Goodman Theatre Announces the 21/22 Season and Welcomes Back Audiences
It's a summer "homecoming" for Goodman Theatre audiences! On July 30, Chicago's theater since 1925 resumes live, in-person performances following a 16-month COVID-19 pandemic period of darkened stages. Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer announce a 10-play line-up, beginning with Jocelyn Bioh's School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play-director Lili-Anne Brown's Chicago premiere production that was suspended days before its opening night in March 2020. Next up, eight plays are offered as part of the Goodman's 2021/2022 "Homecoming" Season Membership-four world-premieres, including a major musical adaptation; a Chicago premiere; two classic revivals and one play TBA. In addition, A Christmas Carol returns to the stage for its 44th annual production, following the audio adaptation experienced in 2020 by 100,000+ people worldwide.
"This, truly, is the moment we've been waiting for-at once a 'homecoming' and a new beginning-after one of the most challenging periods of our collective experience. We are enormously grateful to our audiences-with special thanks to all who've joined us virtually as a sponsor or spectator while in-person performances have been suspended-and thrilled to welcome you back now," said Artistic Director Robert Falls. "The return of School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh, directed by Lili-Anne Brown (July 30 - August 29) is nothing short of triumphant. We welcome back Lil and her brilliant company, who had to stop performances just shy of their opening night-making it a particular honor to reopen our doors with this incredible production.
"The line-up in our Albert Theatre continues with American Mariachi by Jose Cruz Gonzalez, directed by Henry Godinez (September 18 - October 24)- a funny, heart-warming story of an all-female mariachi band in an era when this defied social norms-in a co-production with Dallas Theater Center. Next, we are proud to revisit a play that we were privileged to premiere in 2003-Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson, directed by Chuck Smith (January 22 - February 27, 2022). Chuck served as the dramaturg on our world-premiere production, and I'm excited that he'll now direct this major revival. In the spring, we'll premiere Good Night, Oscar by Doug Wright, directed by Lisa Peterson (March 12 - April 17, 2022) starring Sean Hayes (Will & Grace) as Oscar Levant-the larger-than-life American humorist with a dangerous edge. Finally, I'm thrilled to produce the highly anticipated new musical, The Outsiders, based on the novel by S.E. Hinton and Francis Ford Coppola's film, with a book by Adam Rapp, music and lyrics by Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance) and Justin Levine, choreography by Lorin Latarro and directed by Liesl Tommy (May 27 - July 10, 2022). This beloved story of 'haves' and 'have-nots' defined a generation, and is now told anew."
Continued Falls, "Our Owen Theatre will host two world premieres and a major revival-starting with the Goodman-commissioned Fannie, The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer by Cheryl L. West, directed by Henry Godinez (October 15 - November 14), a passionate rallying cry inspired by the life of famed civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. The incredible E. Faye Butler reprises the title role, which she created for our production of Cheryl's abridged version of this play, Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It!, which we produced in collaboration with the Chicago Parks last fall. Next, the ripple, the wave that carried me home by Christina Anderson, directed by Miranda Haymon (February 11 - March 13, 2022), a world-premiere co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, is a stunning meditation on protest, legacy and reconciliation. At the same time, classic revivals are a signature of Goodman programming, and I'm delighted produce a major new production of The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, adapted and directed by Manilow Resident Director Mary Zimmerman (May 1 - April 1, 2022) nearly three decades after its Goodman premiere."
Concluded Falls, "No Goodman season would be complete without our beloved holiday favorite, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, adapted by Tom Creamer, directed by Jessica Thebus and starring Larry Yando as Ebenezer Scrooge (November 20 - December 31). It's a thrill to return to the stage for the 44th annual production-following a successful audio adaptation this past year."