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"Carlyle" by Thomas Bradshaw at the Goodman's 2014 New Stages Festival.

Goodman Theatre’s 2015–16 Season to Include 4 World Premieres

New plays by Jose Rivera, Thomas Bradshaw, Charise Castro Smith and Seth Bockley highlight the Chicago theatre’s next season.

CHICAGO: The Goodman Theatre has announced its 2015–16 season, which will include world premieres from Jose Rivera, Thomas Bradshaw and Charise Castro Smith. Mary Zimmerman will return to direct another Leonard Bernstein musical, and Robert Falls and Seth Bockley will collaborate on a new play.

The season begins with Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer-winning Disgraced (Sept. 12–Oct. 18), about a Muslim lawyer, his Caucasian wife and a contentious dinner party. The Goodman production marks the play’s return to Chicago (it had its world premiere at the nearby American Theater Company). Kimberly Senior (who directed the play at Lincoln Center and on Broadway) will helm the Chicago production. This news follows on news of the play’s engagement, also helmed by Senior, in Berkeley Repertory Theatre‘s next season.

Next will be the world premiere of Charise Castro Smith’s Feathers and Teeth (Sept. 19–Oct. 18), billed as a dysfunctional family drama about a 13-year-old girl who hates her new stepmother. The play was featured at the Goodman’s New Stages Festival in both 2013 and 2014. Goodman artistic associate Henry Godinez will direct.

Next is the world premiere of Jose Rivera’s Another Word for Beauty (Jan. 16–Feb. 21, 2016). The play, inspired by true events, takes place in a female prison on Bogota, Colombia, where the inmates take part in a beauty pageant. Beauty will be directed by Steve Cosson, artistic director of New York-based ensemble the Civilians, and will feature music by Hector Buitrago.

Goodman artistic director Robert Falls and playwright-in-residence Seth Bockley will collaborate on an adaptation of Roberto Bolano’s best-selling book 2666 (Feb. 6–March 13, 2016). The work follows a group of European academics who travel to a Mexican border city in search of a reclusive writer, in a story spanning more than 100 years and multiple countries. Fall and Bockley will also co-direct the piece.

Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker is next (March 5–April 10, 2016), directed by Henry Wishcamper, who is a member of the Goodman’s artistic collective.

Next will be a world premiere of Thomas Bradshaw’s Carlyle (April 2–May 1, 2016), about an African-American politician who is a member of the Republican Party. Carlyle was first featured during the Goodman’s 2014 New Stages Festival. Benjamin Kamine, who directed that iteration of the play, will return to the helm.

Lorraine Hansberry’s rarely produced The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window (April 30–June 5, 2016) follows, about an intellectual who finds himself at odds with his friends and wife after he buys an independent newspaper. Hansberry’s final play will be directed by Anne Kauffman, who last appeared at the Goodman directing Noah Haidle’s Smokefall.

Falls will direct the Chicago premiere of Rebecca Gilman’s Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976 (May 21–June 19, 2016), about what happens when a Chicago-based corporation moves into a small town in Wisconsin. Gilman, who is an artistic associate at the Goodman, has had six plays premiere at the Goodman. Her last play, Luna Gale, won a 2014 Jeff Award for new play.

Theatre auteur Mary Zimmerman will lend her high-flying visions to Leonard Bernstein’s 1953 musical Wonderful Town (June 25–Aug. 7, 2016). She last directed his Candide at the Goodman in 2010.

In addition to its mainstage season, the Goodman will also host its annual New Stages Festival, of development productions and readings (Oct. 28–Nov. 15, 2015). The line-up will be announced at a later date.

Then during the 2015 holiday season, the theatre will mount its 38th annual production of A Christmas Carol (Nov. 14–Dec. 17), adapted by Tom Creamer, and directed by Henry Wishcamper. Running in tandem will be the Scrooge send-up Twist Your Dickens, or Scrooge You!, by Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort, and performed by comedy troupe Second City (Dec. 4–27).

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