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Goodman Theatre unveils 2021 season, "Whenever" Memberships"
2020-08-18

This article shared 868 times since Tue Aug 18, 2020
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( Chicago, IL ) Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer announce "Our Next Act"—Goodman Theatre's 2021 Season of eight plays on its two stages ( the 856-seat Albert Theatre and 350-seat flexible Owen Theatre ) scheduled to begin when it is deemed safe for audiences, artists and staff. The Membership line-up includes newly announced plays plus rescheduled works that were postponed due to COVID-19. One postponed work, Falls' production of Molly Sweeney, has been cancelled. Note: Details regarding the 43rd annual production of A Christmas Carol, which is not included on Goodman Membership, will be released soon. Memberships to the upcoming season are now available, including the "Whenever Membership" flexible package. A five-play Membership package starts at $100. Call 312.443.3800 or visit GoodmanTheatre.org/2021season to become a Member and find answers to frequently asked questions. Single tickets will be available at a later date.

"We can't wait to welcome back our audiences for our dynamic 2021 Season that exemplifies the very best of our art form," said Artistic Director Robert Falls. "As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our artists and audiences, we remain flexible in our planning and will share production dates when the time is right."

"We're proud to announce four exciting world premieres, including a Goodman commission—Cheryl L. West's Fannie, directed by Henry Godinez, a passionate rallying cry inspired by the life of famed civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, featuring E. Faye Butler in the title role. the ripple, the wave that carried me home by Christina Anderson, a world-premiere co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, is a stunning meditation on protest, legacy and reconciliation; and we're delighted to welcome back Christina, whose bold, imaginative How to Catch Creation was a memorable favorite last year. In addition, Good Night, Oscar by Doug Wright, directed by Leigh Silverman stars Sean Hayes ( Will & Grace ) as Oscar Levant—the larger-than-life American humorist with a dangerous edge. Finally, we'll produce the highly anticipated new musical we postponed due to COVID-19—The Outsiders, based on the novel by S.E. Hinton and Francis Ford Coppola's film, with a book by Adam Rapp, music and lyrics by Jamestown Revival ( Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance ) and Justin Levine, choreography by Lorin Latarro and directed by Liesl Tommy. A beloved story of 'haves' and 'have-nots' that defined a generation is told anew."

Continued Falls, "At the same time, classic revivals are a signature of Goodman programming, and I'm delighted to announce a major new production of The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, adapted and directed by Manilow Resident Director Mary Zimmerman. The 1993 premiere of this production signaled a pivotal moment for Mary in her career, and it will be a joy to revisit her beautiful, sensual piece nearly three decades after its premiere."

"We're thrilled to produce our three postponed Chicago premieres—including the off-Broadway sensation, School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh, directed by Lili-Anne Brown that was halted just a few days shy of its opening. We'll also produce American Mariachi by José Cruz González, directed by Henry Godinez—the funny, heart-warming story of an all-female mariachi band in an era when this defied social norms—in a co-production with Dallas Theater Center. And celebrated pianist, actor and playwright Hershey Felder in A Paris Love Story, directed by Trevor Hay, makes his Goodman debut in a tour de force tribute to the life and music of Impressionist composer Claude Debussy," concluded Falls.

The Goodman is grateful to its 2021 Season sponsors. Major Sponsors: Shubert Foundation, Goodman Theatre Women's Board, Northern Trust, ComEd, JPMorgan Chase, and Winston & Strawn LLP; Major Support of New Work Development: Ruth D. and Ken M. Davee Fund, Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation, and Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; Sponsor Partners: Abbott Fund, BMO Harris Bank, Illinois Tool Works, PNC Bank, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Mayer Brown LLP, and PwC LLP.

ABOUT THE PRODUCTIONS IN GOODMAN THEATRE'S 2021 SEASON

Plays appear below in alphabetical order by author ( production dates TBA )

the ripple, the wave that carried me home

By Christina Anderson

Directed by TBA

Co-Production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre

In the Owen Theatre | A WORLD PREMIERE

Janice's parents are prominent activists fighting for the integration of public swimming pools in 1960s Kansas. As injustice penetrates the warm bubble of her childhood, Janice grows apart from her family and starts a new life far away. When she receives a call asking her to speak at a ceremony honoring her father, she must decide whether she's ready to reckon with her political inheritance and a past she has tried to forget. A deeply moving story about justice, legacy, memory and the ultimate challenge of forgiveness.

School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play

By Jocelyn Bioh

Directed by Lili-Anne Brown

In the Albert Theatre | A CHICAGO PREMIERE

This biting and buoyant comedy was playing in the Albert Theatre when our stages went dark. Streamed by more than 4,000 people from over 25 countries during our "intermission," School Girls will have a triumphant return you won't want to miss. As the reigning queen bee at Ghana's most exclusive boarding school sets her sights on the Miss Universe pageant, a new student unexpectedly changes the game. This "nasty-teen comedy, wonderfully refreshed and deepened" ( The New York Times ) spotlights the universal similarities—and glaring differences—of teenage girls around the globe.

A Paris Love Story

Featuring the Music of Claude DeBussy

Written and Performed by Hershey Felder

Directed by Trevor Hay

In the Owen Theatre | A CHICAGO PREMIERE

Virtuoso Hershey Felder takes us on a personal journey as he explores the life and music of Impressionist composer Claude Debussy. From the sweeping "La Mer" to the evocative "Prélude � l'après-midi d'un faune" and the mystical "Clair de lune," you won't want to miss this soaring tribute to a visionary.

American Mariachi

By José Cruz GonzÃ�lez

Directed by Henry Godinez

Co-Production with Dallas Theater Center

In the Albert Theatre | A CHICAGO PREMIERE

Familia, amor and tradici�n are at the heart of this hilarious and heartwarming new comedy about the freedom to dream big. Lucha spends her days caring for her ailing mother, but longs to shake up her 1970s home life. When a forgotten record album sparks her mother's memory, Lucha and her cousin strike upon a radical idea: to create an all-female mariachi band. Infused with live mariachi music, this "big-hearted, musical tug at the heartstrings" ( Denver Post ) reveals how music and love can make just about anything possible.

The Outsiders

Based on the Novel by S.E. Hinton and Francis Ford Coppola's Motion Picture

Book by Adam Rapp

Music and Lyrics by Jamestown Revival ( Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance ) and Justin Levine

Music Supervision, Arrangements and Orchestrations by Justin Levine

Choreography by Lorin Latarro

Directed by Liesl Tommy

In the Albert Theatre | A WORLD PREMIERE

The story that defined a generation is reimagined in a groundbreaking musical for a new generation. In 1967 Tulsa, Oklahoma, the hardened hearts, aching souls and romantic dreams of Ponyboy Curtis, Johnny Cade and their band of greasers take center stage in a fight for purpose and a quest for survival. Based on S.E. Hinton's seminal novel and Francis Ford Coppola's iconic film, and directed by Tony nominee Liesl Tommy with a book by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp, The Outsidersfeatures a score by acclaimed Austin-based rock duo Jamestown Revival and Justin Levine.

Fannie

By Cheryl L. West

Directed by Henry Godinez

In the Owen Theatre | A WORLD PREMIERE

How 'woke to the vote' are we in 2020? This electrifying, immersive call to action is inspired by the life of famed civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer—whose courage, humor and grit reminds us there's courage in the face of fire, hope in tomorrow and that we all have a stake in our country. Performed and sung by Chicago's own E. Faye Butler, this passionate rally cry—part spiritual revival, part political call to action—defines what it means to be a true revolutionary. A world premiere commissioned by the Goodman and Seattle Repertory Theatre, Fannie appeared in the Goodman's 2019 New Stages Festival.

Good Night, Oscar

By Doug Wright

Directed by Leigh Silverman

In the Albert Theatre | A WORLD PREMIERE

It's 1958, and Jack Paar hosts the hottest late-night talk-show on television. His favorite guest? Character actor, pianist and wild card Oscar Levant. Famous for his witty one-liners, Oscar has a favorite: "There's a fine line between genius and insanity; I have erased this line." Tonight, Oscar will prove just that when he appears live on national TV in an episode Paar's audience—and the rest of America—won't soon forget. Good Night, Oscar explores the nexus of humor and heartbreak, the ever-dwindling distinction between exploitation and entertainment, and the high cost of baring one's soul for public consumption. Emmy Award winner Sean Hayes ( Broadway's Promises, Promises, NBC-TV's Will & Grace ) stars in the title role.

The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci

Adapted and Directed by Mary Zimmerman

In the Owen Theatre

Leonardo da Vinci strove to know the world equally through artistic and scientific means. There was no limit to his curiosity, nor to his tenacity in seeking answers. This poetic portrayal of one of history's most imaginative minds returns to the Goodman nearly three decades after it burst onto the stage in a career-catapulting production for adaptor/director Mary Zimmerman. In a production composed entirely of words from his notebooks and treatises, da Vinci's ideas on topics from mathematics, anatomy and engineering, to philosophy, love and the human spirit come to vivid life.

ABOUT GOODMAN THEATRE

Chicago's theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit arts and community organization in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and community engagement. Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater's artistic priorities include new play development ( more than 150 world or American premieres ), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics. Artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards and more than 160 Jeff Awards, among other accolades. The Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson's "American Century Cycle." Its longtime annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, now in its fourth decade, has created a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production and program partner with national and international companies and Chicago's Off-Loop theaters.

As a cultural and community organization invested in quality, diversity and community, Goodman Theatre is committed to using the art of theater for a better Chicago. Using the tools of the theatrical profession, the Goodman's Education and Engagement programs aim to develop generations of citizens who understand the cultures and stories of diverse voices. The Goodman's Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of these programs, which are offered free of charge for Chicago youth—85% of whom come from underserved communities—schools and life-long learners.

Goodman Theatre was founded 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. The Goodman family's legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth's family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.

Today, Goodman Theatre leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Kimberly Senior, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. As of September 1, 2020, Jeff Hesse is Chairman of Goodman Theatre's Board of Trustees, Fran Del Boca is Women's Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.


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