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Goodman Theatre Announces the 2021 NEW STAGES FESTIVAL


Artistic operations are in full swing at Goodman Theatre, where live-in-person performances have resumed since July, including two now on stage.

Artistic operations are in full swing at Goodman Theatre, where live-in-person performances have resumed since July, including two now on stage-American Mariachi by José Cruz González (through October 24) and Fannie (The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer) by Cheryl L. West (through November 14), both directed by Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez-plus readings of plays authored by the Goodman's Playwrights Unit (continuing through November 4).

Now, the Goodman announces its six-project line-up of the 17th annual New Stages Festival (December 1-19, as well as invites Chicago-based early-career directors to apply for the 2022 Michael Maggio Directing Fellowship, now entering its 20th year ( In addition, the Goodman welcomes project proposals for Future Labs (, a development workshop series for plays written and led by artists of color now in its second season, with at least six new projects slated for workshop and public readings beginning in early 2022.

Health and safety note: Proof of full vaccination with an FDA-authorized vaccine is required for all guests over 12 and a recent negative test must be presented for children under 12. Patrons must wear face coverings at all times while inside Goodman Theatre. Learn more at

Six projects appear as part of the annual New Stages Festival-a free celebration and discovery of new works by some of the country's finest established and emerging playwrights, now in its 17th season and under the leadership of Director of New Works Jonathan L. Green. Two fully staged developmental productions are the centerpiece of the festival, performed in repertory-Nightwatch by Max Yu, directed by Chay Yew and Layalina by Martin Yousif Zebari, directed by Sivan Battat. The final weekend, which is scheduled so that theater industry professionals can view all of the new plays, expands to include three staged readings-Fires, Ohio by Beth Hyland, directed by Marti Lyons; Your Name Means Dream by José Rivera, directed by Audrey Francis and Watching the Watcher by Dael Orlandersmith, directed by Neel Keller. In addition, the virtual reality experience Hummingbird by Jo Cattell appears as a special event production at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at University of Illinois at Chicago (December 3-6). The Goodman's current production of Cheryl L. West's Fannie (The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer) was developed as part of New Stages 2019; two plays that are part of the 2021 line-up-Max Yu's Nightwatch and Martin Yousif Zebari's Layalina-were part of the inaugural season of Future Labs. The New Stages Festival appears December 1-19 in the 350-seat Owen Theatre (with the exception of Hummingbird, which takes place at UIC); free reserved tickets are available now by visit or calling 312.443.3800. Reserve a space for Professionals Weekend, December 17-19, by visiting

Calling all early-career directors! Apply now for the 2022 Michael Maggio Directing Fellowship, which provides an opportunity to assist on a Goodman production and become involved in the ongoing artistic life of the theater for a full season and beyond. The fellowship, which begins in early 2022 and includes a $5,000 stipend, is designed for local artists who have directed at least two professional (non-academic) productions. Applications close November 17. A selection committee-including Goodman Artistic team members Kimberly Senior (Artistic Associate), Chuck Smith (Resident Director), Malkia Stampley (Producer) and Spenser Davis (current Maggio Fellow) as well as acclaimed Chicago director Lisa Portes-will review submissions and interview semi-finalists. A second round of finalist interviews will include Artistic Director Robert Falls, Goodman producers and members of the selection committee. Final candidate selection will be made by December 31, 2021. To apply, submit a resume; a portfolio and/or selected reviews of previous work (if available); at least two letters of reference from theater professionals or educators; and a statement of personal and artistic goals, with a focus on how the Fellowship could help the applicant achieve those goals to Established in 2002, the fellowship honors the memory and artistry of Goodman Associate Artistic Director Michael Maggio (1951 - 2000) who directed a total of 22 productions at the Goodman and more than 60 productions around the country. Previous Fellows include: Spenser Davis (2020), Sydney Chatman (2019), Jo Cattell (2017), Jess McLeod (2016), Vanessa Stalling (2015), Marti Lyons (2014), Erica Weiss (2013), Jimmy McDermott (2012), Anna Bahow (2011), Joanie Schultz (2009), Anthony Moseley (2007), Dado (2006), Ann Filmer (2005), Mignon McPherson-Nance (2003) and Lynn Ann Bernatowicz (2002).

Bold, imaginative new plays authored by artists of color are sought for the second year of Future Labs-Goodman Theatre's newest artistic effort to develop works authored and directed by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI, SWANA and other artists of color. Established in January 2021, Future Labs is designed primarily for Chicago-based writers who have not had a play produced at the Goodman. Program curators include Quenna L. Barrett (Associate Director of Education and Engagement), Jonathan L. Green (Director of New Works), Alberto Mendoza (Video Producer) and Malkia Stampley (Producer) and involves a Goodman Staff Evaluation Team composed of individuals of intersectional identities and in areas across the theater. Selected projects receive rehearsal time, artistic and casting support and an optional free public reading. To learn more about Future Labs and to submit a project for consideration, visit

In other Artistic news, the Goodman has named Malkia Stampley-co-founder/Artistic Producer of the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival and co-founder/former Producing Artistic Director of Bronzeville Arts Ensemble (Milwaukee)-as its new Producer. In addition, Jonathan L. Green has been appointed Director of New Works, and Rachael Jimenez has been named Associate Casting Director/Special Events Producer. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls, the Goodman's Artistic leadership also includes Managing Producer Adam Belcuore, Walter Director of Education and Engagement Willa J. Taylor, Resident Dramaturg Neena Arndt and Casting Director Lauren Port.

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