*ROE* Makes Its Chicago Premiere January 18 At Goodman Theatre
Conceived in a pizza parlor and argued in the highest court in the land, the landmark 1973 case of Roe v. Wade legalized abortion-and is debated still today. Vanessa Stalling returns to the Goodman to direct the 15-member cast, including emblematic characters of plaintiff Norma McCorvey ("Jane Roe") and Sarah Weddington, the young Texan lawyer who argued the case.
Roe appears January 18 - February 23 (opening night is Monday, January 27) in the Goodman's 856-seat Albert Theatre. Tickets ($20-70; subject to change) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/Roe, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn).
"I've long been familiar with the Supreme Court case, but knew little about the women behind this monumental decision involving reproductive rights. In her thought-provoking, even-handed play Roe, gifted playwright Lisa Loomer encounters us with the brave, flawed people who may not be household names-but whose actions have, in one way or another, affected us all," said Artistic Director Robert Falls. "I'm thrilled to welcome Lisa in her Goodman debut-and to welcome back one of Chicago's finest directors, Vanessa Stalling, following her masterful production of The Wolves (2018). Vanessa's work combines her deep understanding of text with her knack for unconventional staging to pack an emotional punch."
In turns shocking, humorous and poignant, Roe cuts through the headlines and rhetoric to reveal the divergent personal journeys that mirror the current polarization over Roe v. Wade-and the heart and passion each side has for its cause. Roe was originally commissioned and produced (2016) by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as part of their "American Revolutions" program-a multi-decade effort to commission and develop plays about pivotal moments in American history.
"In a time of expansive new media, one of our oldest mediums-the theater-is hard at work for humanity," said Director Vanessa Stalling. "I was drawn to this piece in part because I'm interested in how art is addressing the divisive moment we find ourselves in. With her incredible abilities for comedic timing and flow, Lisa has generated an exciting night at the theater-one that leaps in time and space, and embraces all theatrical elements. I'm honored to play a role in bringing one of our country's most heated debates to the stage."
Joining Christina Hall as Sarah Weddington and Kate Middleton as Norma McCorvey are Kayla Carter (Roxy), Jazmín Corona (Ensemble), Julia Dale (Melissa/Emily), Stephanie Diaz (Ofelia/Connie), Kirsten Fitzgerald (Molly/Mary/Ensemble), Raymond Fox (McCluskey/Ensemble), Meighan Gerachis (Ensemble), Maura Kidwell (Helen/Ronda/Ensemble), Ryan Kitley (Flip/Ensemble), John Lister (Justice Blackmun/Ensemble), Eliza Stoughton (Ensemble), Jessica Dean Turner (Barbara/Aileen/Ensemble) and Meg Warner (Judy/Linda Coffee/Ensemble). The creative team includes Collette Pollard (Set Design), Jessica Pabst (Costume Design), Keith Parham (Lighting Design) and Mikhail Fiksel (Sound Design). Briana J. Fahey is the Production Stage Manager.