Politics and Culture Collides in “Carlyle” at Goodman Theatre

Thomas Bradshaw hits hot-button racial and political topics in Carlyle, a world premiere at Goodman Theatre, directed by Benjamin Kamine, April 2 – May 1

Just Added: “Cocktails With Carlyle” special event on April 8 – A $25 ticket including the performance, signature cocktails and “All-American” Bites


CHICAGO, IL –  Just in time for election seasonCarlyle, a comic clash of politics and culture by Thomas Bradshaw, directed by Benjamin Kamine, makes its world premiere April 2 – May 1.  Praised by The New York Times as “an original playwright who refuses to embrace easy or consoling answers to the puzzles called human beings,” Bradshaw returns to the Goodman with his latest work, a play that was commissioned by the Goodman and developed during the 2014 New Stages Festival, under Kamine’s direction. James Earl Jones II portrays Carlyle Meyers, a young African American backroom lawyer for the Republican Party who takes the stage to recount how and why he became a member of the GOP. With the help of family and friends, he evokes pivotal moments from his own life, resulting in an uncensored examination of the effects of party alliance, affirmative action and the state of race in America.  Carlyle appears in the Goodman’s 350 flexible-seat Owen Theatre, April 2 – May 1, 2016. Tickets ($10-$40, as well as special $10 student tickets) are on sale now; visit GoodmanTheatre.org, call 312.443.3800 or purchase in person at the Box Office at 170 N. Dearborn. Rehearsal Photos now available for download in the Press Room.

Carlyle will undoubtedly provoke discussion, a great deal of thought and perhaps some argument—and will do so with the energetic wit, unabashed passion and the distinctive point of view that only Thomas Bradshaw can bring,”  said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “This production of Carlyle reunites some of the artists who made the 2014 developmental production such a success, particularly the inventive stage director Kamine and the enormously gifted actor James Earl Jones II, whose portrayal of the title character is both hilarious and offhandedly wise.”

James Earl Jones II originated the title role, as did cast members Tiffany Scott as Janice, Carlyle’s Wife; Levenix Riddle as Omar, Carlyle’s friend; and ensemble member Nate Whelden. The all-Chicago cast also includes Tim Rhoze (Carlyle’s Father), and ensemble members Jess BerryPatrick Clear, Maureen GallagherCharlette Speigner and Don Tieri. The design team includes Kevin Depinet (Sets), Rachel Healy (Costumes), Heather Gilbert (Lights) and Christopher Kriz (Sound). Tanya Palmer is the dramaturg and Donald E. Claxon is the production stage manager.


Bradshaw returns to the Goodman, where his play Mary made its world premiere in the 2010/2011 season. His other plays include Fulfillment (American Theater Company and The Flea Theater); Intimacy and Burning (The New Group);  Job and Dawn (The Flea Theater); The Bereaved (Crowded Fire, Partial Comfort and the State Theater of Bielefeld in Germany); Southern Promises (PS122) and more. He has received fellowships from the Lark Play Development Center, Soho Rep (Streslin Fellow) and New York Theater Workshop. Bradshaw was the recipient of a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2010 Prince Prize and the 2012 Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Bradshaw was the Playwright-in-Residence at The Soho Theatre in London in February 2009. His plays are published by TCG, Samuel French and Dramatic Publishing. Bradshaw received his MFA from Mac Wellman’s playwriting program at Brooklyn College and is an associate professor at Northwestern University. He is currently under commission from The Royal National Theatre in London, Marin Theatre Company and The Foundry Theatre.


Kamine returns to Goodman Theatre, where he directed the 2014 New Stages Festival production of  Carlyle. Recent credits include the New York premiere of Washer/Dryer by Nandita Shenoy (Ma-Yi Theater Company) and world premieres of Bradshaw’s Job and christopher oscar peña’s a cautionary tail (The Flea Theater); The Dum Dums by Joshua Conkel (Glass Mind Theatre); Pied! by Julia Meinwald and Gordon Leary (Polyphone Festival, University of the Arts); and Samsara by Lauren Yee (Chance Theater). Kamine is an associate artist at The Flea Theater and a Resident Director at the Jewish Plays Project. He has developed new plays with Ars Nova, Brooklyn College, Cape Cod Theatre Project, EST/Youngblood, The New Group and PlayPenn, among many others. He is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, was a member of the 2014/2015 Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and was a 2014/2015 LABA Fellow. He is a member of the 2015/2016 Civilians R&D Group.


The Laurents/Hatcher Foundation is the Major Foundation Supporter of Carlyle; the Time Warner Foundation is the Lead Supporter of New Play Development; the Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation is the Major Supporter of New Play Development; the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation is the Major Supporter of New Work Development; the Glasser and Rosenthal Family and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust are the Supporters of New Work Development.


Events and Accessibility at Goodman Theatre

April 7, Politics and Pinot – 6pm; a pre-show reception hosted by the Scenemakers Board, followed by a 7:30pm performance and post-show party with cast; tickets are $65 with promo code PINOT (all proceeds go towards New Play Development at the Goodman)

April 8, Cocktails with Carlyle – 8pm performance, followed by a post-show event with signature cocktails and all-American food; tickets are $25 with promo code COCKTAILS

April 10, Artist Encounter – 4:30pm; a conversation with Thomas Bradshaw and Benjamin Kamine

April 13, College Night – 6pm; Pre-show reception and artistic presentation with promo code COLLEGE. Student ID needed.

April 24, Touch Tour Presentation – 12:30pm; a presentation detailing the set, costume and character elements; Audio Described Performance – 2pm; the action/text is audibly enhanced for patrons via headset.

May 1, Open Captioned Performance – 2pm; an LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance.

Visit Goodman Theatre.org/Access for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts.


Tickets & Discounts

Tickets ($10-$40)Goodmantheatre.org/Carlyle; 312.443.3800; Fax: 312.443.3825; TTY/TDD: 312.443.3829

MezzTix – Half-price day-of-performance mezzanine tickets available at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX)
$10Tix – Student $10 advance performance tickets; limit four, with valid student ID (promo code 10TIX)

Group Sales – Discounted tickets for parties of 10 – 312.443.3820
Gift Certificates – Available in any amount (GoodmanTheatre.org/GiftCertificates)

Box Office Hours –12noon – 5pm; on performance days, the office remains open until 30 minutes past curtain)

About Goodman Theatre


Called America’s “Best Regional Theatre” by Time magazine, Goodman Theatre has won international recognition for its artists, productions and programs, and is a major cultural, educational and economic pillar in Chicago. Founded in 1925 by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth (an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s), Goodman Theatre has garnered hundreds of awards for artistic achievement and community engagement, including: two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards (including “Outstanding Regional Theatre” in 1992), nearly 160 Joseph Jefferson Awards and more. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the Goodman’s artistic priorities include new plays (more than 150 world or American premieres in the past 30 years), reimagined classics (including Falls’ nationally and internationally celebrated productions of Death of a Salesman, Long’s Day’s Journey into Night, King Lear and The Iceman Cometh, many in collaboration with actor Brian Dennehy), culturally specific work, musical theater (26 major productions in 20 years, including 10 world premieres) and international collaborations. Diversity and inclusion have been primary cornerstones of the Goodman’s mission for 30 years; over the past decade, 68% of the Goodman’s 35 world premieres were authored by women and/or playwrights of color, and the Goodman was the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” Each year, the Goodman’s numerous education and community engagement programs—including the innovative Student Subscription Series, now in its 30th year—serve thousands of students, teachers, life-long learners and special constituencies. In addition, for nearly four decades the annual holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol has led to the creation of a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago.

Goodman Theatre’s leadership includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman.


Joan Clifford is Chair 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.

Visit the Goodman virtually at GoodmanTheatre.org, and on Twitter (@GoodmanTheatre), Facebook and Instagram.