Goodman Announces Cast and Creatives for First 4 Shows of 2017

Goodman Announces Cast and Creatives for First 4 Shows of 2017

Photo: New Zealand actor Marton Csokas (Celeborn in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy) will star as Astrov in the Goodman’s UNCLE VANYA.

Steve Scott will replace Robert Falls in AH, WILDERNESS!

Goodman Theatre announced today complete casting and creative teams for four 2017 productions, GLORIA, UNCLE VANYA, DESTINY OF DESIRE, and KING OF THE YEES.

In addition, Goodman Associate Producer Steve Scott will replace Artistic Director Robert Falls at the helm of O’Neill’s AH, WILDERNESS!. “[It] is a classic family comedy by one of my favorite playwrights. Steve Scott has established an extraordinary, wide-ranging directing career in Chicago for well over three decades, and I know this production is in gifted hands,” said Robert Falls. “In making this decision, I found that my responsibilities as the artistic leader of Goodman Theatre—responsibilities that include planning our upcoming 2017/2018 Season at a challenging time in our society—required my full attention in the next few months, making it necessary for me to step aside from this production.”

Falls continues to direct the Chicago premiere of Annie Baker’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya opening in February.

“I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to bring Ah, Wilderness! to the Albert stage,” said Steve Scott. “It’s a play that I’ve loved for a long, long time for its warm good humor, its beautifully wrought characters, and its celebration of the healing power of family and community—which is perhaps even more essential today than it was when O’Neill first envisioned it.”

Casting and creative staffing for the first four productions of the Goodman’s season follow in an excerpt from the press release:

By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins | Directed by Evan Cabnet
January 14 – February 19, 2017 in the Albert Theatre – A Chicago Premiere

Cast: Kyle Beltran, Catherine Combs, Michael Crane, Jennifer Kim, Jeanine Serralles and Ryan Spahn.
Creative team: Takeshi Kata (set), Ilona Somogyi (costumes), Matt Frey (lights), Matt Tierney (sound) and J. David Brimmer (fight choreographer). Briana J. Fahey is the production stage manager.

Goodman Theatre presents the critically-acclaimed Vineyard Theatre Production of MacArthur “Genius” award winner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ “sharp-toothed…whip-smart satire” (The New York Times). Style. Status. Success. A group of twenty-somethings are pursuing it all at one of New York’s most esteemed cultural magazines. When a seemingly normal day at the office turns out to be anything but, these aspiring journalists recognize an opportunity to seize a career-defining moment. But whose account is most valid, and to what lengths will each go to own the story? Please note: Gloria contains scenes that may be disturbing; intended for mature audiences.

By Anton Chekhov | Adapted by Annie Baker from a literal translation by Margarita Shalina and original Russian text
Directed by Robert Falls
February 11 – March 12, 2017 in the Owen Theatre – A Chicago Premiere

Cast: Kristen Bush (Yelena), Marton Csokas (Astrov), David Darlow (Serebryakov), Marilyn Dodds Frank (Maria), Tim Hopper (Vanya), Caroline Neff (Sonya), Larry Neumann, Jr. (Telegin), Alžan Pelesić (Yefim) and Mary Ann Thebus (Marina).
Creative team: Todd Rosenthal (set), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes), Keith Parham (lights) and Richard Woodbury (sound). Kimberly Osgood is the production stage manager.

Acclaimed playwright Annie Baker (THE FLICK) brings her tender and endearing voice to Chekhov’s famed tale, creating a work that’s both refreshing and true to the iconic playwright’s vision. Tensions are high at the remote estate of an elderly professor, where resentments flow as freely as the vodka. As the professor’s health fails, his extended family is forced to confront their disturbing futures, while still foundering in their disconcerting pasts. Chekhov’s timeless study of the agonizing intersections of youth and mid-life finds contemporary immediacy in this new adaptation.


By Karen Zacarías | Directed by José Luis Valenzuela
March 11 – April 16, 2017 in the Albert Theatre – A Chicago Premiere

Cast: Esperanza America, Elisa Bocanegra, Eduardo Enrikez, Evelina Fernandez, Fidel Gomez, Cástulo Guerra, Ricardo Gutierrez, Ruth Livier, Mauricio Mendoza and Ella Saldana North.
Creative team: François-Pierre Couture (sets), Julie Weiss (costumes), Pablo Santiago (lights), John Zalewski (sound), Rosino Serrano (composer/music director). Alden Vasquez is the production stage manager.

Karen Zacarías brings the seductive power of Latin American telenovelas to the stage in this new comedy, exploring race, gender and class politics through the lens of the Latin American telenovela, one of the world’s most popular storytelling genres. On a stormy night in a Mexican hospital, two baby girls are born―one into a life of privilege, the other to an impoverished family. But when the girls are deliberately swapped, the stage is set for two outrageous misfortunes to grow into one remarkable destiny.

By Lauren Yee | Directed by Joshua Kahan Brody
March 31 – April 30, 2017 in the Owen Theatre – A World Premiere Goodman Commission

Cast: Francis Jue, Stephenie S. Park, Dan Smith, Angela Lin and Rammel Chan.
Creative team: William Boles (set), Izumi Inaba (costumes), Heather Gilbert (lights) and Mikhail Fiskel (sound) and Mike Tutaj (projections). Donald Claxon is the production stage manager.  

KING OF YEES made its debut as part of the Goodman’s 2015 New Stages Festival and is produced in association with Center Theatre Group. An offbeat joy ride about exploring the vivid history of America’s largest Chinatown through the eyes of a new generation in Lauren Yee’s touching theatrical quest to connect with her family lineage. The affable Larry Yee (Jue) remains a driving force in the San Francisco Chinese American community as the head of the Yee Family Association, a seemingly obsolescent men’s club dedicated to the preservation of the Yee line. His daughter Lauren (Park), however, is dismissive of its patriarchal culture policy, despite her father’s lifelong dedication to the group. When Larry suddenly goes missing, Lauren’s desperate search drops her into a strange but familiar world where she will have to embrace the past if she wants to get her father back.

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