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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Play development series seeks new plays authored by artists of color
--From a press release
2020-11-19

This article shared 362 times since Thu Nov 19, 2020
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(Chicago, IL) Calling all bold, imaginative new plays authored by artists of color for Future Labs—Goodman Theatre's newest artistic program to develop works authored and directed by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI and other artists of color. Designed primarily for Chicago-based writers who have not had a play produced at the Goodman, Future Labs will feature up to nine workshops and presentations, slated to begin early 2021. The new program is curated by the Goodman's Quenna L. Barrett(Associate Director of Education and Engagement), Jonathan L. Green (Literary and New Works Manager) and Ken-Matt Martin (Associate Producer) and involves a Goodman Staff Evaluation Team comprising of individuals of intersectional identities and in areas across the theater. Selected projects receive rehearsal time, artistic, dramaturgical and casting support and an optional free public reading. Submission details appear below; to learn more about Future Labs and to submit a project for consideration, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/FutureLabs. The Goodman is grateful for the generosity of its New Work sponsors, including: Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Major Support of New Play Development; Ruth D. and Ken M. Davee New Works Fund, Major Support of New Work; The Glasser and Rosenthal Family, Mayer Brown LLP, and Shaw Family Supporting Organization, Support of New Work.

"Future Labs is our attempt to disrupt the typical gate-keeping system that artists often confront in the American Theater," said Associate Producer Ken-Matt Martin. "In creating a Staff Evaluation Team that prioritizes staff members of color and is representative of all departments at Goodman, we're hopeful that Future Labs is a chance to see which plays are selected for development when the white gaze is decentralized in the curatorial process."

Added Associate Director of Education and Engagement Quenna L. Barrett, "Future Labs makes space for an exciting new kind of inclusivity and lateral leadership in our industry. Many artists, especially artists of color, often assume administrative jobs at arts organizations for survival—but individuals in those roles aren't typically invited into artistic practice or sought for creative input. This new program reminds us and our leadership that we can live out our artistry even in our 'day jobs'."

Future Labs is the newest effort among the Goodman's programs that support living writers and develop new plays—including New Stages, Playwrights Unit and more than two dozen individual artist commissions.

"It's important to keep the Goodman's new work pipeline flowing, identifying and developing new works for future programming consideration, even during a pandemic," said Literary and New Works Manager Jonathan L. Green. "And with the significant evolution we're experiencing as an industry right now, there is no better time to re-envision and experiment with how we can build a more equitable process."

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Future Labs proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis starting immediately; there is currently no deadline. Workshops will be programmed and announced periodically throughout the season. The first Future Lab workshop will commence in early 2021. The Goodman will retain a three-month option on all accepted projects, and all projects will be considered for future developmental or production opportunities on Goodman's main stages.

Proposed plays must have, at minimum, a full first draft; must be unproduced or have had not more than one professional production in the past 10 years.

Email proposals to futurelabs@goodmantheatre.org (Microsoft Word or PDF) including full script; author's resume/bio; preferred Chicago-based directors of color; preference of a digital/virtual workshop or in-person workshop (when deemed safe); any conflicts that might render the author unavailable between January and August 2021.

Only one project per author will be considered within each six-month period; the Goodman will not program more than one play per author, nor hire the same director on more than one project, within the first nine months of this program.

At this time, the Goodman is unable to support musical works in this program due to the expanded nature of those creative teams.

All artists will be compensated for their work in the workshop and public presentation.

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. 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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