Goodman Theatre Kicks Off Latino-Focused 2013 New Stages Festival, Now thru 12/22

Now in its 10th year, Goodman Theatre's 2013 New Stages festival features five FREE new plays-two fully staged workshop productions performed in repertory plus three staged readings-in the Owen Theatre, today, December 7 - 22. All five plays celebrate Latino playwrights: The Upstairs Concierge, a contemporary farce about celebrity and baseball by Pulitzer Prize finalist (for The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity) Kristoffer Diaz; and The Solid Sand Below, an examination of the intoxicating nature of war which Martín Zimmerman developed during his time as a member of the Goodman's Playwrights Unit, and which was selected for the 2013 National Playwrights Conference at The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Connecticut. The three staged readings, which complement the two workshop productions over the December 13 - 15 "Industry Weekend," are TBA. Tickets are free, but reservations are required: 312.443.3800, or visit the box office (170 N. Dearborn).

"Our New Stages festival has grown exponentially in size, ambition and complexity over the past decade, giving audiences a first look at more than 50 new plays in development. With plays like Teddy Ferrara, Ask Aunt Susan, The Convert and Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men, it's also become an important engine for bringing new work to the Goodman's stages," said Goodman Theatre Director of New Play Development Tanya Palmer, who oversees the theater's New Stages festival, Playwrights Unit and new works commissioning program. "Kristoffer Diaz and Martín Zimmerman are two of the most exciting young playwrights working today, and we're thrilled to build on our longstanding commitment to Latino theater artists."

Approximately one third of the plays developed in the New Stages festival have received full productions at the Goodman or at leading U.S. theaters-Marie Antoinette by David Adjmi, The Color of Desire by Nilo Cruz and Chasing Manet by Tina Howe. Playwrights featured in the festival have included Pulitzer Prize winners Lynn Nottage, Quiara Alegría Hudes and Nilo Cruz, as well as rising stars Christopher Shinn, Tanya Saracho and Thomas Bradshaw. With the expansion of the festival in 2011 to include fully staged workshop productions-an investment in new plays that provides writers with three weeks of rehearsal, design elements and nine public performances-New Stages offers the Goodman the opportunity to collaborate with a new generation of designers, including sound designer and composer Mikhail Fiksel and lighting designer Jesse Klug. Director and former Maggio Fellow Joanie Schultz, who makes her Goodman mainstage debut this season with Venus in Fur, first directed for the Goodman during New Stages.

The Upstairs Concierge

By Kristoffer Diaz |Directed by Eric Ting

Fresh out of grad school, Ella takes on a new job as the upstairs concierge at a hotel that caters to celebrities, and finds that it's hard to keep track of who's in what room, who's famous for doing what and who has a tendency to strip naked. The play examines how new media can make a celebrity out of anyone-and the resulting frenzy, combined with the all-too-human desire to make a quick buck, can result in "farcical" behavior.

Kristoffer Diaz's full-length plays include The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (2011 New York Times Outstanding Playwright recipient, Pulitzer Prize finalist, Lucielle Lortel Award, Obie Award, Drama Desk nominee and Jeff Award winner for Best Production and Best New Work), Welcome to Arroyo's and #therevolution. He is a playwright-in- residence at Teatro Vista; a recipient of the Jerome Fellowship, the Future Aesthetics Artist Regrant and the Van Lier Fellowship (New Dramatists); and a former member of the Ars Nova Play Group.

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