Sam Storm has been the beloved mayor of Anderson, Georgia for the past twenty years. Loved by the community and his doting wife, Sam’s name is usually the only one on the ballot come election time, but when an embarrassing video of him is leaked, his seat in office is threatened. Sam has some real competition when the last person he ever expected to run against him puts her name on the ballot, his wife Sophia. Now it’s down and dirty as husband and wife duke it out. Can their marriage withstand the political fisticuffs? And what happens when an unexpected third candidate enters the race? This fast-paced political comedy brings new meaning to the phrase “family politics.”
Sofia Storm and her best friend Liddie Valentine are supposed to be enjoying a private yoga class at Sofia’s home with their instructor, Ted Wink. But Liddie’s just gone through another breakup and is railing against all men—and spills the beans about Sofia’s husband, conservative Mayor Sam Storm, who recently made some sexist comments at the Stag Lodge about women being “the weaker sex.” This is the proverbial last straw for liberal feminist Sofia, who decides she’s going to run against Sam in the upcoming mayoral election. She enlists Liddie as her campaign manager. Meanwhile, Sam Storm, unaware of his wife’s intentions, confesses to his assistant J.B. that he didn’t really mean what he said about women; it was all pandering bluster. But when J.B. informs him of Sofia’s candidacy, Sam doubles down, and the two spouses declare political warfare (though they try to keep a tenuous peace within the walls of their own home). Sofia fires her yoga instructor Ted, so she can be more like “one of the people.” Sam makes fun of Sofia’s blue power suits. Their respective campaign managers, Liddie and J.B., have their own mini-war waging. There are no other candidates, just the husband and wife, and nothing else on the ballot but an animal shelter millage proposal, so all eyes are on these dramatic “running mates.” Tensions rise further when Sofia and Sam realize they both scheduled a fundraising party for the same night, in their shared home. As the night of their big fundraising party arrives, everyone’s already on edge. Both Sam and Sofia are considering taking their campaigns dirty, sharing information on their spouse that could kill any chances of political success—and then another bomb drops: a third candidate enters the ring with a write-in campaign managed by Sofia’s former yoga instructor, Ted… promoting Savannah Storm, headstrong 22 year old daughter of Sam and Sofia. “Taking her parents by STORM!” the newest campaign poster announces, as the act snaps to a close!
After surviving the fundraising party, the next morning, Sofia asks Savannah why she had to insert herself into the situation when she knew that her mother was running—and Savannah answers that while she too was mad at her dad’s comments, she loves them both, and is as indivisible as America when it comes to her parents. She couldn’t support one over the other, so she had to run on her own. Sam joins them for breakfast, and the three Storms briefly enjoy some “non-partisan pancakes” while avoiding conversation about any topic that might even vaguely be considered political. Then it’s back into the ring for the candidates. In “the stump scene,” Sam, Sofia and Savannah all give their stump speeches and answer questions, rapid-fire—with Sam’s answers always leaning right, Sofia’s responses leaning left, and Savannah’s replies easygoing. As the election draws nearer, Sofia and Sam each secretly ask Liddie and J.B. to leak the incriminating information they have on each other to the press: Sofia asks Liddie to leak information about how Sam has helped his buddy the police chief get away with some minor criminal activity (peeing on schools and churches on his nights off, after too many beers), and Sam provides J.B. with photos of Sofia “actually inhaling” back in college. But Liddie and J.B. know that taking the campaign dirty will not only end Sofia and Sam’s political careers, it may well also end their marriage… so they both vow to one another not to honor their boss’ requests. Fortunately for them, Sam and Sofia both have last-minute changes of heart and are relieved that their assistants didn’t listen to them. The night of the election, all three Storms and all three campaign managers are together in the Storm family estate to watch the results. When the polls close, all are shocked at Savannah’s landslide win: the animal shelter folks all turned out to vote for the shelter millage, and they all loved Savannah, who used to volunteer there. Sam and Sofia reconcile, J.B. and Liddie announce that they are the newest left-meets-right power couple, and everyone raises a glass to the new mayor-elect and her proud First Parents.
A bright new comedy from the creator of 'Scrambled' and 'See Jane Quit'.
Sofia Storm – F, 52. Longtime first lady of Anderson. Educated, articulate, left-leaning; polished, graceful, and tired of being underestimated.
Liddie Valentine – F, mid-30s. Sofia's younger best friend and default manager. Take-no-prisoners, witty, far more leftist and far less graceful than Sofia.
Ted Wink – M, 20s. Sofia and Liddie's yoga instructor. Peacenik and zen-lover.
Sam Storm – M, 50s. Mayor of Anderson, incumbent mayoral candidate. Good old Southern boy; smart, protective, often clueless about how to interact with the strong women in his life.
Jimmy Benjamin "J.B." Jackson – M, 20s/30s. Henry's campaign manager and lapdog. Nervous, neo-Conservative, jumps at loud noises.
Savannah Storm – F, 22. Sam and Sofia's rebellious daughter. Bright, active, college senior; does not take kindly to the idea about being used for the political gain of either of her parents.
Setting: Small town Anderson, Georgia, in the year 2010
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"Hilarity runs in the family - especially in the smart, witty, political family in Beth Kander’s clever new comedy RUNNING MATES.”–Francine Thomas Reynolds, Artistic Director, New Stage Theatre
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