Goodman Announces 17/18 Season, Including Tony-Winning A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE Production

Goodman Announces 17/18 Season, Including Tony-Winning A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE Production

Photo: Director Ivo van Hove, courtesy Goodman Theatre

Artistic Director Robert Falls announced today the Goodman Theatre’s 2017/2018 season. “Heroic and hopeful, challenging and illuminating, Goodman Theatre’s 2017/2018 Season is a collection of plays that reflects the times in which we live—powerful works that hold up a mirror to who we are, what has brought us here and question where we will go in the future,” said Falls. “These are plays that feel particularly relevant at this moment, as we face a darkly divided country and society. As a cultural institution devoted for four decades to the ideals of diversity and community, we must give voice to all ideas, all communities on our stages and in our engagement center programs—with a special eye to those who, because of their ethnicity, gender identification, sexual orientation, age or religious principles, might be marginalized or excluded altogether. The power of theater to unite, engage and inspire us is needed now more than ever.”

On the Albert stage, the season opens with Ivo van Hove’s production of Arthur Miller’s A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, which earned the Best Revival Tony Award last season on Broadway. Next, Falls will direct the world premiere of BLIND DATE by Rogelio Martinez, a look at the relationship between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev—infused with sly humor and unexpected wisdom. Falls will then take on Ibsen’s AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, which he says “addresses corruption, greed and destruction of the environment, and is, sadly, as timely today as when it was written in 1882.” In the spring, Chuck Smith will revive HAVING OUR SAY by Emily Mann, which follows sisters and Civil Rights pioneers and their struggles for equality. The Albert season concludes with the world premiere of SUPPORT GROUP by Ellen Fairey, directed by Kimberly Senior—a topical comedy about middle-aged men in a changing world, where traditional notions of gender are increasingly passé. Fairey’s play comes out of Goodman’s 2015 New Stages reading festival.

In the Owen Theater, the season will begin with YASMINA’S NECKLACE by Rohina Malik, directed by Ann Filmer, a play about Muslim families who themselves represent a collision of cultures and experiences. Filmer directed the premiere of the piece last season at the 16th Street Theater, which enjoyed an extended run. Next is the Chicago premiere of THE WOLVES by Sarah DeLappe, directed by Vanessa Stalling—a new work centered around a high school girls soccer team. The off-Broadway premiere was among The New York Times’ “Best Theater of 2016.” “I’m excited for Vanessa, our former Goodman Maggio Fellow and one of the most exciting emerging directors in Chicago, to make her Goodman directing debut,” said Falls. The Owen season finishes out with FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (Parts 1, 2 & 3) by Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Niegel Smith. “It’s an honor to present the Chicago premiere of the brilliant and powerful new play by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of TOPDOG/UNDERDOG and host Niegel, the artistic director of New York’s Flea Theater, in his Goodman debut,” Falls continued.

In addition to the season works, Goodman will present a limited engagement UNTIL THE FLOOD by Dael Orlandersmith, centered around the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, as well as the 14th New Stages Festival and the 40th anniversary of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, starring Larry Yando in his 10th year as Scrooge.

The Goodman will also introduce season “memberships” next season, similar to the concept used at Steppenwolf where patrons can pick and choose which plays they want to attend.

The Goodman Theatre’s 2017/2018 Season (from the press release):

The Young Vic Production of
Arthur Miller’s
Directed by Ivo van Hove
September 9 – October 15, 2017 in the Albert Theatre

Visionary Belgian director Ivo van Hove injects a raw, pulsating energy into Arthur Miller’s 1955 classic—“powerhouse theater that will leave you breathless!” (The Hollywood Reporter)—recipient of 2016 Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Play and Best Director. Direct from sold-out runs on Broadway and the West End comes the Chicago debut of van Hove’s “magnetic, electrifying, astonishingly bold” (London Evening Standard), “radically reimagined” (The Washington Post) revival of Miller’s famed drama. Brooklyn longshoreman Eddie Carbone welcomes his immigrant cousins to America. But when one of them falls for Eddie’s young niece, his jealous mistrust exposes an unspeakable secret—one that drives him to commit the ultimate betrayal.

By Rohina Malik
Directed by Ann Filmer
October 20 – November 19, 2017 in the Owen Theatre

The refugee experience is illuminated by this “sweet and hopeful story” (Chicago Tribune) about love and renewal in the face of past devastation. Challenged by his Iraqi roots, Abdul Samee has obscured his Muslim identity in favor of assimilation—he’s changed his name to Sam, and even tells his co-workers that he’s Italian.
But his attitudes change when he meets Yasmina, a refugee from his father’s homeland whose own experiences have hardened her to the possibilities of love. As a tentative relationship between the two blossoms into something more, each begins to find hope in the future, buoyed by the power of family, connection and the embracing of their shared culture.

By Rogelio Martinez
Directed by Robert Falls
January 20 – February 25, 2018 in the Albert Theatre
A World Premiere

BLIND DATE is a backstage glimpse of one of the 20th century’s landmark historical events. In an era before Twitter and eHarmony, two of history’s oddest couples seek to thaw the seemingly intractable relationship between the United States and Soviet Russia. Despite their advisors’ efforts to keep them on track, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev eschew conventional protocols to discuss pop culture and old movies—while their wives mirror their husbands’ negotiations in a passive-aggressive tango over tea and fashion choices. A compelling and edgy comic journey through the intricacies of statesmanship.

By Sarah DeLappe
Directed by Vanessa Stalling
February 9 – March 11, 2018 in the Owen Theatre
A Chicago Premiere

THE WOLVES is an unconventional exploration of the pitfalls of friendship and coming maturity, as seen through the struggles of a girls’ athletic team. In this “incandescent portrait of an indoor soccer team” (The New York Times), nine teenage girls stretch, train, and argue about everything from the meaningful to the mundane as they try to make sense of the world from the relative safety of their suburban patch of AstroTurf. Infused with the raw jagged energy of adolescence, THE WOLVES offers a refreshingly complex depiction of girls navigating friendships, growing up, confronting the future—and trying to score a few goals.

By Henrik Ibsen
Directed by Robert Falls
March 10 – April 15, 2018 in the Albert Theatre

Ibsen’s masterwork, “a play so necessary, so exhilarating to experience” (The Village Voice), finds renewed immediacy in a daring new production from Artistic Director Robert Falls. The contamination of a resort town’s water supply sets the stage for a battle involving the town’s respected mayor, Peter Stockmann, and his brother Thomas, a respected doctor. As the brothers become locked in a combative struggle between political wisdom and personal ethics, the economic fate of the community—and the unity of the town’s residents—hangs in the balance.

HAVING OUR SAY: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years
By Emily Mann
Adapted from the book by Sarah L. Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany, with Amy Hill Hearth
Directed by Chuck Smith
May 5 – June 10, 2018 in the Albert Theatre

Celebrate the story of a century as lived by “two strong, vibrant women dispensing joy and wisdom” (Chicago Tribune) in this funny and heartfelt family drama. The Delany sisters, Sadie and Bessie, remain best friends and roommates even as they pass their centennial birthdays. As they prepare a meal in honor of their late father, a former slave, they reminisce about the joys and challenges of their lives: coming to maturity in the Jim Crow South, experiencing the Harlem Renaissance and rising to unimagined professional prominence. Having Our Say showcases the sisters’ unique, indomitable spirits as they fondly recall meeting beloved historical figures and denounce prejudices that infect the country.

By Suzan-Lori Parks
Directed by Niegel Smith
May 25 – June 24, 2018 in the Owen Theatre
A Chicago Premiere

Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks’ “blazingly original” (The Washington Post) Civil War epic serves up “an American story as much about our present as it is about our past” ( The Los Angeles Times). Hero, a Texas slave, faces a simple yet monumental choice: join his master in the Confederate army to win his freedom—or remain enslaved at the plantation. As he debates leaving his lover for what may be another empty promise, Hero must take charge of his life, even when much remains beyond his control. Filled with music, wit and poetic wisdom, the Pulitzer Prize finalist play Father Comes Home from the Wars challenges its audience to navigate their own moral compass in a country that both unites and divides.

By Ellen Fairey
Directed by Kimberly Senior
June 23 – July 29, 2018 in the Albert Theatre
A World Premiere

A hilarious exploration of what happens when society’s new normal doesn’t seem so normal to everyone. Thursday night in Wrigleyville is “Guys’ Night” for a group of longtime pals. Instead of letting off steam over baseball they’ve formed a support group–with its “No Ladies” policy strictly enforced–in which they can vent about dashed romances, stalled careers and other middle-age maladies. But when an unexpected visitor crashes their party, the guys’ traditional notions of masculinity are exploded. This topical, Chicago-flavored comedy gleefully dissects the ever-changing role of gender in today’s culture—and proves that understanding is sometimes found in the least likely of places.


New Stages Festival
Six New Plays (Three Developmental Productions + Three Staged Readings) TBA
September 20 – October 8, 2017 (“Industry Weekend” is October 6-8) in the Owen Theatre

The 14th annual New Stages festival of new plays includes three developmental productions in repertory and three staged readings. Three productions in the 2016/2017 Season emerged from New Stages, including The Magic Play, Objects in the Mirror and King of the Yees. 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.

By Dael Orlandersmith
Directed by Neel Keller
April 27 – May 13, 2018 in the Owen Theatre
A Limited Engagement Chicago Premiere

The 2014 fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown brought international attention to the town of Ferguson, Missouri, and the festering history of race relations in America. Based on dozens of interviews with Ferguson residents, award-winning playwright, performer and Goodman Artistic Associate Dael Orlandersmith brings to life a riveting exploration of the tragedy and its aftermath, from the perspective of such disparate participants as a middle-aged black teacher, an elderly barbershop owner, and a white policeman. The result: a richly complex mosaic of a community—and a country—in trauma.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (40th annual production)
Adapted by Tom Creamer, directed by Henry Wishcamper
November 18 – December 31, 2017 in the Albert Theatre

Acclaimed Chicago actor Larry Yando returns for his 10th season at Goodman Theatre as Ebenezer Scrooge in A CHRISTMAS CAROL, directed for the fifth year by Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper. Nearly 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 US 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.

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