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Goodman Theatre Names 2019-20 Playwrights Unit

Four Chicago-based writers will develop new works as part of the year-long residency.

CHICAGO: Goodman Theatre has welcomed four Chicago-based writers to its Playwrights Unit. The 2019-20 playwrights are Monty Cole, Nancy García Loza, Alex Lubischer, and Steve Pickering.

In partnership with Chicago Dramatists, the Playwrights Unit meets bi-monthly with the Goodman’s artistic team to discuss their commissioned projects. The residency culminates with a public staged reading in the summer of 2020.

Monty Cole.

Cole is a Chicago-based director and playwright and has worked on productions, readings, and workshops for Goodman Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Alley Theatre, Court Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, American Theatre Company, the Gift Theatre, House Theatre of Chicago, Cape Cod Theatre Project, and others. He’s currently commissioned to adapt John Howard Griffin’s Black Like Me. Cole is also working with collaborator and choreographer Breon Arzell on revitalizing In Dahomey for the CalArts Center for New Performance. In the fall, Cole will direct The Brothers Size at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Black Odyssey at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He recently received his MFA Directing degree at the California Institute of the Arts.

Loza is a self-taught pocha playwright rooted in Chicago and Jalisco, México. She is currently an artistic associate and NNPN producer-in-residence at 16th Street Theater, and an artistic associate with Teatro Vista. Her play Tocaya will receive a workshop production with UIUC’s Free Armory Theatre this fall. Loza is currently under commission from Make-Believe Association, 16th Street Theater, Chicago Dramatists, Teatro Leyden, and more. Her plays include BRAVA: a folktale con música, MACHA: a pocha sister story, Tocaya, and Rasca Cielos. She has also worked with Something Marvelous, Broken Nose Theatre, Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, Collaboraction, and more. Loza is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and a first-generation alum of DePaul University, with a double concentration in Latin American Studies and Spanish.

Lubischer is a Jeff Award-winning playwright originally from rural Nebraska. His plays include Bobbie Clearly, Pivot, Night Country, The Quonsets (co-written with Majkin Holmquist), Blood Special, Pig.Gov, and Survey No. 5. He has developed new work at Playwrights Horizons, Page 73, Atlantic Theater Company, the Orchard Project, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Victory Gardens Theater, Haven, First Floor Theater, and Actors Theatre of Louisville. Lubischer was the 2017-18 Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Roundabout Theatre Company. He has been a semifinalist for the P73 Playwriting Fellowship and a three-time finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. He is currently working on commissions from Roundabout and South Coast Repertory. Lubischer received his MFA at the Yale School of Drama.

Pickering is a Chicago-based actor, director, and playwright. He has appeared in more than 30 productions at Goodman Theatre since 1987, and is currently a Goodman Theatre Creative Partner. He is the project manager and co-founder of Shanghai Low Theatricals (SLT), which is known widely for their adaptations of literary works for the stage. Recent SLT adaptations include George Orwell’s Animal Farm for the Steppenwolf Young Adult Program, Alastair Reynolds’ Diamond Dogs for House Theatre of Chicago, and a co-adaptation with director David Kersnar of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas for the Lookingglass Theatre Company. His new adaptation of three Edith Wharton gothics, Of Men and Ghosts, was chosen for Peninsula Players’ 2019 “The Play’s the Thing” winter reading series. As an actor, Pickering has performed on Broadway, Off Broadway, at the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park, in London’s West End, and with many major regional theatres both in Chicago, and across the country. He is a former artistic associate with the Organic Theater, artistic director of the Next Theatre in Evanston, and a 2016 Lunt-Fontanne Fellow with the Ten Chimneys Foundation.

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