The Roy Cockrum Foundation Chooses Goodman Theatre as its First-Ever Grant Recipient

Grant fully supports Robert Falls and Seth Bockley’s World-Premiere Stage Adaptation of Chilean Novelist Roberto Bolano’s Masterpiece, 2666

CHICAGO, IL –  Goodman Theatre announces a world-premiere event made possible by an unprecedented grant in the theater’s 90-year history. The Roy Cockrum Foundation will entirely fund 2666, Artistic Director Robert Falls’ large-scale stage adaptation of Chilean author Roberto Bolaño’s internationally-celebrated final novel. By invitation only, The Roy Cockrum Foundation awards grants to support world-class performing arts projects in not-for-profit professional American theaters, enabling the theater to reach beyond its normal scope of activities and undertake ambitious productions. The Goodman’s Playwright-in-Residence Seth Bockley is Falls’ co-adaptor and co-director of the piece, a five-hour, panoramic portrait of the 20th century and an “epic, maddening, mesmerizing adventure” (New York Times). The production will debut February 6 – March 20, 2016 as a special event in the Goodman’s 350-seat flexible Owen Theatre; tickets can be purchased as a subscription add-on (subscribers save 20%) or as an individual ticket, on sale at a later date. Visit GoodmanTheatre.org for information.

“I have long admired Robert Falls as a foremost American theater artist, a singular creative force who has consistently reinvented himself over his three-plus decade career with productions that challenge, provoke and inspire their audiences—at the Goodman Theatre, on Broadway and internationally,” said Roy Cockrum, a Northwestern University alumni who spent more than two decades working as an actor and stage manager for theater and television. “It is necessary that we as a society support our artists’ big dreams, and financially enable our important theater companies like the Goodman to make them a reality. Bob’s vision for 2666 is absolutely exhilarating. I am proud to help make his stage adaptation a reality.

Falls first encountered Bolaño’s 2666 in Barcelona in 2006, intrigued by the novel’s promotional posters featuring hundreds of pink crosses in a Mexican desert. Inspired and fascinated by the novel’s epic scope and structure—spanning more than 100 years, from Spain to Mexico to Germany and beyond, each part varying in style and rhythm—Falls set out to adapt it for the stage. Over the years that followed, he invited Bockley to join him on the project as co-adapter and co-director. Together, they explored the text though workshops and readings, including a five-hour public reading in the 2012 New Stages festival.

“Adapting 2666 with Seth for the Goodman’s stage has been an extraordinary event in my artistic career—a project of love, discovery and passion. I never imagined it could become a fully-realized, producible stage work without significantly compromising the story-telling and simplifying the complex technical integration of performance, music and video design. It would simply not be possible without The Roy Cockrum Foundation—and I am enormously grateful for Roy’s intrinsic understanding and generous support,” said Robert Falls.

Three academics on the trail of a reclusive German author; a New York reporter on his first Mexican assignment; a widowed philosopher; a police detective in love with an elusive older woman—in 2666, all among the searchers drawn to the border city of Santa Teresa, where over the course of a decade hundreds of women have disappeared. Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) was born in Santiago, Chile, and spent much of his adult life in Mexico and Spain. A National Book Critics Circle Award recipient, Bolaño’s posthumously-published 2666 was named “Best Book of the Year” by Time magazine, New York magazine, Salon.com, L.A. Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times and the Village Voice.