Photo Flash: Goodman Theatre's Upcoming Premiere ANOTHER WORD FOR BEAUTY
Goodman Theatre announces casting for Another Word for Beauty, a world premiere music-filled work by Academy Award nominee José Rivera with music by Grammy Award winner Héctor Buitrago. Directed by Steve Cosson and developed through a co-commission between the Goodman and the New York-based theater company The Civilians, Another Word for Beauty is inspired by the true stories of the inmates at El Buen Pastor womens prison in Bogotá, Colombia, who compete in a beauty pageant intended by their jailers to motivate and rehabilitate them. The prisoners and the events and circumstances that led to the womens' arrests are brought to life by a cast including Stephanie Andrea Barron (Yolanda), Helen Cespedes (Xiomara), Monique Gabriela Curnen (Marilin/Magnolia), Dan Domingues (Danny/Maurico/Arturo), Danaya Esperanza (Luzmery), Zoe Sophia Garcia (Nora), Marisol Miranda (Carmen/Tatiana), Yun Pardo (Jeimi), Socorro Santiago (Ciliana), Heather Velazquez (Maikelyn/Eva) and Carmen Zilles (Isabelle). Visit the Press Room for more information. Another Word for Beauty appears January 16 - February 21 in the Albert Theatre (opening night is Monday, January 25). Tickets ($25 - $77; subject to change) go on sale to the general public Friday, December 4 and are available at GoodmanTheatre.org, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Another Word for Beauty is the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Plays Award. Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is the Major Corporate Sponsor and PwC LLP is the Corporate Sponsor Partner.
In conjunction with Another Word for Beauty and Roberto Bolaño's 2666 (adapted for the stage by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Seth Bockley), Goodman Theatre will present an in-depth look at the remarkable range of contemporary Latino writers working in theater with the Latino Theatre Celebration. Working in tandem with some of Chicago's outstanding smaller theater companies, the Goodman will present free staged readings and panel discussions that highlight the extraordinary careers and influential writings of Rivera and María Irene Fornés, two of America's most accomplished writers for the stage. Additional programs in the celebration will focus on the extraordinary poetry of Bolaño, Gabriel García Márquez and other seminal writers. The Latino Theatre Celebration will take place February 15 through 29 at Goodman Theatre, Northwestern University and other Chicago locations.
Award-winning playwright Rivera, who marks 20 years working with Goodman Theatre, describes Another Word for Beauty as "a deeply human story. I want audiences to understand the basic humanity of these women-to really have assumptions and stereotypes challenged and exploded. The whole point of good theater is to give a voice to those who don't have a voice and articulate whatever is in the air in that society at the time. We hope to raise the consciousness of who these incarcerated women are: three-dimensional human beings beyond the clichés of a hooker, a drug mule, etc."
Another Word for Beauty was developed using The Civilians' signature investigative process. Rivera, Director Steve Cosson (who is also Artistic Director of the Civilians) and a team of artists visited El Buen Pastor to research and interview inmates, guards, prison staff, pageant consultants and members of the Colombian justice system to fully understand the role the pageant plays. From this research, Rivera constructed the original new play, punctuated with music from Buitrago-a founding member of the seminal Latin Grammy Award-winning Colombian band Aterciopelados.