Chicago Press Releases


(Chicago, IL) Artistic Director Robert Falls announced today the final production of Goodman Theatre’s 2009/2010 season—The Good Negro, Tracey Scott Wilson’s “thunderous…stunning” (Variety) new play, comes to Chicago fresh from its off-Broadway run at The Public Theater. Resident Director Chuck Smith, who previously collaborated with Wilson on the Goodman’s 2004/2005 Chicago-premiere production of The Story, will direct The Good Negro in the Albert Theatre in Spring 2010.
Before there was change, there was Birmingham. When Claudette Sullivan is beaten and arrested for taking her little girl into the “white only” restroom at a department store, she finds herself at the heart of the 1960's American Civil Rights Movement. Tensions build in the increasingly hostile South as a trio of emerging black leaders attempts to conquer their individual demons amid death threats from the Ku Klux Klan and wire taps by the FBI. Through personal and intimate stories inspired by the political upheavals of the era, The Good Negro reveals the human frailties behind the historic headlines.
Tracey Scott Wilson’s recent work includes The Good Negro, produced at The Public Theater/NYSF and Dallas Theater Center, and The Story, produced at The Public Theater/NYSF and Goodman Theatre. Additional productions include Order My Steps for Cornerstone Theater Company’s Black AIDS/Black Faith Project in Los Angeles; Exhibit #9; and Leader of the People. She is currently working on several screenplays, including a screen version of The Story. She has written a pilot for NBC and Curtis Hanson and is currently writing another pilot for NBC and Alicia Keyes’ production company. Wilson earned two Van Lier Fellowships from New York Theatre Workshop and a residency at Sundance Ucross. She is the winner of the 2001 Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award, the 2003 AT&T Onstage Award, the 2004 Whiting Award and the 2004 Kesserling Prize.
The Good Negro joins previously announced season selections Animal Crackers, Book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, Music and Lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, directed by Henry Wishcamper; the Broadway-bound double-bill of Hughie by Eugene O’Neill, directed by Robert Falls and Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett, directed by Jennifer Tarver; A True History of the Johnstown Flood by Rebecca Gilman; and The Sins of Sor Juana by Karen Zacarías, directed by Henry Godinez, which kicks off the 5th biennial Latino Theatre Festival; and the 32nd annual production of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Tom Creamer, in the Albert Theatre.  Owen Theatre selections include Joan D’Arc, Created by Tanya Palmer and Aida Karic, adapted from Friedrich Schiller’s Die Jungfrau von Orleans (The Maiden of Orleans), directed by Aida Karic; High Holidays by Alan Gross, directed by Steven Robman; and The Long Red Road by Brett C. Leonard, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Subscriptions for the 2009/2010 season are now on sale (subscriptions do not include
A Christmas Carol). Visit or call 312.443.3800.
The complete 2009/2010 season follows; plays, artists and dates subject to change.

CONTACT:     Denise Schneider/Jeffrey Fauver/Carly Leviton                     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

                        312.443.5151 or                     March 31, 2009
(Chicago, IL) In conjunction with her Goodman Theatre world-premiere production of Magnolia, playwright Regina Taylor announces Eyes on Chicago, a competition of “cell short takes”—films that are 5-10 minutes in length and filmed entirely on cell phone cameras—for Chicago students aged 15-30. Cell short takes should address one of three questions: “How are you, as a Chicagoan, affected by the numerous changes, good and bad, America is currently facing? What will Chicagoans take away from this time of change in America? What are your dreams and how are they significant to the current climate of the country?” Cash prizes of up to $1,500 will be awarded, and the top three contestants in each category will earn a screening of their respective films. Submissions must be postmarked for receipt by April 18; winners will be announced April 25, and the winners’ screening will take place May 2 (location TBD). Submission details follow, and a complete list of guideline regulations are available at
“We are living in a monumental time in history, and our new President has focused the eyes of the world on Chicago,” said Regina Taylor, actor, director and playwright who explores another historical period of churning social currents, Atlanta in 1963, in her latest play Magnolia at Goodman Theatre (though April 19). “The heart of the Obama campaign used internet, e-mail and video to motivate people; now it’s Chicago’s turn. We’re looking for edgy, creative and original student films that delve into Chicago’s past and look to its future in an honest and creative way. What are your dreams and how are they significant to the current climate of the country? ”
A member of Goodman Theatre’s Artistic Collective, Regina Taylor authored and directed The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove, which premiered at Alabama Shakespeare Festival and was produced at the Goodman in June 2006. Drowning Crow, her adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull, premiered at the Goodman and was produced on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Biltmore Theatre. Taylor wrote the award-winning Crowns, first produced at McCarter Theatre and at Second Stage in New York, and has subsequently become the most performed musical in America; Taylor also directed the production to critical acclaim. Her other plays include Oo-Bla-Dee, which premiered at the Goodman and won the 2000 American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award; Escape From Paradise, a one-woman show; Watermelon Rinds; Inside the Belly of the Beast; Mudtracks; Love Poem #97; and she curated Urban Zulu Mambo, an evening of plays by Adrienne Kennedy, Ntozake Shange, Suzan-Lori Parks and Kia Corthron. Acting credits include roles on Broadway, off-Broadway and in numerous resident theaters. Her film credits include Clockers, Losing Isaiah, Lean on Me, A Family Thing, Courage Under Fi re with Denzel Washington, and The Negotiator with Samuel L. Jackson. For her role as Lilly Harper on the television series I’ll Fly Away, Taylor won an NAACP Image Award, was nominated for an Emmy Award and received the Golden Globe Award for Best Leading Dramatic Actress. She currently portrays Molly on CBS’ The Unit, written and produced by David Mamet and Shawn Ryan (2008 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama).
How to Enter Eyes on Chicago
Contestants entering the Chicago Cell Short Takes Contest should upload films to the Contest website, and submit (via US Mail) the following, postmarked for receipt by April 18: a complete and signed entry form; a signed Voluntary Participation and Contestant Release; A copy of his/her film on CD or DVD; a brief biography about him/herself; and film stills on CD or DVD.  Submissions should be mailed to: Regina Taylor, P.O. Box 801867, Santa Clarita, CA 91380.
All entrants must be attending, or have attended, a Chicago-area high school, college or university (undergraduate) during the 2008/2009 school year, must be aged 15-30 years, and must be legal residents of the United States or Washington, D.C.
Submissions will be judged by media professionals.  Merited films will be streamed online to varied audiences. The top three contestants in each category win cash prizes and have a public screening in Chicago (venue TBD).
About Magnolia – Must Close April 19
Magnolia takes place in Atlanta, 1963. As Martin Luther King Jr. inspires Atlanta’s black citizens to fight passionately for their civil rights, the new mayor erects “Peyton Wall” to restrict where they can live. Amid these churning social currents, Magnolia Estate faces foreclosure—pitting the sensual, free-spirited heiress Lily (Annette O’Toole) against Thomas (John Jelks), a strong-willed businessman who lays claim to the estate where his ancestors were slaves. The development of Magnolia was supported by The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center during a residency at the National Playwrights Conference of 2008. Target is the Lead Corporate Sponsor of Magnolia and Lead Diversity Night Sponsor.
Tickets to Magnolia are $25 – $70 and may be purchased online at, at the Goodman Theatre Box Office, 170 North Dearborn Street, or by phone at 312.443.3800. Mezztix are half-price mezzanine tickets available at 12 noon at the box office and at 10am online at on the day of performance, subject to availability; Mezztix are not available by telephone. When purchasing on, enter the promo code MEZZTIX. 10Tix are $10 mezzanine tickets for students available at 12 noon at the box office and at 10am online at on the day of performance, subject to availability; 10Tix are not available by telephone. Valid student I.D. must be presented when picking up the tickets at will call. Limit four tickets per student with I.D. Tickets are subject to availability and handling fees apply. Discounted group tickets for 10 persons or more are available at 312.443.3820.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater Announces
A Season of Ruthless Love and Undying Ambition
Charming Villains and Feuding Lovers Fill the Stage
Affordable Access a Hallmark of the Season
Chicago—March 30, 2009—Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson announced today the series lineup of productions, with new affordable access opportunities, for the 2009/10 Season. "Villains and lovers make for compelling storytelling, and this year—from Shakespeare’s beguiling hunchback and fiery fiancées, to Chekhov’s restless lovers and Coward’s dueling divorcées—they’re out in force," said Barbara Gaines. "These great characters of dramatic literature will tread the boards with tales of human endeav or and folly, provoking thought and laughter in equal measure." A three-play subscription series of classics, renowned artists from around the world and productions for the entire family set the stage for Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s tenth season on Navy Pier.
"Now, more than ever, it’s essential to reaffirm our commitment to bring Chicago Shakespeare to the widest audience," says Criss Henderson. "Through our CST for $20 program, we’re releasing thousands of $20 tickets for the new season encouraging young audiences (under 35) to experience live theater without price as an obstacle. We’re offering two new, economy weekend series to broaden our subscription options. And, due to tremendous demand for affordable Shakespeare productions, we are doubling performances of our popularly abridged—and priced—Short Shakespeare! series. We’re also offering $70 four-person family packages for our summer musical, maintaining our trademark of high quality, high value programming."
Subscription Series
  • In the fall, Barbara Gaines kicks off the Subscription Series directing Richard III, one of Shakespeare’s most enduring successes. Richard, the brilliant hunchback and witty manipulator, seduces and murders his way to the English throne in the Bard’s epic history of this most fascinating and engaging villain. September 23—November 22, 2009, Courtyard Theater.
  • In the New Year, Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin directs Private Lives, a revelation of the humorous complications of marriage penned by master playwright Noël Coward. This classic comedy takes us into the private lives of a stylish, ferociously intelligent divorced couple who meet again quite by accident—on their honeymoons, with new spouses in tow. January 6—March 7, 2010, Courtyard Theater.
  • The Subscription Series concludes in the spring with The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare’s spark-filled comedy of unconventional courtship. Fortune-seeking Petruchio sets his sights on wedding the fiery Katherina, but the verdict is out on just who tames whom in Shakespeare’s all-out battle of the sexes. April 7June 6, 2010, Courtyard Theater.
Subscriptions, including Richard III, Private Lives and The Taming of the Shrew begin at $120 and are on sale now online at or by calling the Box O ffice at 312.595.5600.
World’s Stage Series
  • This summer, CST’s World Stage welcomes Ilotopie, a French troupe which specializes in the creation of waterborne theatrical wonders. The acclaimed company has performed on the Thames in London, the River Seine in Paris and will make their American debut with Water Fools (Fous de Bassin) here in Chicago on Lake Michigan off the east end of Navy Pier. Chicago's aquatic front yard will be transformed into a world where cars drive on water, heads burst into flames and a 12-foot tall lady glides by on a penny-farthing. August 21—22, 2009, Navy Pier.
  • In the fall, CST hosts Druid, one of Ireland’s premiere theater companies, with their acclaimed production of Enda Walsh’s tragic comedy, The Walworth Farce. This biting social commentary disguised as a traditional high farce played to sold out houses at the National Theatre in Great Britain and garnered an Edinburgh Fringe First Award. October 28—November 1, 2009, Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare.
  • On the 150th anniversary of Anton Chekhov’s birth, the World’s Stage Series concludes with Uncle Vanya in th e Chicago debut of Russia’s illustrious Maly Drama Theatre of Saint Petersburg. Hailed by Peter Brook as "the finest ensemble in Europe" and led by Artistic Director Lev Dodin, the Maly Drama Theatre has found worldwide critical acclaim for this production of Chekhov’s classic. March 17—21, 2010, Courtyard Theater.
CST Family
  • This summer, CST creates a new production of Disney’s Aladdin, based on the 1992 award-winning animated film and complete with the original music, including "A Whole New World" and "Friend Like Me." Devanand Janki directs this exciting musical adventure, following Aladdin, the beautiful Princess Jasmine and the fun-loving, wise-cracking Genie as they try and save the kingdom from the villainous Jafar. July 1August 30, 2009, Courtyard Theater.
  • In the New Year, CST presents Short Shakespeare! The Comedy of Errors, adapted and directed by David Bell, on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This 75-minute abridgment of Shakespeare’s first comedy introduces young people and their families to the theatrical genius of CST’s resident playwright. Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. January 23—March 7, 2010,=2 0Courtyard Theater.
Tickets for Aladdin are $23 for adults and $18 for children (12 and under) and are on sale now. Family four-packs are available for $70 through July 1 and special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets for Short Shakespeare! The Comedy of Errors are $16 for students (18 and under) and $20 for adults.
For further information on all Chicago Shakespeare Theater productions and to purchase subscriptions and tickets
online, visit the Theater’s website at or call the Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600.
(Chicago, IL) Joyce Award-recipient Naomi Iizuka brings her tale of family ties, a lingering debt, mystical stories—and magical food—to the Goodman stage in her newest work, Ghostwritten, April 4 - May 3, 2009. Lisa Portes, who has shepherded this play from its first appearance at the 2007 New Stages Series, directs its world-premiere production with a cast of Chicago favorites led by Lisa Tejero (Mirror of the Invisible World and Metamorphoses) and Kim Martin-Cotten (King Lear). Tickets to Ghostwritten are $10 – $39. A complete performance schedule including dates, times and ticket prices appears at the end of this release. Ghostwritten is a Goodman commission supported by The Joyce Foundation. The Sara Lee Foundation is the “Strong Women, Strong Voices” Owen season Corporate Sponsor. Clerestory Consulting is the contributing sponsor of Ghostwritten.
“I’ve long admired Naomi’s gifted, innovative approach to storytelling and her ability to transcend culture and time,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls.  “It’s a privilege to host this premiere at the Goodman with the talented Lisa Portes and a remarkable Chicago cast.”
Based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, “Rumpelstiltskin,” Ghostwritten shows the lengths families will go in order to protect their loved ones. This journey begins in Southeast Asia, when a traveling American woman, Susan, strikes a bargain with a mysterious stranger. Twenty years later, Susan has become an acclaimed chef specializing in Asian cuisine and the mother of an adopted Vietnamese-born daughter. She is successful beyond her wildest dreams—until the stranger from her past reappears to collect on the debt. 
“Like all fairy tales there is a much deeper human meaning rooted in these characters and their stories,” said Iizuka, who plays on her own multicultural background to explore the many different paths her characters take. “Being able to tell the stories of real immigrants who have moved their lives to the cultural collision that is America honors their struggle for identity while sharing their tales of survival. The play is based on a fairy tale, but characters are rooted in the human reality of acceptance, family and self-appreciation.”
By Naomi Iizuka
Directed by Lisa Portes
April 3 – May 3, 2009
Linh.................................................................................Arthur Acuna
Chad/Not Chad……………............................................ .Dieterich Gray
Susan………………………...............……….....................Kim Martin-Cotten
Woman from Vietnam………………………………..…......Lisa Tejero
Bea……………….…………………….....................….......Tiffany Villarin
Martin..………......……………………….............................Dan Waller
Set Design……………………………………………………..Linda Buchanan
Costume Design……………………………………………....Rachel Healy
Lighting Design………………………………………………..Keith Parham
Sound Design..………………………………………………..Andre J. Pluess
Full bio information for the company is available upon request.
Tickets to Ghostwritten are $10 – $39 and may be purchased online at, at the Goodman Theatre Box Office, 170 North Dearborn Street, or by phone at 312.443.3800. Mezztix are half-price mezzanine tickets available at 12 noon at the box office and at 10am online at on the day of performance, subject to availability; Mezztix are not available by telephone. When purchasing on, enter the promo code MEZZTIX. 10Tix are $10 mezzanine tickets for students available at 12 noon at the box office and at 10am online at on the day of performance, subject to availability; 10Tix are not available by telephone. Valid student I.D. must be presented when picking up the tickets at will call. Limit four tickets per student with I.D. Tickets are subject to availability and handling fees apply. Discounted group tickets for 10 persons or more are available at 312.443.3820.
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