Goodman Sets 2018 New Stages Slate

Goodman Sets 2018 New Stages Slate

Pictured: Pulitzer Prize-winning Playwright Paula Vogel

The Goodman Theatre has announced the lineup for this fall’s New Stages Festival, their free annual “first look” at seven new works. Included are three fully staged developmental productions performed in repertory — “There’s Always the Hudson” by Paola Lázaro-Muñoz, “Felons and Familias” by Sandra Delgado, and “Graveyard Shift” by Korde Arrington Tuttle. The other four pieces will be performed as staged readings during the last weekend of the festival (October 4-7): “The Wizard”s by Ricardo Gamboa, “Between Covers” by Sarah Schulman, “Birthday Candles” by Noah Haidle, and “Cressida on Top” by Paula Vogel.

The New Stages Festival runs September 19 – October 7 in the 350-seat Owen Theatre. Free reserved tickets will be made available this Friday, August 17, by calling 312.443.3800 or visiting

The final weekend, when all seven plays will be performed, is also the festival’s “Industry Professionals Weekend,” which will include meet-and-greets with artists and a welcome reception and a late-night dramaturgs’ salon. For more information about “Industry Professionals Weekend, visit

“We’re thrilled to celebrate 15 years of developing new work by some of the most inventive and insightful storytellers in the American theater,” said Tanya Palmer, Goodman’s director of new play development and curator of the festival. “This season, five world premiere productions emerged from New Stages, which has become an essential pipeline for new play creation at the Goodman. The seven plays in New Stages 2018 provide a remarkable window into what it means to live in the present moment. I’m thrilled to share these imaginative and poignant new works with our audiences.”

Unlike some new works festivals, the Goodman truly uses the annual occasion as an incubator for work it intends to put on stage. From the more than 80 plays the company has workshopped in the New Stages’ Festival, over 60% have received a world premiere production at the Goodman or another leading U.S. theater. The 2018/2019 Goodman season features five world premieres that originated in New Stages.

The 2018 New Stages Festival Lineup (from the press release):

“There’s Always the Hudson”
By Paola Lázaro-Muñoz, directed by Jess McLeod
A Developmental Production; appears in repertory (September 19 – October 6)

Lola and T met years ago in group therapy, where they set a far-off deadline to be happier…or else. With that deadline suddenly approaching—tomorrow at 4:30am—they’ll meet on the George Washington Bridge for one last chance to turn the world upside down. Two half-broken souls are out for revenge on everyone who has ever hurt, stolen from, or otherwise wronged them in this foul and fearless adventure.

“Felons and Familias”
By Sandra Delgado, directed by Marcela Muñoz
A Developmental Production; appears in repertory (September 21 – October 7)

Like millions of Americans, Clara’s days are consumed with juggling work and family. Recently divorced with a tween-age daughter and an ageing father, she finally has something to look forward to: a trip to Europe. In preparation, Clara, who immigrated to the U.S. as a child, decides to apply for full citizenship. When her application is flagged, an unfathomable series of events threaten to force her from the only home she’s ever known.

“Graveyard Shift”
By Korde Arrington Tuttle, directed by Danya Taymor
A Developmental Production; appears in repertory (September 23 – October 7)

When an exciting job offer materializes, Janelle relocates to Texas and moves in with her partner, Kane. Meanwhile, a small-town police officer’s life is thrown into flux when the co-worker he’s romantically involved with decides to leave town. When their worlds collide, Janelle and Kane experience firsthand how dangerous power can be. An unflinching but big-hearted look at how we navigate a world full of fear, “Graveyard Shift” is inspired by real events.

“The Wizards”
By Ricardo Gamboa, directed by Azar Kazemi
A Staged Reading: Friday, October 5 at 10:30am

Amado and Sam, a brown and black genderqueer couple, relocate from New York to Chicago after surviving a hate crime following the 2016 presidential election. Settling into their new apartment in gentrifying Pilsen, they discover an Ouija board that connects them with The Wizards—a Mexican-American Motown cover band on the South Side during the 1970s. “The Wizards” is a supernatural thriller about the histories and people who haunt us.

“Between Covers”
By Sarah Schulman, directed by Wendy C. Goldberg
A Staged Reading: Friday, October 5 at 2pm

This savage and provocative dark comedy takes place between three sets of “covers”: romantic sex farce, the masks we wear and the book each character dreams of writing. A moderately successful but financially challenged author, Jamie joins the faculty of an MFA writing program that accepts anyone willing to pay. Its bucolic rural setting belies an atmosphere driven by fear. What happens when institutional panic gets control of people’s lives? Who is the actual abuser—and who is the convenient target?

“Birthday Candles”
By Noah Haidle, directed by Vivienne Benesch
A Staged Reading: Saturday, October 6 at 10:30am

Alice was a self-declared rebel against the universe, determined to travel the world—until Matt came along. Soon, Alice finds herself heading down the path she most dreads: marriage and family. Delightful and moving, this kaleidoscopic view of one woman’s life demonstrates how the everyday choices we make lead us into ecstasy and misery—often at once.

“Cressida on Top”
By Paula Vogel, directed by Shana Cooper
A Staged Reading: Saturday, October 6 at 2pm

A time-traveling narcissist with a healthy libido, Don Juan knows women love a man in uniform. Every time a war emerges—and a war is always emerging—he leaves a trail of lonely widows, housewives and young girls in his wake. He won’t stop until he meets a woman who can overcome him. What happens when the women are in uniform, too, with their bodies on the line like their male comrades? When Captain Don Juan of the U.S. Marines meets Sgt. Cressida Morrison, U.S. Army, the calculus of who’s on top begins to change.

About author

Jason Epperson

Jason is a producer, manager, and designer with 17 years of experience in Chicago, New York, and in the touring market. In 2015, he founded Lotus Theatricals - the publisher of Performink, and an independent commercial producing company - with Abigail Trabue.