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Dael Orlandersmith performs "Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men" at the Goodman Theatre New Stages Festival in 2012.

5 World Premieres on Tap in Goodman Theatre’s 2018-19 Season

New plays by Rebecca Gilman, Christina Anderson, Dael Orlandersmith, Ike Holter, and David Cale accompany the Chicago debut of ‘Sweat’ and revivals of ‘The Winter’s Tale’ and ‘The Music Man.’

CHICAGO: The Goodman Theatre has announced its 2018-19 season, a 14-play lineup of original works and classic curated by artistic director Robert Falls in collaboration with his artistic associates. The slate includes 10 full productions on the Goodman’s stages, plus three free New Stages developmental productions, and one TBA production as part of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance’s 2018 International Latino Theater Festival.

“I am thrilled to share our upcoming season—an expansive, relevant collection of works of art that are at once entertaining and challenging, and offer exciting possibilities to engage with our community,” said Falls in a statement. This is the 32nd season he’s programmed as artistic director. “I am particularly proud that more than half of these productions have emerged from our New Stages festival, which continues to be an extraordinary incubator for new plays.”

We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time (Sept. 15-Oct. 21), a world premiere written and performed by David Cale (Harry Clarke). This autobiographical play traces Cale’s childhood in an industrial English town.

The following week the New Stages Festival begins (Sept. 19-Oct. 7), featuring three development productions and three staged readings offered free to the public. Five of the current season’s offerings (We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time, How to Catch Creation, Lady in Denmark, Twilight Bowl, and Lottery Day, emerged from previous New Stages fests).

One of those New Stages-birthed plays is next: Dael Orlandersmith‘s Lady in Denmark (Oct. 19-Nov. 18), directed by Chay Yew. This world premiere follows a Danish-American widow living in Chicago who finds solace after her husband’s death in the music of Billie Holiday.

Goodman artistic associate Henry Wishcamper next directs the company’s 41st annual staging of A Christmas Carol (Nov. 17-Dec. 30), adapted by Tom Creamer, with Larry Yando returning as Scrooge. And in December, Steve Scott directs Joe Mantello’s adaptation of David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries.

The new year begins with the world premiere of Christina Anderson’s How to Catch Creation (Jan. 19-Feb. 24, 2019), directed by Niegel Smith, about artists and intellectuals in San Francisco struggling to nurture creative impulses and establish their legacies.

Another world premiere is next: Rebecca Gilman‘s Twilight Bowl (May 5-June 20, 2019), about four young women in a Wisconsin small town who gather at their local bowling alley to celebrate triumphs, confront challenges, and perhaps even forge new identities. Erica Weiss directs.

Artistic director Falls will next reimagine Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale (May 4-June 9, 2019), about a jealous king whose paranoia turns the life of kingdoom, and his virtuous wife, upside down.

Following is the Chicago premiere of Lynn Nottage’s acclaimed Sweat (March 9-April 14, 2019), directed by Ron OJ Parson. This Pulitzer winner follows a group of friends in a Rust Belt town who are pitted against each other by layoffs at the local plant.

Ike Holter’s Lottery Day (May 25-June 24, 2019) is up next, with direction by Lili-Anne Brown. This world premiere assembles characters from many of Holter’s previous acclaimed works for a play about a neighborhood barbecue benefit that takes a wrong turn.

The season concludes with a revival of The Music Man (June 29-Aug. 4, 2019), Meredith Willson’s musical about a small town taken in by a charismatic con man. Mary Zimmerman will direct.

Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. Today the Goodman’s leadership includes distinguished members of its artistic collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper, and Mary Zimmerman.

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