December , 2018

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Hear Haidle discuss the play with Kauffman at the October 13 Artist Encounter Event

CHICAGO, IL – Set in Grand Rapids, Michigan, acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Noah Haidle explores the passage of time and the fleeting pleasures of life through three generations of one family in Smokefall, his newest work. The Michigan native playwright, who describes Smokefall as “an incredibly personal play that has been with me for a long time,” most recently wrote the 2012 film Stand Up Guys (starring Alan Arkin, Christopher Walken and Al Pacino) and previously authored Mr. Marmalade, Vigils (at the Goodman in 2006) and Persephone for the stage.  Directed by Obie Award-winner Anne Kauffman in her Goodman debut, Smokefall is a world-premiere co-production with South Coast Repertory, running October 5 – November 3 in the Owen Theatre (opening night is Monday, October 14). Tickets ($10-$40; subject to change) are on sale now at GoodmanTheatre.org/Smokefall, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Bank of America is the 2013/2014 Owen Season Sponsor. Time Warner Foundation and The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation are the Major Supporters of New Play Development; and The Glasser and Rosenthal Family and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust are Supporters of New Work Development. The Joyce Foundation is the Principal Supporter of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives.

Meet-the-artists events include the monthly Chicago-based talk show “The Interview Show,” on Friday, October 4 at 6:30pm at The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia, $8, doors open at 6pm); and the “Artist Encounter” on Sunday, October 13 at 5pm at the Goodman featuring Haidle and Kauffman in conversation with Tanya Palmer, the Goodman’s Director of New Play Development—and to whom Haidle dedicated Smokefall. Tickets are free for Goodman Subscribers, $5 general public.

Smokefall has been in gestation for five years, inspired in equal parts by Thornton Wilder’s simple evocative humanity, Samuel Beckett’s bleak poetry and Haidle’s own “formidably talented, with a sort of freewheeling intuitive daring” (The New Yorker) theatrical imagination. Act One and part of Act Two were originally included in a larger Haidle-authored project called Local Time: 12 two-hour, real-time plays that spanned 24 hours in a Midwestern town, each play named for the time in which it took place, such as 11am to 1pm and 5 to 7pm, etc. Smokefall was first developed as part of the Goodman’s New Stages new play reading series, and was subsequently featured in the prestigious Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California (where it was produced this past spring, directed by Kauffman).

Change is in the air as Violet (Katherine Keberlein) prepares to bring twin boys into the world (Eric Slater and Guy Massey as Fetus One and Fetus Two, respectively). Inside her womb, her unborn sons contemplate life after birth, the fragility of love and the meaning of home, while outside her body her world is in transformation: her husband, Daniel (Slater) is making plans of his own, her father The Colonel (Mike Nussbaum) is slipping into senility and her daughter, Beauty (Catherine Combs) has taken a vow of silence. In the third act, one of the twins—now an old man—reflects on his life and family when an unexpected visitor arrives.

The design team includes Kevin Depinet (set), Lindsay Jones (sound), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes) and David Weiner (lighting). Kim Osgood is the production stage manager.

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