“We are brothers, we are men. We do not give advice or comment on other people’s feelings or situations. We only talk when we have the stick.” These are the rules of Support Group for Men, a new comedy by Ellen Fairey (Graceland, TV’s Nurse Jackie, Masters of Sex, The Sinner) about what it means to be a man in today’s America. Directed by Kimberly Senior, Support Group for Men explores shifting social and gender roles through the lens of four Chicago guys—Delano (Anthony Irons), Brian (Ryan Kitley), Roger (Keith Kupferer) and Kevin (Tommy Rivera-Vega)—who gather weekly to vent about middle-aged maladies in a Wrigleyville apartment. Also cast are Jeff Kurysz, Sadieh Rifai and Eric Slater, and the creative team includes Jack Magaw (sets), Noël Huntzinger (costumes), Jen Schriever(lighting) and Richard Woodbury (sound). Support Group for Men appears June 23 – July 29, 2018 (opening night is July 2 at 7pm) in the Goodman’s Albert Theatre. Tickets ($25 - $80; subject to change) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/SupportGroup, by telephone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn).
4“Hilarious, warm-hearted and honest, Ellen Fairey’s Support Group for Men is the perfect summertime entertainment—a witty, timely exploration of who we are, who we thought we were, and who we can become,” said Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls. “When this play appeared as part of our 2016 New Stages Festival, audiences were immediately captivated by its humor and intrigued by its insights. Ellen's obvious empathy and affection for her characters, rendered through their earnest but sometimes painful journey to enlightenment, is at once laugh-out-loud funny and incredibly perceptive. We are thrilled to welcome back director Kimberly Senior—a perfect match for this world premiere.”
Fairey returns to Chicago 10 years after Graceland—her break-out play that, in part, inspired Support Group for Men. Her work has been hailed as “a must-see for anyone who follows important new plays” (Chicago Tribune), and as a writer “with bracing wit and stylistic delicacy” (Variety).
“I began writing Support Group for Men almost eight years ago, and in the time since, the national conversation around gender has come to the forefront in a way I never could have imagined,” said playwright Ellen Fairey. “It’s incredibly exciting, meaningful and at times challenging. I’m no longer just writing about a bunch of middle-aged guys trying to figure their stuff out; I’m writing about a group of men who find themselves in a world where everything has changed, and will continue to change—and what it means when ‘to be a man’ finds itself on the sociological chopping block.”
The recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Plays Award, Support Group for Men is generously sponsored by Winston & Strawn LLP, Corporate Sponsor Partner. In addition, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded the play a $50,000 “Art Works” grant—the NEA’s largest funding category for creations of art that meet the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.
“Cocktails & Comedy” for Young Professionals – June 27 at 5:30pm | Catch35 (35 W. Wacker) |$65
Nosh, network and support new play development. This Scenemakers Board fundraiser includes a pre-show reception with live jazz music at Catch35, and a performance of Support Group for Men at 7:30pm.
“Artist Encounter” with Ellen Fairey and Kimberly Senior – July 1 at 5pm | The Alice Center at Goodman Theatre
Tickets are free for members; $10 for general public. Join Support Group for Men playwright Ellen Fairey and director Kimberly Senior for a discussion on the world premiere production's sartorial take on gender, politics and Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood.
TICKETS AND DISCOUNTS
Tickets ($25-$80) – GoodmanTheatre.org/SupportGroup; 312.443.3800; Fax: 312.443.3825; TTY/TDD: 312.443.3829
Box Office Hours –12noon - 5pm; on performance days, the box office remains open until 30 minutes past curtain
MezzTix – Half-price day-of-performance mezzanine tickets available at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX)
$10Tix – Student $10 day-of tickets; limit four, with valid student ID (promo code 10TIX)
Teen Arts Pass (TAP) – $5 day-of-performance tickets for teens ages 13-19; subject to availability; limit two, with valid TAP identification. Sign up at TeenArtsPass.org (promo code TAP)
CityKey – CityKey Cardholders access half-price mezzanine tickets; limit four, with valid CityKey ID. Sign up at ChiCityClerk.com/ChicagoCityKey (promo code CITYKEY)
Group Sales are available for parties 10+; 312.443.3820
Gift Certificates – Available in any amount; GoodmanTheatre.org/GiftCertificates
Touch Tour, July 21 at 12:30pm – A presentation detailing the set, costume and character elements
Audio Described Performance, July 21 at 2pm – The action/text is audibly enhanced for patrons via headset
ASL Interpreted Performance, July 25 at 7:30pm – Professional ASL interpreter signs the action/text as played
Open Captioned Performance, July 28 at 2pm – LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance
Visit Goodman Theatre.org/Access for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts.
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 celebrated its 40th anniversary 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, Cynthia K. Scholl is Women’s Board President and Justin A. Kulovsek is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.
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