Goodman Theatre’s commitment to new work and emerging artists continues in its 2019/2020 Season. Today, the Goodman named four Chicago-based writers to its Playwrights Unit--Monty Cole, a playwright and director whose work has been seen at Goodman Theatre, Center Theatre Group, American Theatre Company, Court Theatre and more; Nancy García Loza, whose audioplay, BRAVA: a folktale con música, was recently featured as part of Make-Believe Association’s inaugural season; Alex Lubischer, a Jeff Award-winning playwright (Bobbie Clearly) and three-time finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference; and Steve Pickering, a longtime Chicago actor and playwright whose recent work includes an adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas. The Playwrights Unit, in partnership with Chicago Dramatists, meets bi-monthly to discuss their commissioned plays-in-progress with the Goodman’s artistic team. The residency culminates in a public staged reading of each new play in Summer 2020.
Additionally, the Goodman seeks a Chicago-based director for its 2019/2020 Michael Maggio Directing Fellowship. The annual fellowship was established in 2002 to honor the memory and artistry of Goodman Associate Artistic Director Michael Maggio (1951 – 2000) who directed 22 productions at the Goodman and more than 60 productions at venues across the country. The selected fellow will gain complete access to the artistic process at the Goodman, including the opportunity to assist on a Goodman production—from early research and design through the casting and rehearsal process to opening night. Submissions (deadline October 1, 2019), including a resume, reviews of previous work, two letters of reference and a detailed statement of personal and artistic goals, can be sent directly to Adam Belcuore, Managing Producer at Goodman Theatre (170 North Dearborn) or AdamBelcuore@GoodmanTheatre.org. More information can be found at GoodmanTheatre.org/About.
The Goodman is grateful for the generosity of its New Work sponsors, including: Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Major Support of New Play Development; Ruth D. and Ken M. Davee New Works Fund, Major Support of New Work; Shaw Family Supporting Organization, Support of New Work; The Glasser and Rosenthal Family, Support of New Work Development; and The Joyce Foundation, Principal Support for Diverse Artistic and Professional Development.
About the 2019/2020 Playwrights Unit Members
Monty Cole is a Chicago-based director and playwright and has worked on productions, readings and workshops for Goodman Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Alley Theatre, Court Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, American Theatre Company, The Gift Theatre, House Theatre of Chicago, Cape Cod Theatre Project and others. He’s currently commissioned to adapt Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin. Cole is also working with collaborator and choreographer Breon Arzell on revitalizing In Dahomey for the CalArts Center for New Performance. In fall 2019, Cole will direct The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Steppenwolf Theatre Company) and Black Odyssey by Marcus Gardley (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). He recently received his MFA Directing degree at the California Institute of the Arts.
Nancy García Loza is a self-taught pocha playwright rooted in Chicago, Illinois and Jalisco, México. She is currently an Artistic Associate and NNPN Producer-in-Residence at 16th Street Theater and an Artistic Associate with Teatro Vista. Her play Tocaya will receive a workshop production with UIUC’s Free Armory Theatre in fall 2019. Loza is currently under commission from Make-Believe Association, 16th Street Theater, Chicago Dramatists, Teatro Leyden and more. Her plays include BRAVA: a folktale con música (Make-Believe Association, 2019 and featured in New York Times); MACHA: a pocha sister story (recognized in Steppenwolf’s “The Mix” list); Tocaya (developed at Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Rasca Cielos (developed at Theater on the Lake (2019); 16th Street Theater (2018); and Chicago Theatre Marathon (2017). She has also worked with Something Marvelous, Broken Nose Theatre, Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, Collaboraction, and more. Loza is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and a first-generation alum of DePaul University, with a double concentration in Latin American Studies and Spanish.
Alex Lubischer is a Jeff Award-winning playwright originally from rural Nebraska. His plays include Bobbie Clearly (Roundabout Theatre Company, Steep Theatre), Pivot, Night Country, The Quonsets (Yale Cabaret, co-written with Majkin Holmquist), Blood Special, Pig.Gov and Survey No. 5. He has developed new work at Playwrights Horizons, Page 73, Atlantic Theater Company, The Orchard Project, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Victory Gardens Theater, Haven, First Floor Theater and Actors Theatre of Louisville. Lubischer was the 2017/18 Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Roundabout Theatre Company. He has been a semifinalist for the P73 Playwriting Fellowship and a three-time finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. He is currently working on commissions from Roundabout and South Coast Repertory. Lubischer received his MFA at the Yale School of Drama.
Steve Pickering is a Chicago-based actor, director and playwright. He has appeared in over 30 productions at Goodman Theatre since 1987 and is currently a Goodman Theatre Creative Partner. He is the project manager and co-founder of Shanghai Low Theatricals (SLT), which is known widely for their adapatation of literary works for the stage. Recent SLT adaptations (often credited under the group’s pen name, Althos Low) include George Orwell’s Animal Farm for the Steppenwolf Young Adult Program (2014 commission), Alastair Reynolds’ Diamond Dogs for House Theatre of Chicago and a co-adaptation with director David Kersnar of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas for the Lookingglass Theatre Company (2018 commission - Jeff Award nominee for new work/adaptation). His new adaptation of three Edith Wharton gothics, Of Men and Ghosts, was chosen for Peninsula Players’ 2019 “The Play’s the Thing” winter reading series. As an actor, Pickering has performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, at the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park, in London’s West End, and with many major regionals both in Chicago, and across the country. He is a former Artistic Associate with the Organic Theater, Artistic Director of the Next Theatre in Evanston and a 2016 Lunt-Fontanne Fellow with the Ten Chimneys Foundation.
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 recently marked its 41st production, 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, Kimberly Senior, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. David W. Fox, Jr. is Chairman 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.
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