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Goodman Theatre Announces 2019-20 Season

Posted  3 years ago  in  Arts and Culture

3 MIN READ - Goodman Theatre has announced its 2019/2020 Season of “Theater That Moves,” featuring three world premiere productions (including a new musical), four Chicago premieres, and a major revival of a beloved contemporary classic.

“I am thrilled to share our 2019/2020 Season—a dynamic line-up of plays, each written by and/or featuring a woman protagonist at its heart,” said Robert Falls of the 33rd season he has curated as Artistic Director. “These fresh, powerful works of art entertain and delight, challenge and shock, and fearlessly reflect the world around us.”

The productions will take place on the theater’s two stages (the 856-seat Albert Theatre and the 350-seat flexible Owen Theatre). In addition to these eight offerings, the Goodman will produce its 16th annual New Stages Festival and the 42nd annual production of A Christmas Carol. The 2019/2020 season begins September 2019 and continues through August 2020. Memberships, including flexible packages, are now available for purchase. Single tickets will be available for select productions beginning in August.

Check out more details on the season’s productions:

WORLD PREMIERE of Dana H. by Lucas Hnath, directed by Les Waters – September 6-October 6, 2019, in the Owen Theatre

Dana was a chaplain of a psych ward where she met a charismatic patient, an ex-convict searching for redemption. A harrowing true story, Dana was held captive with her life in this man’s hands—trapped in a series of Florida motels, disoriented and terrified—for five months. Told in Dana's own words and reconstructed for the stage by her son Lucas Hnath (A Doll’s House, Part 2The Christians), “one of the freshest playwriting voices to emerge in the past five years” (The New York Times), this innovative work shatters the boundaries of the art form and our understanding of good and evil.

CHICAGO PREMIERE of Bernhardt/Hamlet by Theresa Rebeck, directed by Donna Feore – September 14-October 20, 2019, in the Albert Theatre

High humor and human drama collide in a rollicking comedy “so clever it uplifts, so timely it hurts” (The New York Times). In 1899, legendary leading lady Sarah Bernhardt’s decision to assume the title role of Shakespeare’s Hamlet left critics and patriarchs aghast and indignant. Laced with forbidden romance and backstage gossip, this behind-the-scenes look at Bernhardt’s most ambitious role is a “dynamic character study” (Variety) of one of the most famous actresses—and infamous divas—in the world.

FREE New Stages Festival – October 23-November 10, 2019, in the Owen Theatre

The 16th annual New Stages Festival of new plays includes developmental productions and staged readings. This season’s world-premiere production of Graveyard Shift by Korde Arrington Tuttle emerged from New Stages. 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, Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Ruined, and more.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Tom Creamer, directed by Henry Wishcamper – November 16-December 29, 2019, in the Albert Theatre

Acclaimed Chicago actor Larry Yando returns for his 12th season at Goodman Theatre as Ebenezer Scrooge in Goodman’s 42nd annual production of A Christmas Carol, directed for the seventh 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.

CHICAGO PREMIERE of Roe by Lisa Loomer, directed by Vanessa Stalling – January 18-February 23, 2020, in the Albert Theatre

Conceived in a pizza parlor and argued in the highest court in the land, 1973’s Roe v. Wade legalized abortion—and is hotly debated still today. The complex young women behind the trial—attorney Sarah Weddington and plaintiff Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe”)—embark upon separate journeys that mirror the current polarization over the landmark decision. Shocking, humorous, and “full of nuance and complexity" (NPR), Roe illuminates the heart and passion that each side has for their cause.

WORLD PREMIERE of Graveyard Shift by Korde Arrington Tuttle, directed by Danya Taymor – February 7-March 8, 2020, in the Owen Theatre

When she receives the opportunity of a lifetime, 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 coworker he's romantically involved with decides to leave town. When their worlds collide, Janelle experiences firsthand how dangerous power can be. Loosely inspired by the legacy of Sandra Bland, Graveyard Shift is an unflinching but open-hearted look at how we navigate a world full of fear.

Molly Sweeney by Brian Friel, directed by Robert Falls – March 7-April 12, 2020, in the Albert Theatre

In this riveting exploration of triumph and loss, master storyteller Brian Friel—“a towering figure of the stage, from Dublin to Broadway” (The Guardian)—reveals the unexpected consequences of a modern medical miracle. Visually impaired since infancy, Molly agrees to a procedure that will restore her sight. But is it she who benefits most—or her ambitious spouse, or her doctor’s career? Robert Falls directs a major revival of this “astonishing, highly entertaining, deeply moving meditation on hope, change and despair” (The New York Times). 

CHICAGO PREMIERE of School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh, directed by Lili-AnneBrown – March 27-April 26, 2020, in the Owen Theatre

This biting and buoyant comedy, “ferociously entertaining, as heartwarming as it is hilarious” (The Hollywood Reporter), arrives in Chicago on the heels of a critically acclaimed, extended run Off-Broadway. As the reigning queen bee at Ghana’s most exclusive boarding school sets her sights on the Miss Universe pageant, a new student unexpectedly changes the game. This “gleeful African makeover of an American genre” (The New York Times) spotlights the universal similarities—and glaring differences—of teenage girls around the globe.

CHICAGO PREMIERE of American Mariachi by José Cruz González, directed by Henry Godinez – April 25-May 31, 2020, in the Albert Theatre

Familia, amor, and tradiciόn are at the heart of this hilarious and heartwarming new comedy about the freedom to dream big. Lucha spends her days caring for her ailing mother, but longs to shake up her 1970s home life. When a forgotten record album sparks her mother’s memory, Lucha and her cousin strike upon a radical idea: to create an all-female mariachi band. Infused with live mariachi music, this “big-hearted, musical tug at the heartstrings” (Denver Post) reveals how music and love can make just about anything possible.

WORLD PREMIERE of The Outsiders, book by Adam Rapp, music and lyrics by Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance of Jamestown Revival and Justin Levine, choreography by Lorin Latarro, directed by Liesl Tommy – June 20-August 2, 2020, in the Albert Theatre

The story that defined a generation is reimagined in a groundbreaking musical for a new generation. In 1967 Tulsa, Oklahoma, the hardened hearts, aching souls, and romantic dreams of Ponyboy Curtis, Johnny Cade, and their band of greasers take center stage in a fight for purpose and a quest for survival. Adapted from S.E. Hinton’s seminal book and Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic film, and directed by Tony nominee Liesl Tommy with a book by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp, The Outsiders features a score by acclaimed Austin-based rock duo Jamestown Revival and Justin Levine.