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Special night includes live music from Chicago Math and Science Academy’s Band; Holiday Rock from WXRT’s Terri Hemmert; Photo Opportunities with NBC’s Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. Casts; and the Goodman’s first-ever tree lighting

CHICAGO, IL -  Goodman Theatre launches its run of A Christmas Carol on Saturday, November 15 with “Share The Joy Day”—a day of goodwill toward others and giving back to the community. In this spirit, Chicago’s flagship theater extends 856 free tickets to its first night performance to partnering community organizations: USO of Illinois; Chicago Fire Department; 100 Club of Chicago; One Savvy Veteran; Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago; Mercy Home for Boys & Girls; Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center; Get In Chicago; Chicago Math and Science Academy and WXRT. The November 15 6:30pm “Share The Joy” community performance is for an invited audience only. A Christmas Carol continues through December 28; tickets ($25 – $93; subject to change) are available online at GoodmanTheatre.org/Joy, by phone at 312.443.3800 or in-person at the box office (170 N. Dearborn). Fifth Third Bank is the Major Corporate Sponsor, PepsiCo is the Official Beverage Sponsor, Aon Corporation and KPMG LLP are the Corporate Sponsor Partners, and Chicago Tribune is the Media Partner for A Christmas Carol. FTD Group, Inc. is the Contributing Sponsor for “Share The Joy Day.”

Coordinated by U.S. Navy veteran Willa Taylor, the Goodman’s Director of Education and Community Engagement, this event marks the sixth consecutive year in which the theater gives back to the Chicago community with free tickets to A Christmas Carol. In previous years, Senator Dick Durbin, Governor Quinn, Congressman Mike Quigley, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and others have hosted this special community performance.

“Throughout the season, the Goodman provides free tickets to people who otherwise are unable to attend our shows. This special night is our way of saying thank you and giving back to those in our community who give of themselves every day, making sacrifices in service of others,” said Taylor. “We at the Goodman consistently count this among the most meaningful nights of the year, and this event perfectly echoes the message of Charles’ Dickens timely and universal story.”

“Share the Joy Day” Schedule

Prior to the 6:30pm “Share The Joy” community performance on Saturday, November 15, family-friendly activities in the Goodman lobby include live music from Chicago Math and Science Academy’s student band and holiday rock from Terri Hemmert of WXRT-FM; photo opportunities with cast members of NBC’s hit series Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.; and the theater’s first-ever tree lighting.

4:30pm –Chicago Math and Science Academy high school band performs
5:00pm – WXRT’s Terri Hemmert plays music; photo opportunities with Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. cast
5:30pm – Tree is decked with paper chain of “joyful wishes” of those in attendance
5:45pm – Count-down and tree lighting
6:30pm – First night curtain

Throughout “Share The Joy Day,” the Goodman encourages its audiences to visit to leave a GoodmanTheatre.org/SharetheJoy video message, upload a picture or leave a comment about what makes them joyful during the holiday season. Participants will be entered to win prizes from “Share The Joy Day” partners including Auditorium Theatre, Chicago Detours, Magnolia Bakery, Catch 35, Howells & Hood, Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique, Lettuce Entertain You, Macy’s, The Second City and more.

About “Share the Joy Day” Partnering Community Organizations

The mission of the USO of Illinois is to enhance the quality of life of the U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families and to create a cooperative relationship between U.S. military communities and involved or supporting civilian communities. There are more than 2.4 million active duty, guard and reserve men and women whose families benefit from assistance provided by the USO. The USO of Illinois annually serves more than 300,000 active duty, guard and reserved military and military families. The USO coordinates more than 300 programs and services, year- around at five USO Centers: USO Navy Pier, USO Midway, USO Great Lakes, USO O’Hare, and now the USO AA Cyber Canteen O’Hare. The USO (United Service Organizations) is a 501 (c) (3) registered nonprofit organization that receives no direct government funding.

The Chicago Fire Department (CFD) is the largest fire department in the Midwest and among the largest in the nation, promoting fire safety, providing emergency care and extinguishing fires. The CFD is also one of the oldest major organized fire departments, established before 1833. CFD is led by the Fire Commissioner, Jose A. Santiago, who was appointed by the Mayor. The Fire Commissioner is assisted by the First Deputy Commissioner, who is Charles Stewart III, who oversees the department’s bureaus. There are four bureaus under the First Deputy Commissioner: Operations, Fire Prevention, and Administrative Services and Logistics.

The 100 Club of Chicago is the civilian organization that provides for the families of first responders who have lost their lives in the line-of-duty. The Club helps families ease the financial burden associated with the tragic event, including immediate financial assistance and the ongoing cost of higher education. All federal, state, county and local police officers, firefighters and paramedics stationed in Cook and Lake Counties are included. The Club assures every policeman and fireman in its territory that if s/he should perish [in the line of] duty the following will occur within 24 hours: the surviving spouse will have $1000 in cash in the house, current bills will be paid, and if a debt/mortgage exists on his house, arrangements will be made to clear it entirely.

The mission of One Savvy Veteran is to encourage, educate and empower women veterans experiencing economic hardships with comprehensive assistance needed to successfully navigate the transition from military service to civilian life. One Savvy Veteran is a source of support, advocacy, benefits assistance and access to veteran-specific information and resources; a safe place to build a sisterhood and rebuild bonds of camaraderie that were lost after leaving military service; empowering women to be proud of their service to this country, no matter when, where, or how long they served; and taking ownership of their “story of service” to become a self-advocate for all women veterans. Through the generosity of businesses, organizations and the American public, One Savvy Veteran grants wishes to economically-disadvantaged women warriors as a way to recognize and honor their bravery and sacrifice to the country.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital, provides superior pediatric care in a setting that offers the latest benefits and innovations in medical technology, research and family-friendly design. As the largest pediatric provider in the region with a 130 year legacy of excellence, kids and their families are at the center of all we do. The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is guided by the belief that all children need to grow up in a protective and nurturing environment where each child is given the opportunity to reach their full potential, Chicago believes this vision can provide a brighter future for all children. The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation is a charitable 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with fundraising professionals who work with 11 affiliated organizations and an active team of volunteers to cultivate and secure contributions that advance the mission of the hospital.

Mercy Home for Boys & Girls is a children’s charity dedicated to providing a solution for abused, neglected, and abandoned children in Chicago, IL, paving the way to a brighter future. A Catholic organization answering the Gospel call to minister to children and families in need, Mercy Home for Boys & Girls is committed to raising public awareness of youth in need and encouraging support to help them.  Mercy Home saves young lives by providing a safe, nurturing residential treatment home; AfterCare support for former residents and their families; and community- and site-based youth mentoring. Mercy Home for Boys & Girls is a 501(c)(3), licensed child care institution and licensed child welfare agency.

Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center is dedicated to uniting public, private and community partners to ensure the safety, health and well-being of abused children with the vision of eliminating the suffering of abused children in Chicago. Founded in 1998 by a task force of professionals from across all disciplines, on-site network of family advocates, mental health counselors, intake coordinators, forensic interviewers and support services staff work together to serve more than 25,000 children, allowing them to live fuller, happier lives. Additionally, Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center hosts many national and international child welfare professionals interested in learning from its model and programs.

The mission of Get In Chicago is to identify, fund and rigorously evaluate evidence based programs that lead to sustainable reductions in violence for individuals and communities. Launched by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Loop Capital Founder, Chairman and CEO Jim Reynolds and Allstate CEO Tom Wilson in March 2013, the public private partnership collaborates with business, government, community based organizations, foundations and faith-based organizations to align and leverage existing initiatives to make Chicago safer. Get In Chicago operates as a separate organization with independent governance and transparency focusing on developing high-impact, research-based strategies to prevent violence, intervene with those at greatest risk and make our communities safer.

Chicago Math and Science Academy is a public charter school that provides its students with an innovative world class education, rich in math, science and technology focused on preparing students to become bold inquirers, problem solvers and ethical leaders, skill-ready for post-secondary education to meet the challenges of a competitive global workforce. Students’ faces of all nationalities, race, economic backgrounds and scholastic levels exude unspoken confidence. Chicago Math and Science Academy is managed by Concept Schools, NFP. Concept Schools is a not-for-profit charter management organization that manages high quality charters in the Midwest.

All Concept managed schools implement the school design created by Concept in 1999. All Concept managed schools build strong reputation for being effective learning environments in a very short time. Board of Directors of Chicago Math and Science Academy is comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds and expertise, who are committed to improve high quality public education choices in our community.

Terri Hemmert has been at WXRT 93.1 FM “Chicago’s Finest Rock” for more than 40 years. Starting as overnight announcer and Public Affairs Director in 1973, Hemmert became the first female morning drive personality in Chicago in 1981. In 1992, she moved to the 9am to 12 noon time-slot, and in 2002 became host of “Breakfast with The Beatles,” 8 to 10am on Sundays. Prior to joining WXRT, Hemmert was an air personality at WCMF in Rochester, NY and also served as program coordinator for WGLD (currently WVAZ) in Chicago. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Peace Museum and Facets Multimedia, among others. She teaches the History of Rock and Soul at Columbia College Chicago, where she has taught for 40 years, and was an advisor at the student radio station, WCRX. She has volunteered with Inner City Teaching Corps, Latin School of Chicago, and other schools, teaching classes on the Roots of Rap, Women in Music, Classical Music’s influence on Rock and Soul.

About A Christmas Carol and Goodman Theatre

“There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit” (Chicago Sun-Times) than experiencing the “the crown jewel of the holiday season” (Daily Herald): Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre, directed by Goodman Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper. Acclaimed Chicago actor Larry Yando commands the stage as Ebenezer Scrooge, a greedy British businessman whose sizable bank account is matched only by his hatred of the holidays. One Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who take him on a spectacular adventure through his past, present and future, helping him to rediscover the joys of life, love and friendship. Chicago’s premier holiday tradition for 37 years, A Christmas Carol has introduced nearly 1.5 million people to the magic of theater.

A Christmas Carol is part of the Goodman’s 2014/2015 Season, which features nine productions on its two stages—six in the 856-seat Albert Theatre and three in the 400-seat flexible Owen Theatre, plus the annual New Stages Festival that includes additional developmental productions, and partner productions with The Second City and Albany Park Theater Project. Now on stage is the New Stages Festival (through November 16, in the Owen), including an “Industry Weekend” on November 14 –16. The Season continues with The Second City’s Twist Your Dickens, Or Scrooge You by Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort (December 5 – 28, in the Owen); Rapture, Blister, Burn by Gina Gionfriddo, directed by Kimberly Senior, a Chicago premiere (January 17 – February 22, 2015 in the Albert); Two Trains Running by August Wilson, directed by Chuck Smith, in conjunction with a citywide celebration of August Wilson (March 7 – April 12, 2015 in the Albert); The Upstairs Concierge by Kristoffer Diaz, directed by KJ Sanchez, a world premiere co-commission with Teatro Vista (March 28 – April 26, 2015 in the Owen); The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman, directed by Henry Wishcamper (May 2 – June 7, 2015 in the Albert); stop. reset. written and directed by Regina Taylor, a Chicago premiere (May 23 – June 21, 2015 in the Owen); Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, directed by Steve Scott, a Chicago premiere (June 20 – July 26, 2015 in the Albert), and a production still to be announced with the Albany Park Theater Project.

Now celebrating its 90th year as Chicago’s flagship theater, Goodman Theatre is an artistic and community institution dedicated to the art of theater and to civic engagement in the issues of the contemporary world. The Goodman has transformed over the past 35 years into a world class theater and premier Chicago cultural institution distinguished by the quality and scope of its programming and its culturally and aesthetically diverse creative leadership; artistic priorities include new plays, reimagined classics, culturally specific works, musical theater and international collaborations. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, achievements include the Goodman’s state-of-the-art two-theater complex in the heart of the downtown Theatre District. Over the past three decades, the Goodman has generated more than 150 world or American premieres, and nearly 30 new-work commissions. Joan Clifford is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Swati Mehta is Women’s Board President and Gordon C.C. Liao is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals. Robert A. Wislow of CBRE│U. S. Equities Realty and Maria Green of ITW are the Co-chairs of the Goodman Business Council.  American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre.

“A mainstay of Chicago and beyond” (Chicago Sun-Times), the Goodman is internationally acclaimed for its “fresh work of magnitude and ambition (and) bold, risky theatrical choices” (Chicago Tribune). From new plays to “first-class revivals” (The New York Times), the Goodman has earned numerous awards for its productions: two Pulitzer Prizes; 22 Tony Awards, including Outstanding Regional Theatre (1992); and nearly 160 Joseph Jefferson Awards.

The 90th Anniversary “Season to Celebrate” programming is rooted in the same spirit that launched the Goodman in 1925—an array of dramatic fare, from classics to noteworthy contemporary works, innovative and often controversial, embracing genres from farces to searing social dramas—honoring the theater’s past and envisioning its future. The nine-play season begins with an All-New Fall of works fostered and developed in the Goodman’s new play development programs followed by an “August Wilson Celebration” in spring 2015, the 10th anniversary of the playwright’s death and the 70th anniversary of his birth. This city-wide Celebration honors the longstanding collaboration between Wilson and the Goodman, the first theater in the world to produce all 10 works in his “20th Century Cycle.”

Visit the special anniversary website, GoodmanTheatre.org/90, to see famous faces who’ve worked at the theater, browse photos of classic productions and read interviews with noted artists.

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