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Artistic Director Robert Falls has announced Goodman Theatre’s upcoming 14-play line-up.
The new season, which begins in September, includes 10 full productions on the Goodman’s stages plus three free New Stages developmental productions, and one TBA show. The TBA production will be staged as part of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance’s 2018 International Latino Theater Festival.
“I am thrilled to share our upcoming season—an expansive, relevant collection of works of art that are at once entertaining and challenging, and offer exciting possibilities to engage with our community,” said Falls of his upcoming 32nd season as Artistic Director. “I am particularly proud that more than half of these productions have emerged from our New Stages festival, which continues to be an extraordinary incubator for new plays.”
Some of the notable productions on the Albert stage include the return of playwright David Cale, the Chicago premiere of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer-winning SWEAT, directed by Ron O.J. Paron, a Falls-directed THE WINTER’S TALE, and a Mary Zimmerman-directed THE MUSIC MAN.
On the Owen stage, Chicagoans will get LADY IN DENMARK by Dael Orlandersmith, directed by Chay Yew, Rebecca Gilman’s TWILIGHT BOWL, directed by Erica Weiss, and Ike Holter’s LOTTERY DAY, a continuation of his Chicago-set play cycle directed by Lili-Anne Brown.
The full season follows, with the descriptions from the press release:
WE’RE ONLY ALIVE FOR A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME
Written and Performed by David Cale
Songs by David Cale
Arrangements and Underscoring Composed by Matthew Dean Marsh
Directed by Tony Speciale
September 15 – October 21, 2018 in the Albert Theatre
A World Premiere
Without an ending, there can be no beginning. Growing up in an industrial English town, writer and performer David Cale escaped his parents’ fraught marriage by singing in his bedroom and tending to the tropical birds in the bird and animal hospital he built in a garden shed—until a tragedy changed everything. Weaving together lushly arranged songs and an intimately detailed portrait of his mother, a charismatic woman trapped by her circumstances, Cale embodies this vivid musical story of transcendence, of connecting to life when adversity is suddenly everywhere.
New Stages Festival
Six New Plays (Three Developmental Productions + Three Staged Readings)
September 19 – October 7, 2018 in the Owen Theatre
The 15th annual New Stages festival of new plays includes three developmental productions in repertory and three staged readings. Five productions in the 2018/2019 Season emerged from New Stages, including WE’RE ONLY ALIVE FOR A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME, HOW TO CATCH CREATION, LADY IN DENMARK, TWILIGHT BOWL, and LOTTERY DAY. Founded in 2004, the New Stages festival is a celebration of innovative new plays designed to give playwrights an opportunity to take risks and experiment. New Stages offers Chicago theatergoers a first look at dozens of plays, many of which have gone on to become successful full productions—including Noah Haidle’s SMOKEFALL and Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning RUINED.
LADY IN DENMARK
By Dael Orlandersmith
Directed by Chay Yew
October 19 – November 18, 2018 in the Owen Theatre
A World Premiere
Every memory has a soundtrack of its own. “I’m gonna love you like nobody’s loved you/come rain or come shine.” After the death of her husband, a Danish American woman living in Chicago finds solace in the hauntingly beautiful music of the couple’s favorite singer, Billie Holiday. A soulful, music-infused tribute to the legendary torch singer’s power to heal and inspire, LADY IN DENMARK is a passionate meditation on life, marriage and mortality from Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
By Charles Dickens
Adapted by Tom Creamer
Directed by Henry Wishcamper
November 17 – December 30, 2018 in the Albert Theatre
41st Annual Production
Acclaimed Chicago actor Larry Yando returns for his 11th season at Goodman Theatre as Ebenezer Scrooge in A CHRISTMAS CAROL, directed for the sixth year by Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper. More than 1.5 million theatergoers have attended “the crown jewel of the holiday season” (Daily Herald) since the Goodman established it as an annual offering in 1978—a time when only a handful of U.S. theaters mounted the production. Dickens’ holiday classic is the iconic tale of greedy businessman Ebenezer Scrooge, whose sizable bank account is only matched by his disdain for the holidays. One Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who take him on a spectacular adventure through his past, present and future, helping him rediscover the joys of life, love and friendship. Former cast members include stage and screen notables Jessie Mueller, Joe Minoso, Del Close, Harry J. Lennix, Felicia P. Fields, Raul Esparza, Sally Murphy and Frank Galati.
THE SANTALAND DIARIES
Adapted by Joe Mantello
Directed by Steve Scott
December 2018 in the Owen Theatre
Strapped for cash, a struggling actor takes a job as “Crumpet,” a Christmas elf at Macy’s. Enduring a daily gauntlet of screaming children, rude parents and suspect Santas, it’s going to take more than a glass of eggnog to get him through the holiday season. Adapted from the beloved essay by best-selling author David Sedaris (ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY).
HOW TO CATCH CREATION
By Christina Anderson
Directed by Niegel Smith
January 19 – February 24, 2019 in the Albert Theatre
A World Premiere
The only way to find your voice is to use it. Four artists and intellectuals in San Francisco struggle to nurture creative impulse and establish legacy—in both their professional and personal lives. When one discovers the works of a black queer feminist writer from a bygone era, their lives begin to intersect in unexpected ways. In this bold, imaginative work, Christina Anderson dissects the universal act of creation—creation of life, of family, of art—to inspire the dreamers and idealists in us all.
By Rebecca Gilman
Directed by Erica Weiss
May 5 – June 10, 2018 in the Albert Theatre
A World Premiere
Four young women. One small town. Different lanes. After graduating from a small Wisconsin high school, Sam heads to college on scholarship—but her cousin Jaycee’s future isn’t looking as bright. As the young women and their friends face adulthood, their local bowling alley becomes a place to celebrate triumphs, confront challenges and perhaps even forge new identities. With her signature grace, wit and compassion, Rebecca Gilman (LUNA GALE, BOY GETS GURL) questions the blueprint for a successful life, and embraces the unknown on the road ahead.
By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Ron OJ Parson
March 9 – April 14, 2019 in the Albert Theatre
A Chicago Premiere
Explosive drama: still made in America. Direct from Broadway comes a Pulitzer Prize-winning collision of race, class and friendship at a pivotal moment in America. A group of friends in a Rust Belt town has spent their lives sharing secrets and laughs on the factory floor. But when layoffs begin to chip away at their trust, they’re pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight.
By Ike Holter
Directed by Lili-Anne Brown
May 25 – June 24, 2018 in the Owen Theatre
A World Premiere
Not everyone will go home a winner. Ike Holter (EXIT STRATEGY, SENDER) assembles the vibrant characters from his acclaimed works for a raucous theatrical bash. Long the matriarch of a quickly gentrifying neighborhood, Mallory invites the lonely residents, hardcore activists and starving artists of her block to what she hopes will go down as a legendary barbeque—thanks to a special surprise. Her mysterious plan to revitalize her community, however, may just be the very thing that tears it apart.
THE WINTER’S TALE
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Robert Falls
May 4 – June 9, 2019 in the Albert Theatre
Jealousy can drive you wild. Following his celebrated productions of KING LEAR and MEASURE FOR MEASURE, Robert Falls reimagines one of Shakespeare’s most wildly theatrical tales. A paranoid king accuses his queen of infidelity, setting off a calamitous series of events spanning 16 years. But what begins as tragedy unexpectedly evolves into romantic comedy, filled with song and dance, magic and metamorphosis—and an appearance from Shakespeare’s most iconic furry beast.
THE MUSIC MAN
Book, Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Based on a Story by Willson and Franklin Lacey
Directed by Mary Zimmerman
June 29 – August 4, 2019 in the Albert Theatre
Seventy-six trombones. One joyous musical masterpiece. He’s charismatic and charming—no wonder con man Harold Hill assumes he can easily fleece the stubborn citizens of River City, Iowa with the grand promise of a marching band. But the smooth-talking swindler can’t tell a trombone from a treble clef—and Marian, the local librarian, knows it. In his attempt to steal her heart (and save his hide), Harold learns a thing or two about moral responsibility—and unexpectedly enriches the town with a love of music.