Three Goodman plays in different ways in the week ahead
Experience School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls play (starts Friday, at Goodman Theatre), Memories of Overdevelopment (online, on Saturday) Zulema (in Chicago Parks, starting Aug. 5)
In an unprecedented opportunity, audiences can experience Goodman Theatre productions in three ways in just one week—one in-person, when the theater reopens this Friday, one online and one in Chicago parks this summer.
This week, the Goodman returns to the stage with its Chicago-premiere production of the Off-Broadway smash sensation—School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh, directed by Lili-Anne Brown. Next up, catch the next Future Labs virtual reading, Memories of Overdevelopment, by Caridad Svich and directed by Lavina Jadhwani (full cast list below).
Finally, Sones de México Ensemble’s electrifying new work Zulema kicks off a tour through 10 Chicago parks, culminating in a finale performance in Millennium Park. Zulema features Music Director Victor Pichardo (the Goodman’s Pedro Páramo and upcoming American Mariachi), written by Dolores Díaz and co-directed by Goodman Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez and Marcela Muñoz, Aguijon Theater Co-Artistic Director. School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play appears July 30-August 29 (opening night is Monday, August 2) in the Goodman’s Albert Theatre. Capacity is limited and masks will be required.
Tickets (starting at $15) are on sale now at GoodmanTheatre.org/SchoolGirls and by phone at 312.443.3800. The FREE virtual reading of Memories of Overdevelopment streams July 31 at 7pm CDT. Registration is required; visit GoodmanTheatre.org/Memories for more information. Zulema appears August 5 – 21 at various Chicago park locations with the Millennium Park finale on September 2 (see performance list below); admission is FREE, running time is one (1) hour, no intermission. Visit GoodmanTheatre.org/Zulema for additional information and to register for a performance.
ABOUT SCHOOL GIRLS; OR, THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY
Biting and buoyant, School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play earned critical and popular acclaim in its Off-Broadway extended run. 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.
School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play
By Jocelyn Bioh
Directed by Lili-Anne Brown
Open-Captioned Performance, August 28 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.
Jocelyn Bioh (Playwright) is a Ghanaian-American writer and performer from New York City. Bioh’s plays include School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (2016 Kilroys List, MCC Theater, Center Theatre Group); The Ladykiller’s Love Story, Happiness and Joe, Nollywood Dreams (2015 Kilroys List, Cherry Lane Mentor Project) and African Americans (2011 Southern Rep Ruby Prize Finalist, 2012 O’Neill Center Semi-Finalist, Howard University). Bioh’s acting credits include work on Broadway as well as productions with Soho Rep, The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Classical Theater of Harlem, Wilma Theater and Signature Theater. Television writing credits include She’s Gotta Have It and Russian Doll.
Lili-Anne Brown (Director) is a native Chicagoan who works as a director, actor and educator. She has performed in, directed and produced many award-winning shows, both local and regional. Goodman credits include I Hate It Here and the world premiere of Ike Holter’s Lottery Day. She is the former Artistic Director of Bailiwick Chicago, where she focused programming on Chicago-premiere musicals and new play development with resident playwrights. She is a member of SDC, AEA, SAG-AFTRA and is represented by William Morris Endeavor. lilbrownchicago.com
ABOUT MEMORIES OF OVERDEVELOPMENT
This play is a film: A documentary about what people remember about dictatorships where they grew up and how they left and how they survived. An enactment of eight startling, personal interviews, inspired by true stories, performed by two people. Caridad Svich’s newest work is a rebellious look at where we’ve been and where we are right now.
Eight workshops and presentations of new plays will appear this season as part of Future Labs—the latest effort among Goodman Theatre’s programs that support living writers and develop new plays (including New Stages, Playwrights Unit and more than two dozen individual artist commissions). Designed primarily for Chicago-based writers who have not had a play produced at the Goodman, Future Labs develops works authored and directed by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander), SWANA (South West Asian/North African) and other artists of color. Selected projects receive rehearsal time, artistic, dramaturgical and casting support and an optional free public reading. The new series is curated by Quenna L. Barrett (Associate Director of Education and Engagement), Jonathan L. Green (Literary and New Works Manager) and Alberto Mendoza (Videographer), as well as a Goodman Staff Evaluation Team composed of individuals of intersectional identities and in areas across the theater.
The Goodman recognizes its New Work sponsors, including Wintrust Bank, Support of Future Labs; Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Major Support of New Work; Ruth D. and Ken M. Davee New Works Fund, Major Support of New Play Development; The Glasser and Rosenthal Family, Mayer Brown LLP, and Shaw Family Supporting Organization, Support of New Work.
Caridad Svich (Playwright) received a 2012 OBIE for Lifetime Achievement. Her work as a playwright, translator, lyricist and essayist has been seen in print and on live and digital stages at venues across the US and abroad. Her plays include 12 Ophelias, Iphigenia Crash Land Falls…, Red Bike and The House of the Spirits (based on Isabel Allende’s novel). Theatrical premieres in 2021 include The Book of Magdalene and Theatre: a love story. As a screenwriter, her first feature film Fugitive Dreams, based on her play, has been seen at the Fantasia, Austin, Tallinn Black Nights, Manchester, UK and Maryland Film Festivals. Among her recognitions are an American Theatre Critics Association Primus Prize, the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award and National Latino Playwriting Award, which she has received twice. She is founder of NoPassport theater alliance and press and is an editor at Contemporary Theatre Review. She has edited several books on theater and most recently authored a book about Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Routledge). She was awarded the 2018 Ellen Stewart Award for Career Achievement in Professional Theatre from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Her second film as a screenwriter is currently in post-production.
Lavina Jadhwani (Director) is a theater director, adaptor and activist. Recent directing credits include As You Like It (Guthrie Theatre); Peter and the Starcatcher (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Roe and The Cake (Asolo Repertory Theatre). Adaptations include Shakuntala, A Christmas Carol (upcoming production, Guthrie Theater), The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya and The Sitayana (upcoming production, East West Players). Jadhwani lives in Chicago, where she was recently named “One of the Top Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago” by New City. She received her BFA/MA from Carnegie Mellon University and MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University. LavinaJadhwani.com
On a spectacular musical journey of many thousands of miles—from her Chiapas home in Mexico to Chicago—young Zulema zig-zags through the culturally diverse landscapes of her homeland and our fair city along the way. Exhilarating regional music and dance from the Grammy-nominated Sones de México Ensemble make a joyous event for the whole family.
ASL-Interpreted Performances, August 7 at 3pm and August 21 at 3pm – Professional ASL interpreter signs the action/text as played.
Visit GoodmanTheatre.org/Access for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts.
Produced in partnership with Chicago Park District’s Night Out in The Parks, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) and the National Museum of Mexican Art, this FREE three-week engagement spans 10 park locations citywide. In addition, a special finale performance in Millennium Park, featuring a spectacular cast of 70+ artists will conclude the run.
The Goodman is also grateful for the support of PwC LLP, Corporate Sponsor Partner; the National Endowment for the Arts, Production Support; the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, the Illinois Arts Council and William Blair & Company, Contributing Sponsors; the Chicago Park District, DCASE, the Chicago Latino Theatre Alliance, National Museum of Mexican Art and Sones de México Ensemble, Producing Partners; and American Airlines, Airline Partner.
Sones de México Ensemble is Chicago’s premier folk music organization specializing in Mexican ‘son,’ a genre encompassing the roots of mariachi music and other regional styles, including huapango, gustos, chilenas, son jarocho, and more. The ensemble was formed in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood in 1994 by four talented musicians and educators including Victor Pichardo (music director) and Juan Dies (producer). They soon incorporated as a not-for-profit organization to keep the tradition of Mexican ‘son’ alive in its many regional forms. The group has performed thousands of concerts, released six CDs, concert films and multimedia presentations, and founded a Mexican Music School in Chicago in 2015. The organization is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote greater appreciation of Mexican folk and traditional music and culture through innovative performance, education, and dissemination. For more information, visit sonesdemexico.com
Music Director Victor Pichardo, Sones de México Ensemble co-founder, award-winning composer and educator, was born in Mexico City and has been a bandleader for almost 40 years. His training in Mexican folk music has spanned most of his life. He learned firsthand, orally from master artists in Mexico’s various musical regions. In 2005, he earned a degree in music composition from Columbia College Chicago, which he has used to integrate folk idioms in orchestral music. He has collaborated as music advisor and director with Goodman Theatre in the stage productions of Pedro Páramo and the upcoming American Mariachi.
Playwright Dolores Díaz is a Chicana playwright from the border city of Laredo, Texas. She is currently in residence with TimeLine Theatre, developing work with Broken Nose Theatre, and teaching Chicago Public School students via the National High School Institute at Northwestern. Most recently, she served as a guest artist with Mosaic Theater in Washington, DC and as playwright for Shattered Globe Theater’s Protégé Program. In the fall and spring she will teach at Columbia College and Texas Tech University, respectively. Díaz is a graduate of Northwestern’s MFA Program for the Screen and Stage and serves as Dramatists Guild Co-Representative for the Chicago Region.
Co-Director Henry Godinez is the Resident Artistic Associate at Goodman Theatre. His Goodman directing credits include Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It! by Cheryl L. West, Charise Castro Smith’s Feathers and Teeth, The Sins of Sor Juana and Mariela in the Desert by Karen Zacarías; José Rivera’s Boleros for the Disenchanted (and world premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre); Regina Taylor’s Millennium Mambo; Luis Alfaro’s Electricidad and Straight as a Line; The Cook by Eduardo Machado; Zoot Suit by Luis Valdez; the Goodman and Teatro Vista co-production of José Rivera’s Cloud Tectonics and the 1996–2001 productions of A Christmas Carol. He also served as director of the Goodman’s Latino Theatre Festival. As an actor, Godinez appeared most recently in Goodman’s The Winter’s Tale, 2666 and the Goodman and Teatro Buendía of Cuba world premiere of Pedro Páramo, and at Writers Theatre in the title role of Quixote: In the Conquest of Self. He has also appeared on television in Chicago PD, Above the Law, The Beast, The Chicago Code, Bossand Chicago Fire. Co-founder and former artistic director of Teatro Vista, Godinez is the recipient of the 1999 Theatre Communications Group Alan Schneider Director Award, the Distinguished Service Award from the Lawyers for the Creative Arts and was honored as the 2008 Latino Professional of the Year by the Chicago Latino Network. Born in Havana, Cuba, Godinez is a professor at Northwestern University and serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Arts Council.
Co-Director Marcela Muñoz is a director, actor, teaching artist, and theater translator. She is the Managing and Co-Artistic Director of Aguijón Theater, Chicago’s longest-running Latino theater company. Besides her long history with Aguijón Theater, her Chicago stage acting and directing credits include Teatro Luna, Teatro Vista, Victory Gardens Theatre, and Goodman Theatre. Other directing credits include Urban Theater Company, Chicago Dramatists, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has also been Assistant Director at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Writers Theatre. As actor/director she has participated in international theater festivals in Peru, Argentina, and Colombia. Deeply committed to mentoring and creating opportunities for young artists, she developed and leads the Nuestra Cultura Theater Program at Aguijón Theater for After School Matters. She studied Communications at DePaul University, is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf, and a 3Arts Award recipient.
ABOUT THE GOODMAN
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.” It’s 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.
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 to these programs, which are offered free of charge for Chicago youth—85% of whom come from underserved communities—schools and life-long learners.
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. Goodman Theatre’s Action Plan for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism and Access (IDEAA) was born out of the belief that progress means action, which includes building on the decades-long commitment to using art, assets and resources to contribute to a more just, equitable and anti-racist society.
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: Rebecca Gilman, Dael Orlandersmith, Henry Godinez, Steve Scott, Kimberly Senior, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. Jeff Hesse is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Fran Del Boca is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.
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