Goodman Theatre announces Sydney Chatman as the recipient of the 2019 Michael Maggio Directing Fellowship, an honor reserved for early-career Chicago-based directors. Chatman will gain complete access to the artistic process at the Goodman—from early research and design through the casting and rehearsal process to the opening night. The annual fellowship was established in 2002 to honor the memory and artistry of Goodman Associate Artistic Director Michael Maggio (1951 – 2000) who directed a total of 22 productions at the Goodman and more than 60 productions around the country.
“From intern to directing fellow—this is what dreams are made of! I am overjoyed by the opportunity to join an elite group of directing practitioners as the Goodman Theatre’s 2019 Maggio Directing Fellow,” said Chatman, whose most recent credits includes the world premiere of How to Catch Creation, which appears now through February 24 at the Goodman. “This is one small step for Black girls and an even bigger step for the representation of Black women in the American Theater.”
Previous Maggio Fellowship recipients include: Jo Cattell (2017/2018), Jess McLeod (2016/ 2017), Vanessa Stalling (2015/2016), Marti Lyons (2014/ 2015), Erica Weiss (2013/2014), Jimmy McDermott (2012/ 2013), Anna Bahow (2011/2012), Joanie Schultz (2009/2010), Anthony Moseley (2007/2008), Dado (2006/2007), Ann Filmer (2005/2006), Mignon McPherson-Nance (2003/2004) and Lynn Ann Bernatowicz (2002/2003).
Chatman is a director, educator, mentor, producer, writer and founding director of The Tofu Chitlin’ Circuit, featuring the self-pinned and directed award-winning play, Black Girls (Can) Fly! She is an African-American Arts Alliance Award and 3Arts Make a Wave winner. New York credits include a SDCF Observership for the Tony Award-nominated The Trip to Bountiful and a directing fellowship with the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab. At the Goodman, she worked as an Associate Director for the world premiere of How to Catch Creation; Assistant Director for Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 and 3); and Stage Management intern for Gem of the Ocean. Other Chicago credits include Associate Director for The Last Wife and Assistant Director for Sunset Baby (TimeLine Theatre Company); Jitney (Court Theatre); St. James Infirmary (Congo Square Theatre Company); and Drip! (eta Creative Arts).
Through her company, The Tofu Chitlin’ Circuit, she has created original theatrical performances for the Green Line Performing Arts Center, Hyde Park Jazz Festival/Back Alley Jazz, The Reva and David Logan Center, Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, Adler Planetarium, Victory Gardens Theatre and MPAACT Theatre Company’s Summer Jams. She is a board member of the African-American Arts Alliance of Chicago; a community partner with the Green Line Performing Arts Center in the Washington Park neighborhood; and an arts cohort member with the Community Program Accelerators through the University of Chicago. She serves her home town of Gary, Indiana as a committee member for the Gary International Black Film Festival.
A theater teacher for sixteen years at the University of Chicago Charter School, she writes and directs plays rooted in social justice and empowerment for youth. Her arts integration has made her a mainstay in the arts education community and a unique voice in creating stories for Black children. She is a champion for new work that seeks to support, challenge, and empower Black women and girls.
ABOUT GOODMAN THEATRE
AMERICA’S “BEST REGIONAL THEATRE” (Time magazine), Goodman Theatre is a premier not-for-profit organization distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and civic engagement. Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large-scale musical theater works and reimagined classics (celebrated revivals include Falls’ productions of Death of a Salesman and The Iceman Cometh). Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, over 160 Jeff Awards and many more accolades. In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle;” and its annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, which marks its 41st production this season, has created a new generation of theatergoers. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production partner with local off-Loop theaters and national and international companies by providing financial support or physical space for a variety of artistic endeavors.
Committed to three core values of Quality, Diversity and Community, the Goodman proactively makes inclusion the fabric of the institution and develops education and community engagement programs that support arts as education. This practice uses the process of artistic creation to inspire and empower youth, lifelong learners and audiences to find and/or enhance their voices, stories and abilities. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of such programming, most offered free of charge, and has vastly expanded the theater’s ability to touch the lives of Chicagoland citizens (with 85% of youth participants coming from underserved communities) since its 2016 opening.
Goodman Theatre was founded 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. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.
Today, Goodman Theatre leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. David W. Fox, Jr. is Chair of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Denise Stefan Ginascol is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.