PerformInk is Chicago's entertainment industry trade publication.
Goodman Theatre will illuminate its new marquee for the first time during a public ceremony on Thursday, January 19 at 5:30 pm. A visual replica of the original, which was erected in 2000 and damaged by an electrical fire last spring, the new sign will use less than one-tenth of the original’s power consumption, and feature color-changing LED capability, with each letter individually programmable.
The illumination event will be marked by a “public reaffirmation of the core values and artistic priorities the Goodman has maintained on and off stage for more than three decades—Quality, Diversity, and Community” according to a press release. The ceremonial marquee lighting at Goodman Theatre (170 N. Dearborn) begins at 5 pm, with remarks by theater leadership at 5:15 pm followed by the illumination at 5:30 pm, aligning with a national effort called The Ghostlight Project, which is organizing theatermakers around the country to gather outside venues at the same time and pledge inclusive values.
“Our marquee is the brightest, most visible symbol of Goodman Theatre’s 30+ year commitment to high-quality productions, cultural and aesthetic diversity on and off our stages, and proactive engagement in our Chicago community — a commitment that has distinguished us, and redefined what a major cultural institution can be,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “We are proud to reaffirm this longtime commitment now, at a time when tensions in the United States have unleashed dark divisions. The illumination of our marquee is an essential symbol, shedding light on the values we believe are at the heart of our country.”
“As part of The Ghostlight Project,” Falls continued, “we will stand with our theater colleagues across the country at the same time and pledge to protect the values of equality, inclusion, justice—and empathy for everyone, regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, gender identity or sexual orientation.”
The Goodman’s original translucent red vertical marquee was erected in 2000 when the theater relocated from its former home at the Art Institute to its current location at Dearborn and Randolph. The 56-foot-tall sign reached 73 feet from the ground. The Goodman worked with Landmark Sign Group to craft the new custom marquee to hang on the original steel frame. “Working on this project has been very exciting, from start to finish. From the beginning, we have worked diligently to provide a sign that continues the tradition of being a historic landmark in downtown Chicago,” said Landmark Sign Group Project Manager Michael Lanovich. “Paying close attention to capture the spirit of the previous sign, this new display will incorporate the latest and greatest in lighting technology. We thank Goodman Theatre for allowing us the opportunity to be a part of its wonderful Chicago legacy.”