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Jennifer Kim, Ryan Spahn, and Catherine Combs in "Gloria" by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at the Vineyard Theatre in New York City. (Photo by Carol Rosegg)
Jennifer Kim, Ryan Spahn, and Catherine Combs in "Gloria" by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at the Vineyard Theatre in New York City. (Photo by Carol Rosegg)

Goodman Theatre Sets New and Classic Works for 2016–17 Season

Robert Falls’s 30th season as artistic director will include a ‘Wonderful Town’ directed by Mary Zimmerman, and world premieres from Andrew Hinderaker, Charles Smith, and Dael Orlandersmith.

CHICAGO: Goodman Theatre has announced its 2016–17 season, featuring nine plays, the return of two holiday favorites, and a new play festival. Highlights include Wonderful Town directed by Mary Zimmerman, and world premieres from  Andrew Hinderaker, Charles Smith, and Dael Orlandersmith.

“We are undeniably living in a ‘Golden Age’ of playwriting; not since the 1970s and 1980s have so many bold, extraordinary new voices emerged at once,” said artistic director Robert Falls in a statement. “It’s an honor to celebrate this milestone season with plays so emblematic of the essential role the Goodman has played in the cultural life of Chicago for three decades: a theatre that puts diversity at the center of the company, and a theatre that recognizes the importance of producing new work.” Next season will be Falls’s 30th as artistic director.

The season will begin with Wonderful Town (Sept. 10–Oct. 16), with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and a book by Joseph A. Fields and Jerome Chodorov, about two sisters and their journey from Ohio to the dazzling lights of New York City in 1935. Mary Zimmerman will direct.

Next up will be the world premiere of Andrew Hinderaker’s The Magic Play (Oct. 21–Nov. 20), a co-commission with Roundabout Theatre Company, about a young magician who takes the stage just hours after his lover has left him. Brett Schneider will star, and Halena Kays will direct.

Just in time for the holidays will be the Goodman’s 39th annual production of A Christmas Carol (Nov. 19–Dec. 31), adapted by Tom Creamer. Larry Yando will star, and Henry Wishcamper will direct.

Another holiday favorite will return with The Second City’s Twist Your Dickens (Dec. 1–31), by Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort,  an improvised parody of the holiday classic.

Following, the Goodman will present the Vineyard Theatre’s production of Gloria by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Jan. 14–Feb. 19, 2017), a dark comedy about a group of twentysomething editorial assistants at a New York City publication, who go to great lengths to get a leg up in the industry. Evan Cabnet will direct.

The season will continue with Annie Baker’s adaptation of Chekov’s Uncle Vanya (Feb. 11–March 12, 2017), about unrequited love, rivalries, and growing older on a secluded country estate.  Falls will direct.

Next will be the Chicago premiere of Destiny of Desire (March 11–April 16, 2017), by Karen Zacarías, an exploration of race, gender, and class politics through the lens of a Latin American telenovela. José Luis Valenzuela will direct.

Following will be the world premiere of Lauren Yee’s King of the Yees (March 31–April 30, 2017), produced in association with Center Theatre Group, about the leader of the Yee Family Association in San Francisco’s Chinatown who goes missing, and his daughter’s desperate search to find him.

Next up will be the world premiere of Charles Smith’s Objects in the Mirror (April 29–June 4, 2017), about an African refugee from Liberia, who attempts to find peace by exposing a potentially dangerous secret from his past. Chuck Smith will direct.

Following will be the world premiere of Dael Orlandersmith’s Lady in Denmark (May 19–June 18, 2017), about a Danish American woman who finds solace in Billie Holiday’s music. Chay Yew will direct.

The season will conclude with Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness! (June 17–July 23, 2017), about a teenager who rebels against his girlfriend’s disapproving father. Falls will direct.

The programming will also include the New Stages Festival (Sept. 21–Oct. 9, 2016), featuring three developmental productions and three stages readings.

Founded in 1925, the Goodman brings new plays and reimagined classics to audiences in Chicago, in addition to educational and new play development programming.

  • Susan Shay

    Cheers to a great season at the Goodman (KING OF THE YEES is a favorite of mine)!

    PS – That’s actor Ryan Spahn in the photo above (GLORIA at the Vineyard).

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