Conceived in a pizza parlor and argued in the highest court in the land, the landmark 1973 case of Roe v. Wade legalized abortion—and is debated still today. Lisa Loomer’s Roe, hailed as a “cleverly illuminating” (The Washington Post) “big play with big ideas” (Mail Tribune), is “a lively and intelligent look at one of the most divisive issues of our time” (The Mercury News). Vanessa Stalling returns to the Goodman to direct the 15-member cast, including emblematic characters of plaintiff Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe”) and Sarah Weddington, the young Texan lawyer who argued the case. Roe appears January 18 – February 23 (opening night is Monday, January 27) in the Goodman’s 856-seat Albert Theatre. Tickets ($20-70; subject to change) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/Roe, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn).
“I’ve long been familiar with the Supreme Court case, but knew little about the women behind this monumental decision involving reproductive rights. In her thought-provoking, even-handed play Roe, gifted playwright Lisa Loomer encounters us with the brave, flawed people who may not be household names—but whose actions have, in one way or another, affected us all,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “I’m thrilled to welcome Lisa in her Goodman debut—and to welcome back one of Chicago’s finest directors, Vanessa Stalling, following her masterful production of The Wolves (2018). Vanessa’s work combines her deep understanding of text with her knack for unconventional staging to pack an emotional punch.”
In turns shocking, humorous and poignant, Roe cuts through the headlines and rhetoric to reveal the divergent personal journeys that mirror the current polarization over Roe v. Wade—and the heart and passion each side has for its cause. Roe was originally commissioned and produced (2016) by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as part of their “American Revolutions” program—a multi-decade effort to commission and develop plays about pivotal moments in American history.
“In a time of expansive new media, one of our oldest mediums—the theater—is hard at work for humanity,” said Director Vanessa Stalling. “I was drawn to this piece in part because I’m interested in how art is addressing the divisive moment we find ourselves in. With her incredible abilities for comedic timing and flow, Lisa has generated an exciting night at the theater—one that leaps in time and space, and embraces all theatrical elements. I’m honored to play a role in bringing one of our country’s most heated debates to the stage.”
Joining Christina Hall as Sarah Weddington and Kate Middleton as Norma McCorvey are Kayla Carter (Roxy), Jazmín Corona (Ensemble), Julia Dale (Melissa/Emily), Stephanie Diaz (Ofelia/Connie), Kirsten Fitzgerald (Molly/Mary/Ensemble), Raymond Fox (McCluskey/Ensemble), Meighan Gerachis (Ensemble), Maura Kidwell (Helen/Ronda/Ensemble), Ryan Kitley (Flip/Ensemble), John Lister (Justice Blackmun/Ensemble), Eliza Stoughton (Ensemble), Jessica Dean Turner (Barbara/Aileen/Ensemble) and Meg Warner (Judy/Linda Coffee/Ensemble). The creative team includes Collette Pollard (Set Design), Jessica Pabst (Costume Design), Keith Parham (Lighting Design) and Mikhail Fiksel (Sound Design). Briana J. Fahey is the Production Stage Manager.
The Goodman is grateful for the support of the following Roe sponsors. The Goodman Theatre Women’s Board and the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation are the Major Production Sponsors, The Edith-Marie Appleton Foundation is the Lead Individual Production Sponsor, Winston & Strawn LLP is the Major Corporate Sponsor and WBEZ 91.5FM is the Media Sponsor.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT AND DIRECTOR
Lisa Loomer (Playwright) is an American Theater Critics Award-winning playwright. Chicago productions include Living Out (American Theater Company). New York productions include The Waiting Room (Vineyard Theatre); Living Out (Second Stage Theater) and Distracted (Roundabout Theatre Company). Regional theater productions include Roe (Arena Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Homefree (Denver Center for the Performing Arts); Expecting Isabel (Arena Stage, The Mark Taper Forum); Bocón (The Kennedy Center, Seattle Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Mexico and Europe) and Two Things You Don’t Talk About (Denver Center for the Performing Arts). Loomer has won the Pen Award, Jane Chambers Award, Imagen Award and Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Film credits include Girl, Interrupted and television writing.
Vanessa Stalling (Director) returns to the Goodman, where she recently directed the Chicago premiere of The Wolves and was the 2016 Michael Maggio Directing Fellow. Recent Chicago credits include Photograph 51 (Court Theatre) and A Shayna Maidel (TimeLine Theatre). Stalling is known for her adaptation of Laurence Gonzales’ United Flight 232 which won two Jeff Awards for The House Theatre of Chicago, where she is a company member. She is also a professor of directing and Area Head at UCSD's Department of Theatre and Dance.
TICKETS, DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Tickets ($20-$70) – GoodmanTheatre.org/Roe; 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)
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)
$10Tix – Student $10 day-of-performance tickets; limit four, with valid student ID (promo code 10TIX)
Group Sales are available for parties 10+; 312.443.3820
Gift Certificates – Available in any amount; GoodmanTheatre.org/GiftCertificates
Audiences can save more with Goodman Theatre’s MEMBERSHIP packages—including Classic, 6-play, 4-play or 2-play packages; Choice, a personalized package that can include both Owen and Albert productions; and Whenever—the ultimate flexible package, to be used at any time during the season. Goodman Members receive unlimited ticket exchanges, discounted parking, 15% savings at the Goodman bar and gift shop, restaurant discounts and more. To purchase a Membership visit GoodmanTheatre.org/Memberships or call the Box Office at 312.443.3800.
DRINKS & DISCUSSION – Throughout the run | pre- and post-show | Goodman Theatre | FREE. Enhance your theater-going experience with the Drinks & Discussion Series! Stay after, or arrive early, to select performances to enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and discussion led by a member of the Goodman’s Artistic Team. For dates and times, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/DrinksDiscussion
ACCESSIBILITY AT THE GOODMAN
Touch Tour, February 15 at 12:30pm – A presentation detailing the set, costume and character elements
Audio Described Performance, February 15 at 2pm – The action/text is audibly enhanced for patrons via headset
ASL Interpreted Performance, February 19 at 7:30pm – Professional ASL interpreter signs the action/text as played
Open Captioned Performance, February 22 at 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.
ABOUT GOODMAN THEATRE
Chicago’s theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit arts and community organization in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and community 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. Artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards and more than 160 Jeff Awards, among other accolades. The Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” Its longtime annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, now in its fourth decade, has created a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production and program partner with national and international companies and Chicago’s Off-Loop theaters.
As a cultural and community organization invested in quality, diversity and community, Goodman Theatre is committed to using the art of theater for a better Chicago. Using the tools of the theatrical profession, the Goodman’s Education and Engagement programs aim to develop generations of citizens who understand the cultures and stories of diverse voices. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of these programs, which are offered free of charge for Chicago youth—85% of whom come from underserved communities—schools and life-long learners.
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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