Goodman Theatre Launches Reimagined Summer Education And Engagement Programs

By: Jul. 20, 2020

Free programming for participants "aged eight to 80" is underway online, as Goodman Theatre's popular Education and Engagement summer offerings for multigenerational learners go virtual. Nearly 150 students-35% of whom are new to the Goodman-participate in summer programs, which gather online each week on varying days and times.

In addition to expanding its established programs GeNarrations and InterGens, the Goodman has developed three new offerings: Alone Together: A Solo Voices Project, in which participants develop three-to-five-minute site-specific solo performance pieces; Writing in the Face of Fear, a story-telling intensive for young women; and Strike!: The Youth Political Theater Project, which sees the ensemble-based, youth-driven creation of new virtual theater pieces in response to events of the current political and social environment. Virtual public performances, starting July 24 (details below), cap the programs. In addition, Alone Together is now accepting applications for its second session, running July 27-August 21. To apply, visit

"Like us all, the Goodman Education and Engagement programs had to do a quick pivot in response to our new reality and online environment," said Willa J. Taylor, Walter Director of Education and Engagement. "We have created workshops to take advantage of our virtual space and allow students to expand their reach. The Goodman is committed to continuing to offer virtual programming to engage participants aged eight to 80, and to reach new communities in ways we can only do in this medium."

Teaching artists include a host of the local and national theater industry's finest professionals, including playwrights, actors, directors, choreographers, designers and Goodman Education and Engagement staff members: Breon Arzell, Adrian Azevedo (Goodman Education and Engagement Associate), Quenna L. Barrett (Goodman Associate Director of Education), Michael Bodeen; McKenzie Chinn, Liam Collier (Goodman Education and Engagement Assistant); Cynthia Cornelius, Wardell Julius Clark, Sharon Evans, Julie Ganey, Jessica Hutchinson, Deb Lewis, Alex Lubischer, Ken-Matt Martin (Goodman Associate Producer), Sam Mauceri (Goodman School Matinee Series Coordinator), Graham Schmidt, Laura Stempel, Megan Stielstra, Willa J. Taylor (Goodman Walter Director of Education), Darian Tene, Catherine Wilson and Margaret Winchell.

The Goodman is grateful for the generous support of its Education and Engagement summer program sponsors: The James and Madeleine McMullan Family Foundation and Kimbra and Mark Walter (Major Sponsors); Pepsico (Official Nutrition Sponsor); Warner Media, The Walter E. Heller Foundation and Theatre Forward (Supporters). The Goodman also thanks The Mayer-Rothschild Foundation for its Support for GeNarrations.

Additionally, the Goodman is grateful for those individuals and institutions that provide general support of Education and Engagement at Goodman Theatre: The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust and The Goodman Theatre Women's Board (Major Supporters); KPMG (Major Corporate Sponsor); Aon, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, McDonald's, US Bank, Aryaka and the Dr. Scholl Foundation (Supporters); The Michael A. Sachs Family Foundation, Carol Prins and John Hart, Fruman and Marian Jacobson, Anthony and Julianne Maggiore, Leslie and Jimmy John Liautaud, and Efroymson Family Fund (Major Individual Season Sponsors).


Alone Together: A Solo Voices Project

Virtual performance: July 24 at 5:30pm on YouTube and
Applications for the second session (July 27 - August 21) applications are now open.

Eighteen participants aged 14 to 18 develop a three-to-five-minute site-specific solo performance piece. Participants learn playwriting, movement and dance, acting and vocal performance from Chicago teaching artists and coaching from directors and designers to lift the pieces from the page to the virtual stage.

Strike!: The Youth Political Theater Project
Virtual performance: July 25 at 5:30pm on YouTube and

Ten participants aged 14 to 18 collaborate in the ensemble-based, youth-driven creation of new virtual theater pieces in response to political and social events by working with current members of the Goodman Youth Arts Council and their peers. Participants also work towards producing a live, virtual event series with local theater artists, expanding their knowledge of careers and social justice in the theater.

Writing in the Face of Fear

July 13 - 24 (no performance)

Ten young women aged 14 to 18 explore the fundamentals of the creative essay as an essential form of storytelling. Led by author Megan Stielstra, participants develop their craft as writers and storytellers as they work to develop their own essays.


Virtual performance: August 14 (time TBA)

Twenty participants aged 14 to 40 create original devised work that considers the perspectives of all ages in this acclaimed annual program that unites high school students, working artists and lifelong learners. The current session includes eight young artists, nine GeNarrations participants and three Goodman Theatre staffers.


July 6 - August 28 (no performance)

Seventy-five adults aged 55+ engage in the Goodman's popular storytelling performance workshop to develop personal narrative performance pieces. In the new "Solo Voices" masterclass, designed for GeNarrations students of least two years, 11 participants interested in long-form storytelling, work to develop a solo piece with a strong unifying principle, point-of-view and story arc.


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