New Chicago Artists Join the Goodman's Artistic Team for 2013-14 Playwrights Unit

New Chicago Artists Join the Goodman's Artistic Team for 2013-14 Playwrights Unit

A new crop of local talent joins Goodman Theatre's artistic team for the 2013/2014 Season. The four Chicago-based writers named to the fourth season of the Playwrights Unit-a year-long residency program designed to support and develop new works-include Andrew Hinderaker, Gift Theatre ensemble member; Mickle Maher, cofounder of Theater Oobleck; Anne García-Romero, a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists; and Laura Schellhardt, who oversees undergraduate playwriting at Northwestern University. A partnership with Chicago Dramatists, the Playwrights Unit meets twice per month with members of the Goodman's artistic team to discuss their plays-in-progress and provide feedback for one another.

The program includes readings of the playwrights' works-in-progress at Chicago Dramatists in early 2014, and culminates in summer 2014 with staged readings of their completed works at the Goodman. Playwrights Unit alumni include Greg Allen, Alice Austen, Ike Holter and Christopher Oscar Peña (2012/2013 Season); Philip Dawkins, Nambi E. Kelley, Elaine Romero and Martín Zimmerman (2011/2012 Season); and Seth Bockley, Lisa Dillman, Laura Jacqmin and Rohina Malik (2010/2011 Season).

"We welcome this New Group of smart, talented writers to the Goodman, each bringing his or her own unique voice and vision to the group," said the Goodman's Director of New Play Development Tanya Palmer. "Since its inception in 2010, the Playwrights Unit has become an important way in which we support new American plays from living playwrights, developing their works for consideration in the Goodman's season, or elsewhere. We look forward to establishing lasting relationships with each of these talented Chicago-based artists."

In addition, Goodman Theatre announces Erica Weiss-director of the critically-acclaimed Twist of Water for Route 66 Theatre Company, where she is Associate Artistic Director-as the recipient of the 2013/2014 Michael Maggio Directing Fellow for Chicago-based directors. As a fellow, Weiss will assist on a Goodman production-from early research and design through the casting and rehearsal process to the opening-and become involved in the Goodman's artistic team. Previous Maggio Fellows include Jimmy McDermott (2012/2013 Season), Anna Bahow (2011/2012 Season), Joanie Schultz (2009/2010 Season), Anthony Moseley (2007/2008 Season), Dado (2006/2007 Season), Ann Filmer (2005/2006 Season), Mignon McPherson Nance (2003/2004 Season) and Lynn Ann Bernatowicz (2002/2003 Season).

"We are excited to welcome Erica as a Michael Maggio Fellow, a very special and important role here at the Goodman" said Artistic Director Robert Falls. "In addition to his work as our most prolific director, Michael Maggio was a terrific mentor for talented emerging Chicago directors, and Erica has proven herself to be among the best of the next generation of great Chicago theater artists."

The Goodman established the fellowship to honor the memory of Associate Artistic Director Michael Maggio (1951 - 2000). A veteran director and producer who staged more than 60 productions in Chicago-including 22 productions at the Goodman-and in theaters across the country, Maggio was the most-produced director in the Goodman's modern era at the time of his death. Credits include a landmark Romeo and Juliet set in Chicago's Little Italy in 1919; the Sondheim musicals Sunday in the Park with George and A Little Night Music; Keith Reddin's comic Black Snow; the musical adaptation of Wings; and the lauded world premiere of Rebecca Gilman's Boy Gets Girl. Maggio's commitment to the collaborative process and his dedication to nurturing young artists led to his appointment as the Dean of The Theatre School at DePaul University in 1999.

Time Warner Foundation is the Major Supporter of New Play Development; The Glasser and Rosenthal Family and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust are Supporters of New Work Development. The Joyce Foundation is the Principal Supporter of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives.

About the 2013/2014 Playwrights Unit Members:

Anne Garci?a-Romero's plays include Provenance, Paloma, Earthquake Chica, Mary Peabody in Cuba, Land of Benjamin Franklin, Horsey Girl, Desert Longing, Juanita's Statue and Santa Concepcio?n. Her plays have been developed and produced at The Public Theater, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference, the Orchard Project, Arielle Tepper Madover Productions' Summer Play Festival (Off-Broadway), the Mark Taper Forum, Hartford Stage, South Coast Repertory, INTAR Theatre, HERE Arts Center, New Georges, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Borderlands Theater, Nevada Repertory Company, Jungle Theater, East Los Angeles Repertory Theatre Company, The Open Fist Theatre, WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory and LoNyLa Writers Lab. She is the recipient of the Jerome Fellowship at the Playwrights' Center of Minneapolis as well as the MacDowell Colony Fellowship. Her plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing, Playscripts, Smith & Kraus and NoPassport Press. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama and is an alumna of New Dramatists. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film, Television and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame and a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists.

Andrew Hinderaker is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, an ensemble member at The Gift and a three- time Jeff Award nominee. His plays include Suicide, Incorporated, which premiered at The Gift in 2010, was subsequently produced Off-Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre Company. Hinderaker's newest play, Colossal was the recent recipient of multiple awards from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The play, which features a twenty-person ensemble, a Dance Company and a drum line, will receive a Rolling World Premiere in the 2014/2015 season, starting at the Olney Theatre Center outside Washington, D.C. Additional plays by Hinderaker- including Dirty, Kingsville and I Am Going to Change the World-have been produced and/or developed by Manhattan Theatre Club, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Araca Group, Mixed Blood Theatre, No Rules Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Stage Left Theatre and several others. Hinderaker currently holds commissions from the Roundabout Theatre Company and Marc Platt Productions, and recently completed his M.F.A. in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin.

Mickle Maher is a cofounder of Theater Oobleck and the author of numerous plays, including There is a Happiness That Morning Is; An Apology for the Course and Outcome of Certain Events Delivered by Doctor John Faustus on This His Final Evening; The Hunchback Variations; The Strangerer; Spirits to Enforce; The Cabinet; Lady Madeline; and An Actor Prepares (an adaptation of Stanislavsky's seminal book). His plays have appeared off-Broadway and in theaters around the world, and have been supported by grants from the National Enowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund and Creative Capital. He currently teaches play writing and related subjects at the University of Chicago and Columbia College.

Laura Schellhardt's original works include The Comparables, Upright Grand, Air Guitar High, Auctioning the Ainsleys, The K of D, Courting Vampires and Shapeshifter. Adaptations include The Phantom Tollbooth and The Outfit. She is also the author of Screenwriting for Dummies. Schellhardt is a recipient of the Theatre Communications Group National Playwriting Residency, the Jerome Fellowship at the Playwrights' Center of Minneapolis, the Dramatist Guild Playwriting Fellowship, A Contemporary Theatre's New Play Award and American Alliance for Theatre and Education Distinguished Play Award. She has participated in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Ojai Playwrights Conference, the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, The Kennedy Center New Visions/New Voices, the Bonderman Symposium and the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference. Schellhardt received her MFA in playwriting from Brown University under the direction of Paula Vogel. She currently heads the undergraduate playwriting program at Northwestern University.

About the 2013/2014 Michael Maggio Directing Fellow:

Erica Weiss is the Associate Artistic Director of Chicago's Route 66 Theatre Company. She is the director and co- creator of the world-premiere production of A Twist of Water (Jeff Award for "Best New Work") and made her off- Broadway debut directing the play's New York Premiere at 59E59 Theaters. Other recent projects include Making Noise Quietly with Steep Theatre Company, Vigils with The Gift Theatre and the world premiere of Mahal with Bailiwick Chicago. Weiss was the founding Artistic Director of Hypatia Theatre Company, where she produced four world-premiere productions, two (the critically acclaimed Red Georgia Clay and Florida Styx) of which she directed. As a director, new play dramaturg and assistant director, she has worked with many of Chicago's largest professional companies and smaller storefront theaters, including Victory Gardens Theater, Northlight Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Stage Left Theatre, MPAACT and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, where she assisted Barbara Gaines on recent productions of Elizabeth Rex and Timon of Athens. For Route 66's upcoming season, she will direct the Midwest Premiere of CICADA by Jerre Dye (April 9 - May 11, 2014), and reunite with playwright Caitlin Parrish as director of the world premiere of The Downpour. Weiss is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University, where she earned her degree in Theatre Studies with an emphasis on directing and new play development.

About Goodman Theatre: The Goodman's 2013/2014 Season features 9 productions on its two stages-six in the 856-seat Albert Theatre and three in the 400-seat flexible Owen Theatre, plus the annual New Stages series that includes two additional workshop productions. Current and upcoming productions include the 36th annual production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, directed by Henry Wishcamper (through December 28, in the Albert); the annual New Stages series (through December 22, in the Owen); the world premiere of Luna Gale by Rebecca Gilman, directed by Robert Falls (January 18 - February 23, 2014 in the Albert); Buzzer by Tracey Scott Wilson, directed by Jessica Thebus (February 8 - March 9, 2014 in the Owen); the Chicago premiere of Venus in Fur by David Ives, directed by Joanie Schultz (March 8 - April 13, 2014 in the Albert); the Chicago premiere of The White Snake written and directed by Mary Zimmerman (May 3 - June 8, 2014 in the Albert); the world-premiere Goodman commission of Ask Aunt Susan by Seth Bockley, directed by Henry Wishcamper (May 24 - June 22, 2014 in the Owen); and a major revival of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's Brigadoon, directed by Rachel Rockwell (June 27 - August 3, 2014 in the Albert).

Named "Best Regional Theatre" by Time magazine and "top dog of the Chicago theater scene" by Frommer's, Goodman Theatre is world renowned for the quality and scope of its artistic programming and its commitment to improving life in the community. Artistic Director Robert Falls' and Executive Director Roche Schulfer's leadership has earned unparalleled artistic distinction and experienced unprecedented success, staging more than 80 world premieres, earning numerous awards for its productions-including the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre (1992) and the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined (2009)-and producing more than 25 new-work commissions. Founded in 1925 and housed in a state-of-the-art two-theater complex in the downtown Chicago Theatre District, the Goodman is Chicago's oldest and largest not-for-profit producing theater. Ruth Ann M. Gillis is Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sherry John is President of the Women's Board and Lauren Blair is President of the Scenemakers Board, the Goodman's young professionals auxiliary group.

Visit the Goodman virtually: watch artist interviews, view production photos, catch the latest news and more at GoodmanTheatre.org and the blog.

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