The Town Players of New Canaan Live Theater - Ordinary People


OVERVIEW: This play is based on the Oscar-winning “Best Picture” movie starring Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore and Timothy Hutton, by first-time director Robert Redford, and the best-selling novel by Judith Guest. It explores the complex relationships of an ordinary family struggling to heal from an unexpected tragedy.

PLOT: Teenager Conrad Jarrett is wracked with guilt over the death of his older brother Buck from a boating accident. What's left of Conrad's family – his successful, well-intentioned father and his stylish, organized mother – is in jeopardy, as is Conrad himself. They are "ordinary people" coping with the omnipresent human emotions of grief, loss, guilt, anger, anxiety and depression. This powerful play goes to the root of the Jarretts’ relationships, exploring how the family grows apart in its struggle to heal yet ultimately moves forward with hope.  

In presenting this emotional story, we endeavor to contribute to the conversation within our community around the important issue of mental health. Through the unique experience of live theater, we seek to encourage contemplation and conversation, destigmatize mental illness, and increase empathy for those who are struggling. After all, each of us is an ordinary person who, at any time, could experience sudden hardship like the Jarretts. Our shared understanding of this universal dilemma brings us together and reminds us of our humanity.

RAISING AWARENESS: We also aim to raise awareness of the many wonderful resources New Canaan and our neighboring communities offer for mental health support. Additionally, we thank our sponsors: Silver Hill Hospital, New Canaan Human Services, Connecticut Humanities, and Russell and Katie Barksdale. We are especially grateful to Dr. Michael Groat, chief clinical officer at Silver Hill Hospital, for advising our cast and crew as they strive to identify with the characters and for hosting talkbacks with our audiences following each Sunday matinee performance.

SUNDAY TALKBACKS: Audiences of our Sunday matinees are welcome to stay after the performance for a “talkback,” an open discussion with Deborah Burke, director of Ordinary People, and Dr. Michael Groat, chief clinical officer at Silver Hill Hospital, who assisted our cast and crew with understanding the complex emotions portrayed in the play. The talkbacks are included in the price of admission.

FOR TICKETS AND MORE INFO:  https://tpnc.org/shows/ordinary-people/


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