CHICAGO: The Goodman Theatre has announced its 2017-18 season, which will include a new production of Ibsen’s Enemy of the People as well as the Chicago premiere of Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves.
“Heroic and hopeful, challenging and illuminating, Goodman Theatre’s 2017-18 season is a collection of plays that reflects the times in which we live—powerful works that hold up a mirror to who we are, what has brought us here and question where we will go in the future,” said artistic director Robert Falls in a statement. “These are plays that feel particularly relevant at this moment, as we face a darkly divided country and society. As a cultural institution devoted for four decades to the ideals of diversity and community, we must give voice to all ideas, all communities on our stages and in our engagement center programs—with a special eye to those who, because of their ethnicity, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, or religious principles, might be marginalized or excluded altogether. The power of theater to unite, engage, and inspire us is needed now more than ever.”
The season will open with the Chicago premiere of the Young Vic production of Arthur Miller’s View from the Bridge (Sept. 9-Oct. 15), directed by Ivo van Hove. The production is a stripped-down take on the classic about a Brooklyn longshoreman who becomes jealous when one of his immigrant cousins falls for his niece.
Next up will be Yasmina’s Necklace (Oct. 20-Nov. 19), by Rohina Malik. The play is a love story about a Muslim man who has assimilated in the States but changes his attitudes toward his identity when he meets Yasmina, a refugee from his father’s homeland. Ann Filmer will direct.
For the holidays, the theatre’s annual production of A Christmas Carol (Nov. 18-Dec. 31), adapted by Tom Creamer from the novel by Charles Dickens, will return for the 40th time. Larry Yando will play Ebenezer Scrooge for the 10th time, and Henry Wishcamper will direct.
Rogelio Martinez’s Blind Date (Jan. 20-Feb. 25, 2018) will follow. The play provides a comedic behind-the-scenes look at the relationship between the United States and Soviet Russia as Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev discuss pop culture while their wives’ interactions mirror that of their husbands. Robert Falls will direct.
The Chicago premiere of Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves (Feb. 9-March 11, 2018) will be next. The play is a look into the lives of teenage girls on an indoor soccer team, as they navigate relationships, teamwork, and more. Vanessa Stalling will direct.
Next up will be Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People (March 10-April 15, 2018), directed by Falls. The play examines what happens when a resort town’s water supply is contaminated, which leads to a debate between the town mayor and his brother over politics and ethics.
Dael Orlandersmith’s Until the Flood (April 27-May 13, 2018) will also be part of the lineup. Orlandersmith interviewed several Ferguson, Miss., residents after the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown and the play explores several different perspectives of the tragedy.
Emily Mann’s Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years (May 5-June 10, 2018), adapted from the book by Sarah L. Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany, and Amy Hill Hearth, will be next. The story follows the sisters as they pass their 100th birthdays and reflect on their late father, a former slave, and the milestone moments of their lives, from being raised in the Jim Crow South to experiencing the Harlem Renaissance. Chuck Smith will direct.
After that will be Suzan-Lori Parks’s Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) (May 25-June 24, 2018). The Civil War epic follows a Texas slave who must make the choice to join the Confederate army with his master and win his freedom or remain enslaved. Niegel Smith will direct.
The final show of the season will be the world premiere of Support Group for Men (June 23-July 29, 2018), by Ellen Fairey. Set in the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago, the play is about a group of middle-aged men who gather once a week to vent about their lives without women around, and their group dynamic is dashed when an unexpected visitor crashes. Kimberly Senior will direct.
The season will also include the New Stages Festival (Sept. 20-Oct. 8), which will feature three developmental productions and three staged readings of six new plays.
Founded in 1925, the Goodman Theatre produces new plays, reimagined classics, and large-scale musical theatre works for Chicago-area audiences.