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Chicago, IL –  Next month, Goodman Theatre will present two free staged readings in the Owen Theatre. The MeccaTales by Rohina Malik (June 13) and American Wee-Pie by Lisa Dillman (June 20) were both developed as part of the Playwrights Unit, the Goodman’s season-long residency program of four local writers who meet once a month to discuss their plays in progress. Playing an essential role in the Goodman’s efforts to commission and develop new works of the American theater, the Playwrights Unit also includes playwrights Seth Bockley and Laura Jacqmin, and is facilitated by Director of New Play Development Tanya Palmer. Both readings are free, but reservations are required: call 312.443.3800 or visit GoodmanTheatre.org.

The Mecca Tales By Rohina Malik

Directed by Ron O.J. Parson

June 13 at 7pm

Five Muslim women meet for the first time on a camping trip to prepare for the challenges of their upcoming pilgrimage to Mecca. Grace, the group’s leader, requires each of the pilgrims to reveal her unique and personal reason for making this journey. The women must choose whether to reveal themselves and go forward, or to guard

their stories and stay behind. Poetic and transporting, The Mecca Tales explores the power of ritual and redemption. Rohina Malik is a Chicago-based playwright, actress and solo performance artist. Last year, her one-woman play Unveiled had its world premiere at 16th Street Theater, where Malik performed to sold-out houses and received critical acclaim. Unveiled was subsequently produced at Victory Gardens Theater, Next Theatre Company and will enjoy a fourth production at Brava Theater in San Francisco (September 2011). Her new play, Yasmina’s Necklace, was workshopped during Goodman Theatre’s New Stages Series and was a finalist for Victory Gardens Theater’s

2010 Ignition Festival. She was recently nominated for a 3 Arts Artist Award in playwriting. Of South Asian heritage, Malik was born and raised in London and is a graduate of DePaul University.

American Wee-Pie

By Lisa Dillman

Directed by Lisa Portes

June 20 at 7pm

Zed is disillusioned with his job as a textbook editor and longs to find more fulfilling work but finds a golden opportunity when he least expects it—during a visit to his hometown. With the help of an old high school acquaintance, he discovers a latent talent for cupcake baking, and hopes to cash in on the town’s appetite for personal-sized desserts. But will the market stay strong, or will the cupcake bubble burst? With richly drawn characters and wry humor, American Wee-Pie explores success, failure and our national pastime—overconsumption. Lisa Dillman’s plays include Detail of a Larger Work (world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company; also produced by Hypothetical Theatre Company); Half of Plenty (world premiere at American Theatre Company, also produced by Summer Play Festival and Rogue Machine Theatre); Flung (commissioned by Steppenwolf; world premiere at American Theatre Company; published by Dramatic Publishing); The Walls, Shady Meadows and Chiaroscuro (all commissioned by Rivendell Theatre Ensemble); and Ground (commissioned by Northlight Theatre; world premiere at 2010 Humana Festival of New American Plays).

About Goodman Theatre – Now Celebrating A Decade on Dearborn.

Currently on stage is the world-premiere production of Sarah Ruhl’s Goodman commission, Stage Kiss (through June 5) in the Albert. The final production in this celebratory season is the world premiere of Chinglish by David Henry Hwang, directed by Leigh Silverman (June 18 – July 24) in the Albert.

The 2011/2012 Season includes: Red by John Logan, directed by Robert Falls (September 17 – October 23); the 34th annual production of A Christmas Carol (November 18 – December 31); Race by David Mamet, directed by Chuck Smith (January 14 – February 19, 2012); The Convert by Danai Gurira, directed by Emily Mann and coproduced with McCarter Theatre (NJ) and Center Theatre Group (CA) (February 25 – March 25, 2012); Camino Real by Tennessee Williams, directed by Calixto Bieito (March 10 – April 15, 2012); Fish Men by Cándido Tirado (April 7 – May 6, 2012) and Crowns, written and directed by Regina Taylor (Jne 16 – July 22, 2012).

Plays and dates subject to change. Two more plays in the 2011/2012 season are still to be announced.

Goodman Theatre, “the leading regional theater in the nation’s most important theater city” (Time), is a major cultural, educational and economic pillar in Chicago, generating nearly $300 million in economic impact over the past decade in its state-of-the-art two-theater complex on North Dearborn Street. Founded in 1925 and currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls, “Chicago’s most essential director” (Chicago Tribune), and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, Chicago’s oldest and largest not-for-profit resident theater has experienced unprecedented success over the past 10 years in its new downtown facility, welcoming nearly two million patrons to productions and events—including 10 festivals celebrating playwrights such as David Mamet, August Wilson and Horton Foote, as well as the biennial Latino Theatre Festival—serving 30 percent more students through its Education and Community Engagement programs (including the FREE Student Subscription Series and other interactive programs) and employing more than 3,000 artists and theater professionals. The Goodman has earned

more than 90 awards for hundreds of productions, including the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined by Lynn Nottage—one of 25 new-work Goodman commissions in the last decade. The Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees is Patricia Cox, and Joan Clifford is President of the Women’s Board. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre.

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