Falls & Bockley's 2666 Makes World Premiere Tonight at Goodman Theatre

Robert Falls' and Seth Bockley's world premiere adaptation of Roberto Bolaño's famed novel, 2666, which has received extraordinary audience enthusiasm during previews, officially opens tonight, February 16, 2016.

As announced yesterday, the extended run will include four additional performances: March 17, 18 and 19 at 6:30pm and March 20 at 1pm. The 15-member all-Chicago ensemble cast remains unchanged during the added performances.

An epic global portrait of the modern world and the artist's role within it, 2666 runs five hours and 30 minutes (including three intermissions) in the Goodman's Owen Theatre, through March 20; one performance appears per day at 6:30pm (Tuesdays - Saturdays) and 1pm on Sundays.

Tickets are $25-$53, and special $10 tickets are available for students with valid ID; visit GoodmanTheatre.org, call 312.443.3800 or purchase in person at the Box Office at 170 N. Dearborn. Please note: 2666 contains adult language, descriptions of extreme sexual violence and is recommended for mature audiences only. 2666 is made possible by a generous grant from The Roy Cockrum Foundation.

On March 5 at 4pm, audiences can learn more about Falls' and Bockley's unusual journey and process adapting Bolaño's novel for the stage. The "Artist Encounter" event is moderated by Dr. Héctor García, Spanish Senior Lecturer, Latin American and Latino Studies Program Director at Loyola University. Tickets are $10 for general public and $5 for subscribers (box office information appears above).

From Spain to England, Mexico and Germany -- and back in time, from the 1990s to World War II -- the stage adaptation of 2666 spans nearly 80 years and unfolds across the globe in five linked parts, each distinct in style and tone. The cast members, who portray nearly 80 roles in approximately 120 costumes, include Charín Alvarez, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Yadira Correa, Sandra Delgado, Alejandra Escalante, Sean Fortunato, Henry Godinez, Larry Grimm, Eric Lynch, Mark L. Montgomery, Adam Poss, Demetrios Troy, Juan Francisco Villa, Jonathan Weir and Nicole Wiesner.

It begins with four European academics in pursuit of an enigmatic German author, Benno Von Archimboldi, and continues overseas into Santa Teresa -- a Mexican border city where hundreds of women have been inexplicably murdered. The fictitious Santa Teresa is inspired by Ciudad Juárez, a real Mexican city Bolaño once referred to as "our curse and our mirror, the unquiet mirror of our frustrations and of our vile interpretation of freedom and of our desires" (Playboy).

The creative team includes designers Walt Spangler (sets), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes), Aaron Spivey (lights), Richard Woodbury and Mikhail Fiksel (sound and original music), and Shawn Sagady (projections and video).

Roberto Bolaño (Novelist) was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1953, and later lived in Mexico, Paris and Spain before his death in 2003. During his lifetime he received the prestigious Herralde de Novela Award and the Premio Rómulo Gallegos and was posthumously awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award. Considered among the greatest Latin American writers of his generation, he wrote nine novels, two story collections and five books of poetry, before dying at the age of 50. In addition to his final novel 2666, his works include The Savage Detectives; By Night in Chile; Distant Star; Last Evenings on Earth; The Third Reich; The Romantic Dogs; Amulet; Antwerp; The Unsufferable Gaucho; Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles and Speeches, 1998-2003; The Unknown University; Tres; Nazi Literature in the Americas; The Return; The Skating Rink and Woes of the True Policeman.

A recent inductee into the Theater Hall of Fame, co-adapter and co-director Robert Falls most recently reprised his critically acclaimed production of The Iceman Cometh, featuring the original cast headed by Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Last season, he also directed Rebecca Gilman's Luna Gale at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles and a new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Other recent productions include Measure for Measure and the world and off-Broadway premieres of Beth Henley's The Jacksonian. This season at the Goodman, Falls will also direct the Chicago premiere of Rebecca Gilman's Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976. Among Falls' other credits are The Seagull, King Lear, Desire Under the Elms, John Logan's Red, Jon Robin Baitz's Three Hotels, Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio and Conor McPherson's Shining City; the world premieres of Richard Nelson's Frank's Home, Arthur Miller's Finishing the Picture (his last play), Eric Bogosian's Griller, Steve Tesich's The Speed of Darkness and On the Open Road, John Logan's Riverview: A Melodrama with Music and Rebecca Gilman's A True History of the Johnstown Flood, Blue Surge and Dollhouse; the American premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's House and Garden and the Broadway premiere of Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida. Falls' honors for directing include, among others, a Tony Award (Death of a Salesman), a Drama Desk Award (Long Day's Journey into Night), an Obie Award (subUrbia), a Helen Hayes Award (King Lear) and multiple Jeff Awards (including a 2012 Jeff Award for The Iceman Cometh). For "outstanding contributions to theater," Falls has been recognized with such prestigious honors as the Savva Morozov Diamond Award (Moscow Art Theatre), the O'Neill Medallion (Eugene O'Neill Society), the Distinguished Service to the Arts Award (Lawyers for the Creative Arts) and the Illinois Arts Council Governor's Award.

Seth Bockley is a Chicago-based playwright and director and the Playwright-in-Residence at the Goodman. His plays include Ask Aunt Susan , which held its world premiere at the Goodman in 2014; February House, a collaboration with lyricist and composer Gabriel Kahane, which premiered at The Public Theater in the spring of 2012; The Elephant & The Whale (with Redmoon and Chicago Children's Theatre); adaptations of George Saunders' short stories CommComm (commissioned by the Goodman and further developed by New York's Page 73 Productions) and Jon, which won the 2008 Equity Jeff Award for Best New Adaptation; The Twins Would Like To Say for Dog & Pony Theatre Co.; and Laika's Coffin and Winter Pageant 2010 for Redmoon, where he spent two years as a directing apprentice through Theatre Communications Group's New Generations program. Directing credits include Samsara and Philip Dawkins' Failure: A Love Story at Victory Gardens Theater; Basetrack with En Garde Arts; Marcus Gardley's The Box with The Foundry Theatre; Jason Grote's Civilization (all you can eat) for Clubbed Thumb's Summer Works Festival; Jon and Jason Grote's 1001 for Collaboraction; numerous Redmoon events and spectacles; and the clown play Guerra, developed with Devon de Mayo and Mexico City-based troupe La Piara.

Called America's "Best Regional Theatre" by Time magazine, Goodman Theatre has won international recognition for its artists, productions and programs, and is a major cultural, educational and economic pillar in Chicago. Founded in 1925 by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth (an important figure in Chicago's cultural renaissance in the early 1900s), Goodman Theatre has garnered hundreds of awards for artistic achievement and community engagement, including two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards (including "Outstanding Regional Theatre" in 1992), nearly 160 Joseph Jefferson Awards and more. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the Goodman's artistic priorities include new plays (more than 150 world or American premieres in the past 30 years), reimagined classics (including Falls' nationally and internationally celebrated productions of Death of a Salesman, Long's Day's Journey into Night, King Lear and The Iceman Cometh, many in collaboration with actor Brian Dennehy), culturally specific work, musical theater (26 major productions in 20 years, including 10 world premieres) and international collaborations. Diversity and inclusion have been primary cornerstones of the Goodman's mission for 30 years; over the past decade, 68% of the Goodman's 35 world premieres were authored by women and/or playwrights of color, and the Goodman was the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson's "American Century Cycle." Each year the Goodman's numerous education and community engagement programs-including the innovative Student Subscription Series, now in its 30th year-serve thousands of students, teachers, life-long learners and special constituencies. In addition, for nearly four decades the annual holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol has led to the creation of a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. Goodman Theatre's leadership includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. Joan Clifford is Chair of Goodman Theatre's Board of Trustees, Swati Mehta is Women's Board President and Gordon C.C. Liao is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.

Photo Credit: Liz Lauren

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