First-Look Presentation

The Good Swimmer

January 7–10 & 12–17, 2016 at HERE's Mainstage Theatre

Part requiem, part lifesaving drill, The Good Swimmer is a new music-theatre piece set entirely on a surf beach. The piece translates the kinship relationships of a Greek tragedy to a family of lifeguards during the early days of the Vietnam War. Ripping apart found texts (archaic field guides, historical quotations, defunct manuals) to create song lyrics, The Good Swimmer pits the ‘common good’ against the primacy of kinship as a sister opposes a monument to be built in her beloved brother’s memory. The young singers who make up the Lifeguard Chorus reflect the somber truth that a majority of the GIs lost in Vietnam would never reach their 22nd birthday.


Developed with the support of the National Musical Theater Conference at the O’Neill Center, Bowdoin College, and the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA.


Co-commissioned by Jill Steinberg and W. Michael & Christine Garner.


Photos by Cory Weaver.


Cast: Chase Crandell | Parker Drown | Alex Gibson | Damon J Gillespie | Dante Jeanfelix | Storm Lever | Taylor Noble | Mackenzie Orr | Gil Perez-Abraham Jr. | Andrew Harrison Way

Band members include: Brad Mulholland | Marty Beller | David Driver | Jeff Hermanson | Dana Lyn | Dan Miller | Heidi Rodewald

Additional Credits:
Assistant Director: James Matthew Daniel
Associate Lighting Designer: Will Delorm
Video Programmer: Alex West
Assistant Stage Manager: Joe Fernandez
Board Operator: Heather Arnson