Free Staged Readings To Take Place At Goodman Theatre, July 5-8
Goodman Theatre announces a line-up of free readings written by members of its Playwrights Unit-a year-long residency for Chicago-based writers to develop their plays-in-progress with the Goodman's artistic team, in partnership with Chicago Dramatists. Members of the 2018/2019 Playwrights Unit include Georgette Kelly, Dianne Nora, Marisela Treviño Orta and Stacey Rose. Free, one-time-only readings take place July 5-7 at Goodman Theatre (170 N. Dearborn); to make a reservation call 312.443.3800 or visit GoodmanTheatre.org/PlaywrightsUnitReadings. Availability is extremely limited. More information about each writer follows; headshots can be found in the Press Room.
The Playwrights Unit is an important component of Goodman Theatre's efforts to develop new American plays. Works are considered for the New Stages Festival and future mainstage programming. In recent years, Playwrights Unit works at the Goodman have included Sandra Delgado's La Havana Madrid, Andrew Hinderaker's The Magic Play, Seth Bockley's Ask Aunt Susan, Kristiana Rae Colón's florissant & canfield, Martín Zimmerman's The Solid Sand Below and Ricardo Gamboa's The Wizards.
The Goodman is grateful for the generosity of its New Work sponsors, including: the Time Warner Foundation, Lead Support of New Play Development; The Pritzker-Pucker Foundation and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Major Support of New Play Development; The Glasser and Rosenthal Family, Support of New Work Development; and The Joyce Foundation, Principal Support for Diverse Artistic and Professional Development.
About the 2018/2019 Playwrights Unit Readings
Portrait (holding a mirror) by Georgette Kelly
Directed by Vanessa Stalling
Friday, July 5 | 7pm
At a time when women were largely excluded from the art world, Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun rose to fame by painting Queen Marie-Antoinette-and crafting her image for public consumption. But as the French Revolution begins, Vigée Le Brun is forced into exile with her daughter on a 13-year artistic odyssey across Europe and Russia. In a poetic riff on women's bodies and agency against the backdrop of a bloody revolution, Portrait (holding a mirror) follows a mother and daughter on their journey from fame to infamy.
Kelly's work has been produced across the country and she has participated in numerous artistic residencies. Her play I Carry Your Heart received the inaugural Hope on Stage Playwriting Award, accompanied by a rolling world premiere, and Ballast was featured on The Kilroys List and received the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding New Play. Other plays include: North Star, Faith in a Fallen World, In the Belly of the Whale, F*ck la vie d'artiste, How to Hero and an adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's Lighthousekeeping. Kelly's work has been developed with Goodman Theatre, the Kennedy Center, the National New Play Network, the DC Source Festival, Alliance Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, Something Marvelous and Chicago's DCASE. She is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and she has participated in residencies at the Tofte Lake Center, the National Winter Playwrights Retreat and terraNOVA Groundbreakers Playwrights Group. She has been chosen as a finalist for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, the Lark Playwrights Week, the Playwrights' Center CORE Writer Program, the BPP Woodward/Newman Drama Award, the Stage Left Playwright Residency and the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. Kelly holds a BA in performance studies from Northwestern University and an MFA in playwriting from Hunter College, where she studied with Tina Howe, Arthur Kopit and Mark Bly. GeorgetteKelly.com
December by Marisela Treviño Orta
Directed by Denise Yvette Serna
Saturday, July 6 | 3pm
When Carolina, a college poetry instructor, and her student Benjamin first meet, an attraction blossoms, but the possibility of romance is halted by Carolina, who cannot overlook the age difference in good conscience. A mediation on love, poetry and timing, December spans 20 years and follows Carolina and Benjamin as they meet at three different moments in their lives.
Orta is an award-winning playwright, a graduate of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and a Playwrights' Center Core Writer. A poet for many years, Orta found her way to playwriting in 2004 while completing an MFA in writing at the University of San Francisco, where she studied poetry. This season, Orta's play Wolf at the Door will receive a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere at New Jersey Repertory Company, Kitchen Dog Theater, Milagro Theatre, and Halcyon Theatre. Her other plays include Alcira; American Triage; Braided Sorrow (Su Teatro); Ghost Limb (Brava Theatre); Heart Shaped Nebula (Shotgun Players); Shoe; The River Bride (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); and Woman on Fire (Camino Real Productions). Orta is an alumna of the Playwrights Foundation's Resident Playwright Initiative, a founding member of the Bay Area Latino Theatre Artists Network and a member of the Latinx Theatre Commons' national steering committee. Currently she is working on an adaptation of Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit and has also begun a new cycle of worst-case scenario plays-sci-fi thriller plays including WMB (pronounced "womb") and Nightfall. Her work has been commissioned by American Conservatory Theater, Latino Playwrights Initiative, Marin Theatre Company, Nashville Children's Theatre and San Francisco Grants for the Arts. She has been awarded the 2006 Chicano/Latino Literary Prize in Drama, 2009 Pen Center USA Literary Award in Drama, 2012 Nuestras Voces Finalist (Repertorio Español), 2012 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference Semifinalist, 2013 National Latino Playwriting Award co-winner (Arizona Theatre Company), 2013 Global Age Project Finalist (Aurora Theatre Company), 2016 Kilroys List, 2016 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Latinidad Playwriting Award Runner Up, 50 Playwrights Project's Best Unproduced Latin@ Plays of 2017, 2018 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference Semifinalist and 2019 Kendeda Finalist (Alliance Theatre).
America v. 2.3: The Gospel of Simeon Samuels by Stacey Rose
Directed by Christopher D. Betts
Saturday, July 6 | 7pm
Simeon Samuels is a prophet of humble stock who was divinely assigned by God to be the savior this world needs. His battle to overcome his circumstances lands him in a place of great wealth and power, but he faces his own downfall as the world questions: is he a divinely-ordained prophet or just a fanatic with delusions of grandeur? Simeon may not be the savior the country wants, but he's definitely the one it deserves. America v. 2.3: The Gospel of Simeon Samuels is the second installment of Rose's exploration of American history and racial culture (America v. 2.1: The Sad Demise & Eventual Extinction of The American Negro, The Fire This Time Festival 2016).
Rose hails from Elizabeth, New Jersey and Charlotte, North Carolina respectively, where she earned a BA in theatre at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is an alum of the MFA program in dramatic writing at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. While at Tisch she was the recipient of an AAUW Career Development Grant, a Future Screenwriting Fellow and honored with The Goldberg Prize for her play The Danger: A Homage to Strange Fruit. Her work has been presented at UNC Charlotte, On Q Productions, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, The Fire This Time Festival (Slavesperience, America v. 2.1), The Brooklyn Generator (As Is: Conversations with Big Black Women in Confined Spaces), The Bushwick Starr Reading Series (Igniting The Alabaster You!), Mosaic Theatre (The Black Jew Thing co-written with Alexis Spiegel), The Amoralists Theatre Compay (Bones, Bonez, Bone$), Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre (Muva Death), National Black Theatre (The Ballad O' Nigg-O-Lee) and Pillsbury House Theater (Sven, Ole & The Armageddon Myth). She is a two time semi-finalist for The Princess Grace Fellowship (The Danger), a semi-finalist at Premiere Stages Play Festival (As Is), and a finalist at the Fusion Film Festival (Up-And-Coming). Rose was a 2015-16 Dramatist Guild Fellow, a 2017-18 Playwrights' Center Many Voices Fellow, a 2018 Sundance Theatre Lab Fellow and is a 2018-2021 Playwrights' Center Core Writer. She served as writer's assistant and script coordinator for season one of She's Gotta Have It, the Series. Rose's work celebrates and explores Blackness, Black identity, Black history, body politics and the dilemma of life as the "other."
Ruth by Dianne Nora
Directed by Marti Lyons
Sunday, July 7 | 3pm
A Supreme Court Justice entertains and reflects on her life as an activist and artist through standup, cabaret, and naturalistic scenes. Performed by a cast of nine womxn, Ruth is an engaging piece on life choices and features original songs by New York-based composer-lyricist Emily Gardner Xu Hall.
Nora is a playwright, dramaturg, theater scholar and comedy writer who works in Chicago, Brooklyn, and Dublin, Ireland. Her full-length plays include Julie (25F), Western Country, In Rooms Such as These, Everybody's Legs, Wasps, Ye That Dwell in Dust, Prodigal and Monica: This Play Is Not About Monica Lewinsky. She recently assisted her mentor Tracy Letts in rehearsals for the world premiere of his play The Minutes, a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. She is currently co-writing a parody of the Bible with Scott Dikkers, founding editor of The Onion.