Goodman Theatre has made available for online streaming its production of Jocelyn Bioh’s School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play directed by Lili-Anne Brown, while performances are suspended to mitigate spread of COVID-19.
The Goodman’s digital recording of the Chicago premiere production, captured in previews and before the production was halted several days shy of its scheduled opening night, is now available free of charge for current ticket holders through a password-protected online portal. Those not holding tickets are invited to stream the performance on a pay-what-you-can basis, starting at $15. The Goodman intends to resume performances when it is deemed safe to do so. Watch School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play by visiting GoodmanTheare.org/StreamSchoolGirls. Goodman Theatre is grateful for the support of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Major Corporate Sponsor), ITW and PwC LLP (Corporate Sponsor Partners).
“What Lili-Anne and her terrific company have created is absolutely exuberant and incredibly special. We are proud to share this production at this challenging moment—a time when our community arguably needs the power of theater more than ever,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “While nothing compares with the transformative experience of gathering to witness a live performance, we hope our video capture will bring some joy until we can be together again.”
Biting and buoyant, School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play earned critical and popular acclaim in its Off-Broadway extended run, hailed as an “uproarious comedy that also pulls at the heartstrings” (The Hollywood Reporter). As the reigning queen bee at Ghana’s most exclusive boarding school sets her sights on the Miss Universe pageant, a new student unexpectedly changes the game, forcing her to defend her reputation—and status. This “nasty-teen comedy, wonderfully refreshed and deepened” (The New York Times) spotlights the universal similarities—and glaring differences—of teenage girls around the globe.
“I have loved creating School Girls at the Goodman in collaboration with some of the finest artists I’ve ever worked with,” said Director Lili-Anne Brown. “As proud as we are to make history as the first Goodman production to appear online before it even opens, we look forward to the day when we can share Jocelyn’s smart, beautiful, provocative and hilarious play with a live audience once again. We as a community will prevail!"
The ensemble cast features Adia Alli (Gifty), Katherine Lee Bourné (Ama), Kyrie Courter (Ericka Boafo), Ashley Crowe (Nana), Ciera Dawn (Paulina Sarpong), Tiffany Renee Johnson (Mercy), Tania Richard (Headmistress Francis) and Lanise Antoine Shelley (Eloise Amponsah). The creative team includes Yu Shibagaki (Set Design), Samantha C. Jones (Costume Design), Jason Lynch (Lighting Design) and Justin Ellington (Sound Design). Lauren Port is the Casting Director. Alden Vasquez is the Production Stage Manager and Kimberly Ann McCann is the Stage Manager.
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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