Photos by Liz Lauren

Mary Beth Fisher (Domesticated) is excellent as Peg, who is struggling to get through each day and find meaning in her life. Bubba Weiler (The Good Fight) is great as Ryan, who is also barely hanging on as he tries to adapt back to life outside of prison while also deeply worrying about Peg. Kristen Fitzgerald (Sweat, Mary Page Marlow) is intense as the sheriff who is looking to solve the case, even if Peg doesn’t want her to. Anne E. Thompson (Twilight Bowl) is so kind as the new deputy, who has finally found a job she is good at.  

Cost of a ticket: $55 (Main Floor)

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Get tickets now for Swing State at The Goodman Theatre through November 13th!

Quinn Delaney


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