SMOKEFALL, TWO TRAINS RUNNING and More Set for Goodman Theatre's 2014-15 Season
Chicago's most established resident theater presents a 90th anniversary "season to celebrate," a line-up of new and contemporary works on its two stages-the 856-seat Albert Theatre and 400-seat flexible Owen Theatre. Today, Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer announced six plays (of eight)-half of which were developed by commission and/or workshop in the Goodman's new play development programs-that comprise the 2014/2015 Season, plus co-productions with Chicago's off-Loop theaters. Remarked Falls, "We are proud to present this Season in the same spirit that launched the Goodman in 1925: 'an array of dramatic fare, from classics to noteworthy contemporary works, innovative and oft controversial, embracing genres from farces to searing social dramas.' We hope to give our audiences compelling, relevant experiences from a range of culturally and aesthetically diverse artists, from bold new talents to acclaimed local and national voices." For a limited time, Subscriptions start at $90 in honor of the milestone season; call 312.443.3800 or visit GoodmanTheatre.org. Individual tickets go on sale in August. Two Albert plays are TBA.
The milestone season begins with an unprecedented three-month celebration of plays in every stage of development in an expanded New Stages festival that includes two mainstage subscription offerings, three workshop productions, staged readings and special events (September through November 2014). The Albert season opens with the return of Noah Haidle's Smokefall-a Goodman commission that premiered in the Owen last year-in order that a larger audience can experience the Anne Kauffman-directed smash sensation that topped "Best of 2013" theater lists and was recently named a finalist for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award. The original cast reassembles for the remount, led by "the incomparable Mike Nussbaum" (Chicago Tribune). In the Owen, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's "hard-hitting and bruisingly funny" (Time Out London) The World of Extreme Happiness, which was presented in workshop productions first in New Stages and at the National Theatre in London, makes its world premiere co-production with Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC presents the play off-Broadway at its Stage I following the Goodman run), directed by Eric Ting. Kicking off 2015, in the Albert, acclaimed local director Kimberly Senior makes her Goodman debut with the Chicago premiere of Rapture, Blister, Burn, Gina Gionfriddo's "intensely smart, immensely funny new play" (New York Times), followed by Resident Director Chuck Smith's revival of Two Trains Running, August Wilson's searing portrait of life in the 1960s. In conjunction with his production, Smith curates a citywide celebration of the playwright on dual landmark occasions: the 70th anniversary of Wilson's birth and 10th anniversary of his death. Partnering Chicago theaters present readings of all 10 plays in Wilson's 20th Century Cycle, plus discussions and events, to explore his enduring impact (participants/partnerships TBA). In spring 2015 in the Owen, The Upstairs Concierge, Kristoffer Diaz's farcical spoof of today's fame-obsessed society that enjoyed a sold-out limited run during New Stages last season, makes its world premiere. Finally, Regina Taylor marks her 20th anniversary as an Artistic Associate with her new play stop. reset., following its successful off-Broadway run last year.
In an unprecedented partnership, the Goodman and The Second City join forces to present the hilarious holiday send-up, Twist Your Dickens, in the Owen to complement the 37th annual production of A Christmas Carol, which is directed by Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper in the Albert. Finally, the Goodman once again partners with Albany Park Theater Project on their fifth production at the Goodman-a venture that has introduced more than 5,000 new audience members to APTP.
Also this season, Falls remounts Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh at Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York for a six-week run in February 2015. As previously announced, BAM and Scott Rudin present the acclaimed revival that appeared at the Goodman in 2012. Tony Award-winners Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy and the original cast reprise their roles. Goodman Theatre Announces Its New 2014/2015 Season Line-Up Page 2 of 4 90th "Season to Celebrate" Includes New Works and Legendary Artistry
About the Productions and Events in Goodman Theatre's 90TH Anniversary "Season to Celebrate"
Plays, artists and dates are subject to change; two Albert Theatre plays TBA; visit the Press Room for bios and imagery.
2014/2015 SUBSCRIPTION SEASON
The World of Extreme Happiness In the Owen By Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, directed by Eric Ting A World Premiere Co-Production with Manhattan Theatre Club
September 13 - October 12, 2014
Opening night: September 22
When Sunny is born in rural China, her parents leave her in a slop bucket to die because she's not a boy. She survives, and at age 14 leaves for the city, where she finds work in a factory and attends self-help classes in pursuit of a coveted office position. But when Sunny's attempts at self-improvement lead to calamitous consequences for a fellow worker, she questions the system she's spent her life trying to master. Savage, tragic and desperately funny, The World of Extreme Happiness is a provocative examination of individuals struggling to shape their destinies amid China's dizzying economic transformation. Following the Goodman Theatre run, The World of Extreme Happiness appears at Manhattan Theatre Club. Previews begin in New York on February 3, 2015 for a February 24, 2015 opening night at MTC at New York City Center - Stage I.
September 20 - October 26, 2014
Opening night: September 29
In its 2013 world premiere in the Owen Theatre, Smokefall was critically hailed as a "fragile, haunting, not-to-be-missed new family drama" (Chicago Tribune) and a "rare treat...continually surprising, gently surreal...transcendently lovely new play" (Chicago Sun-Times). Change is in the air as Violet prepares to bring twin boys into the world. Inside her womb, her unborn sons contemplate their future, while the world around her is in transformation: her husband is secretly planning to leave her, her father is slipping into senility and her daughter has taken a vow of silence. Haunting and slyly funny, Smokefall explores the lives of this family in a lyrical treatise on the fragility of life and the power of love.
Rapture, Blister, Burn In the Albert
January 17 - February 22, 2015
Opening night: January 26
"Sharp-eyed and big-hearted" (The Boston Globe), Rapture, Blister, Burn "keeps an impressive balance as its surfs several waves of feminism" (Time Out New York). Grad school pals Catherine and Gwen pursued completely different lives after graduation. Catherine became a controversial author, while Gwen married Catherine's ex-boyfriend Don and raised two sons. After a decade-long estrangement, the women decide to spend a summer reconnecting. But their impulsive attempt to trade places soon erupts in a heated battle for Don's affection and a fiery examination of their feminist ideals.
Two Trains Running In the Albert
March 7 - April 12, 2015
Opening night: March 16
In 2007, Goodman Theatre became the first theater in the world to have produced all 10 plays in August Wilson's "20th Century Cycle," of which Two Trains Running is a part (the Goodman previously produced this play in 1993, directed by Lloyd Richards). The civil rights movement is sweeping across Pittsburgh's Hill District in 1969, but the promise of a better tomorrow hasn't quite reached all of the city's residents, some of whom gather daily at Memphis' diner to gossip about the neighborhood, dream about their futures and confront the brutal realities of the present. Now Memphis must decide if he should allow the government to take over his building or sell the property to a ruthless businessman. In one of his most affecting plays, written in 1990, the legendary Wilson explores a time of extraordinary change-and the ordinary people who get left behind. Illinois Tool Works is a Corporate Sponsor Partner for Two Trains Running.
The Upstairs Concierge In the Owen
By Kristoffer Diaz A World Premiere Goodman Commission
March 28 - April 26, 2015
Opening night: April 6
Ella can't wait to start her new job as the upstairs concierge at a sleek hotel. Catering to celebrity guests is her dream-but it's hard to keep track of which guests are in which room, which guest is the biggest celebrity and which guests like to strip naked. Playwright Kristoffer Diaz gleefully skewers today's fame-obsessed society in this hysterically off-kilter new farce.
stop. reset. In the Owen
Written and Directed by Regina Taylor A Chicago Premiere
May 23 - June 21, 2015
Opening night: June 1
As e-books and digital technologies transform the literary world, Chicago businessman Alex Ames must confront the likely demise of his long-standing African-American book publishing company. While his employees fret over losing their jobs, Alex finds unlikely inspiration from a mysterious teenager, whose inventive, forward-thinking ideas may provide the solution to preserving Alex's legacy.
EVENTS AND CO-PRODUCTIONS
8th Annual New Stages Festival In the Owen
Fall 2014 (dates TBA)
New Stages 2014 will feature three workshop productions and three staged readings. Since 2004, New Stages has given Chicago the first look at new American plays-including Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning Ruined. Over the past three decades, Goodman Theatre has produced more than 100 premieres-approximately one third of which are authored by playwrights of color. Director of New Play Development Tanya Palmer oversees the Goodman's efforts to develop new American plays with contemporary theater artists, including New Stages, the Playwrights Unit (annual residency program) and the theater's new works commissioning program.
A Christmas Carol In the Albert
November 15 - December 28, 2014
Opening night: November 23
The Goodman's 37th annual production of A Christmas Carol, adapted from Charles Dickens' classic 1843 novella, is the unforgettable tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, a wealthy business man with a disdain for holiday cheer in Victorian London. One Christmas, Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who take him on an incredible journey that offers him a new perspective on everything from his dusty past to his dark future, and presents him with an opportunity to sympathize with his fellow man and rediscover life and love. "The granddaddy of Chicago holiday entertainment" (Time Out Chicago), A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre is "the crown jewel of the holiday season" (Daily Herald). PepsiCo is the Official Beverage Sponsor and Aon is a Corporate Sponsor Partner for A Christmas Carol.
The Second City's A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens In the Owen
December 5 - 28, 2014
Goodman Theatre and The Second City team up to present a hilarious send-up of the Dickens holiday classic. The famous Victorian streets spring to frenzied life as Scrooge, Tiny Tim and those know-it-all ghosts find themselves hopelessly mixed up with characters from the Peanuts holiday special, the island of misfit toys and even little orphan Annie. Add in Second City's trademark improvisation and it makes for a heaping host of holiday hilarity for all. The Second City's A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens is written by former The Colbert Report writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort. "As we continue to collaborate with some of the country's most prestigious arts organizations, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with our talented friends at Goodman Theatre and present this new twist on A Christmas Carol," said Andrew Alexander, CEO & Executive Producer, The Second City, Inc.
Albany Park Theater Project
Albany Park Theater Project (APTP)'s "astonishing and exquisitely honed youth ensemble" (Chicago Sun-Times) with a "reputation for artistic excellence" (Time Out Chicago) returns to the Goodman with their fifth play to be produced downtown at the Goodman in the Owen Theatre in an artistic partnership that has introduced more than 5,000 new audience members to the company since 2008. APTP's previous performances at the Goodman include God's Work (April 2014), Home/Land (2012), Feast (2010) and Aquí Estoy (2008). David Feiner, producing artistic director of APTP, remarked, "The Goodman has become a second home for Albany Park Theater Project. Since our founding, we have always sought to tell the stories of immigrant communities like Albany Park to people both in our own neighborhood and throughout the city. With the Goodman as our theater district home, APTP is now truly able to fulfill our mission of sharing these real-life, Chicago stories with a citywide audience."
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. Together, they have staged more than 80 world premieres, earning numerous awards-including the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre (1992) and the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined (2009)-and produced 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, named "Best Regional Theatre" by Time magazine and "top dog of the Chicago theater scene" by Frommer's. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre. 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.
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