Two Direct-From-Broadway Hits, A Tennessee Williams Classic Reimagined by an Internationally-Acclaimed Spanish Director, An Incandescent Musical Revival and New Works Sear The Stage
Chicago, IL â€“ Itâ€™s a â€œred hotâ€ line-up! Artistic Director Robert Falls announces five of eight play selections in Goodman Theatreâ€™s upcoming 2011/2012 subscription seasonâ€”beginning with his production of the Tony Award-winning Broadway sensation Red, by John Logan, in September. Next in the Albert Theatre, Resident Director Chuck Smith stages David Mametâ€™s Race in a Chicago premiere, following its acclaimed Broadway run. The Goodman then welcomes Spanish director Calixto Bieito, known for his radical opera stagings, in his American theater debut with a new interpretation of the rarely produced Camino Real by Tennessee Williams. The season concludes on a high note with Regina Taylorâ€™s musical Crownsâ€” revived for its 10th anniversary. In the Owen Theatre, rising-star playwright Danai Gurira brings her world-premiere production of The Convert, a stand-out offering in the Goodmanâ€™s recent New Stages new play reading series. Still to be announced are three playsâ€”including a collaboration with Chicagoâ€™s Teatro Vista. The 2011/2012 season also includes the 34th annual production of Charles Dickensâ€™ A Christmas Carol.Artistic Director Robert Falls calls the 2011/2012 season selections â€œa dynamic mix of classics and new works from some of the greatest theater artists in our city, country and beyond. Red is a towering portrait of the legendary visual artist, Mark Rothko, at work. This piece has riveted audiences in its sold-out run in Londonâ€™s West End and earned six Tony Awards for its Broadway engagement. Itâ€™s a gift to Chicago that playwright John Logan, an award-winning producer and Hollywood writer who began his career here, has chosen the Goodman to host the first production of his beautiful play following its Broadway run.
â€œItâ€™s also a thrill to stage David Mametâ€™s provocative new play, Race, in his hometown following its Broadway debut. My wonderful associate Chuck Smith, whose poignant, moving productions of plays like A Raisin in the Sun, Proof, Crumbs From the Table of Joy and The Good Negro have engaged audiences for nearly two decades, brings a particularly skilled hand. Weâ€™re in for a treat with this bitingly funny new playâ€”Mametâ€™s first here since our 2006 David Mamet Festival.
â€œI am proud to continue our efforts to bring important works of world theater to the Goodman,â€ continued Falls. â€œIt is a true honor to welcome the bold artistic vision of Catalonian director Calixto Bieito. I have long admired this internationallyacclaimed artist; his production of Tennessee Williamsâ€™ rarely-produced Camino Realâ€”a poetic, lyrical and dreamlike departure from Williamsâ€™ canonâ€”promises to be unlike any other.
â€œItâ€™s hard to believe that Regina Taylorâ€™s incandescent musical Crowns has delighted audiences across the country for ten years. I have been asked many times when we would revive this enormous hit, which we produced in 2004. Iâ€™m delighted that Regina herself will direct this soul-stirring celebration of African American women and their church hats.
â€œFinally,â€ remarked Falls, â€œwe warmly welcome back Danai Gurira to the Owen stage with The Convert, her powerful new play. Audiences will remember Danai from her commanding performance in In The Continuum (2007), which she also cowrote.
The Convert was a hot ticket in our New Stages new play reading series this year, and weâ€™re proud to produce its world premiere production, together with our friends at McCarter Theatre and Center Theatre Group.â€
A Season Opening Benefit, in conjunction with Red, takes place on September 27, 2011 at the Art Institute of Chicagoâ€™s Modern Wing. For tickets and more information about the Season Opening Benefit, call 312.443.5564.
To subscribe to the 2011/2012 season, call 312.443.3800 or visit ExploreTheGoodman.org.
About the Plays and Artists in Goodman Theatreâ€™s 2011/2012 Season
All titles, artists and dates are subject to change.
In The Albert Theatre â€“ One Play still to be announced
By John Logan
Directed by Robert Falls
Full-blooded and visceral, the Tony Award-winning Red takes you into the mind of abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, for whom paintings are â€œpulsatingâ€ life forces and art is intended to stop the heart. Red chronicles the tormented painterâ€™s two-year
struggle to complete a lucrative set of murals for Manhattanâ€™s exclusive Four Seasons restaurant, and his fraught relationship with a seemingly naÃ¯ve young assistant, who must choose between appeasing his mentor and changing the course of art history. Set amid the swiftly-changing cultural tide of the early 1960s, Red is a startling snapshot of a brilliant artist at the height of his fame, a play hailed as â€œintense and excitingâ€ by the New York Times. ComEd is the official Lighting Sponsor for Red.Â
By David Mamet
Directed by Chuck Smith
This latest work by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Mamet ruthlessly examines guilt and oppression via a compelling crime mystery. Two high-profile lawyersâ€”one black, one whiteâ€”are called to defend a wealthy white client charged with the rape of an African-American woman, but soon find themselves embroiled in a complex case in which blatant prejudice is as disturbing as the evidence at hand. With characteristic bluntness, Mamet leaves nothing unsaid in this no-holds-barred suspense story which the Chicago Tribune declared â€œintellectually salacious.â€
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Calixto Bieito
Tennessee Williamsâ€™ hauntingly poetic allegory takes us to the mysterious Camino Real, a surreal netherworld populated by a colorful collection of lost souls anxious to escape but terrified of the unknown wasteland lurking beyond the cityâ€™s walls. When Kilroy, an American traveler and former boxer inadvertently lands in Camino Real, he sets off on a phantasmagoric venture through illusion and temptation in an attempt to flee its confinesâ€”and defy his grim destiny. Called â€œone of Williamsâ€™ most imaginative playsâ€ by the New York Times, Camino Real is a sensual carnival of desire and desperation.
Written and directed by Regina Taylor
Regina Taylorâ€™s gospel musical sensation returns to the Goodman, promising audiences a rollicking good time. When Brooklyn-born Yolanda relocates to the South after the death of her brother, she finds strength in the tales of the wise women who surround herâ€”and the powerful rituals connected to their dazzling hats. Fusing the music of the South with rich storytelling and abundant â€œhattitude,â€ Crowns is a jubilant celebration of song, dance, cultural historyâ€”and glamorous headwear.
In The Owen Theatre â€“ Two Plays still to be announced
By Danai Gurira
Directed by Emily Mann
A Co-Production with McCarter Theatre Center (Princeton, NJ) and Center Theatre Group (Los Angeles, CA)
Set amid the colonial scramble for southern Africa in 1895, The Convert tells the tale of Jekesai, a young girl who escapes a forced marriage arrangement with the help of a stalwart black African catechist, Chilford Ndlovu. Caught between her loyalties to her family and culture but indebted to this new Christian god, she becomes Chilford’s protÃ©gÃ©, but when an anticolonial uprising erupts she is forced to decide which side of the conflict she will chooseâ€”and where her heart truly belongs. With wit and compassion, The Convert explores the untold cultural and religious collisions caused by British colonization in this section of southern Africa (now Zimbabwe), and the reverberating effects still felt in the region today. The Convert was commissioned by Center Theatre Group.
About Goodman Theatre
Currently on stage is the world premiere of Regina Taylorâ€™s The Trinity River Plays (through February 20, 2011) in the Albert and Mary, a world premiere Goodman commission by Thomas Bradshaw (through March 6, 2011).
Upcoming productions in the 2010/2011 Season include: God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza (March 5 â€“ April 10); El Nogalar by Tanya Saracho (world premiere, March 26 â€“ April 24); Stage Kiss by Sarah Ruhl (world premiere Goodman commission, April 30 â€“ June 5); and Chinglish by David Henry Hwang (world premiere, June 18 â€“ July 24).
Visit the Goodman virtually: watch artist interviews at ExploreTheGoodman.org; catch the latest news from rehearsal on theGoodmanâ€™s Blog, Goodman-Theatre.Blogspot.com/; Friend us at Facebook.com/GoodmanTheatre; Follow at Twitter.com/GoodmanTheatre and peek behind-the-scenes at YouTube.com/TheGoodmanTheatre.