Thematically-Linked Engagement Efforts for Stop Reset Meld Tech and Theater, Spark Cross-Community Conversation Across Chicago
CHICAGO, IL â€“ Goodman Theatre congratulates Artistic Associate Regina Taylor, who celebrates her 20thÂ season at Chicagoâ€™s flagship theater this spring. The Chicago premiere of stop. reset.â€”Taylorâ€™s 12thÂ Goodman production, which she authors and directsâ€”centers on the shifting ground of the digital age, asking: what do we need to fight for in terms of what we believe in and know? What do we need to release? Taylor is the only member of the theaterâ€™s esteemed Artistic Collective to generate work in all three creative capacities as playwright, director and actor. The Golden Globe and NAACP Image Award winner and two-time Emmy Award nominee currently stars in DIG, a new television series on USA Network. She was the first African American to play Romeo and Julietâ€™s title young lover on Broadway, and gained wide public recognition for her performance on the television series Iâ€™ll Fly Away. Her newest work, stop. reset. appearsÂ May 23 â€“ June 21Â (opening night isÂ Monday, June 1) in theÂ OwenÂ Theatre. Tickets ($10Â -Â $40; subject to change)Â are on sale now by phone at 312.443.3800, at GoodmanTheatre.org/StopReset or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn).
â€œUniquely gifted, fearless and boundlessly curious, there is no other artist with the vision, scope and perspective of Regina Taylor,â€ said Artistic Director Robert Falls, who invited Taylor to join the Collective in 1995 following the premiere of her original work The Ties that Bind. â€œRegina has made invaluable contributions as a member of our Artistic Collective with eloquent, provocative works that explore tradition and probe the depths of the human experience. I am grateful Regina has chosen to spend her life in the theater with the Goodman, and I am excited to continue our collaboration with stop. reset.â€
In stop. reset., e-books and digital technologies are transforming the literary world, and Chicago businessman Alex Ames (Eugene Lee) must try to save his long-standing African American book publishing company from extinction. While his employees Jan (Jacqueline Williams), Chris (Eric Lynch), Deb (Lisa Tejero) and Tim (Tim Decker) fret over losing their jobs, Ames finds unlikely inspiration from a mysterious teenager, J. (Edgar Sanchez), who seems to be plugged into the future. The aging Ames is forced to discover how far heâ€™s willing to go to survive.
Taylor is innovative and provocative in how she emphasizes the ways in which theater unites communities through a curated series of collaborations and live eventsâ€”dinner conversations, symposia and artist presentationsâ€”around the themes of the play. The content generated will appear on a special microsite giving audiences the opportunity to engage with the play prior to attending, while they are at the theater, and post-show.
To complement the play, Taylor developed a series of beyond-the-stage events/collaborations with Chicago individual artists/institutions. The first was a March 3 dinner party themed â€œSoul Food for a New Century,â€ at the Currency Exchange CafÃ© in Washington Park. Three featured speakers discussed changes in methods ofÂ communications and transmitting information/storiesâ€”Dr. Haki Madhubuti, Founder and President of Third World Press; Frank Sennett, Director of Digital Strategy for Crainâ€™s Chicago Business; and Ytasha Womak, author of Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-fi and Fantasy. Guests included Michelle T.Boone, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; Genevieve Thiers, entrepreneur and founder of Sittercity.com; Miguel Aguilar, of the Arts and Public Life initiative at the University of Chicago housed at the Arts Incubator; Dr. Carol Lee, Northwestern University professor of education in the School of Education and Social Policy and in African American Studies; Dr. Tracey Lewis-Elligan, associate professor of DePaul Universityâ€™s Department of Sociology; Rap Brown, arts and culture journalist, former gallery owner; and Elysabeth Alfano,TV and stage producer and host, moderated the discussion.
Events to come include two more dinner parties, symposia and collaborations with DuSable Museum, WVON Radio, the Arts Incubator, Columbia College, DePaul University, Illinois Institute of Art and Lake Forest College. Details TBA.
Regina Taylorâ€™s Work at Goodman Theatre and Beyond
1993/1994 â€“ The Ties that Bind: Watermelon Rinds/Inside the Belly of the Beast (Playwright; Goodman Studio)
1995/1996 â€“ Escape from Paradise (Playwright/Performer; Goodman Studio)
1996/1997 â€“ Transformations (Curator/Co-director; Goodman Studio)
1998/1999 â€“ Oo-Bla-Dee (Playwright) (American Critics Association Award)
1999/2000 â€“ Millennium Mambo (Curator/Co-writer/Performer; Goodman Studio)
2001/2002 â€“ Drowning Crow (Playwright; Albert Theatre and on Broadway)
2003/2004 â€“ Crowns (Playwright/Director; Albert Theatre) (Helen Hayes Award)
2005/2006 â€“ The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove (Playwright/Director; Albert Theatre)
2008/2009 â€“ Magnolia (Playwright; Albert Theatre)
2010/2011 â€“ The Trinity River Plays (Playwright; Albert Theatre) (Edgerton Foundation Award)
2011/2012 â€“Crowns (Playwright/Director; Albert Theatre)
2014/2015 â€“ stop. Reset. (Playwright/Director; Owen Theatre)
stop. reset. made its world premiere in 2013 at Signature Theatre Company in New York, where Taylor is a Residency Five playwright. Her film credits include The Negotiator, Courage Under Fire, A Family Thing, The Keeper, Clockers, Losing Isaiah and Lean on Me. She appeared in the CBS hit drama The Unit, for which she won a NAACP Image Award. Taylor has also received a Hope Abelson Artist-in-Residence Award, 2012 Chicagoan of the Year from Chicago magazine and an Oscar Micheaux Award.
Production Sponsor Support
The 2014/2015 season would not be possible without sponsor support. Edelman Worldwide is the Major Corporate sponsor for the Owen Theatre season. Baxter if the contributing sponsor and HSBC North American Holdings is the Opening Night sponsor for stop.reset. The Joyce Foundation is the principal support of Diversity Initiatives.