Goodman Theater begins rehearsals for Nightwatch and Layalina
Rehearsals have begun for the two centerpiece “developmental productions” featured in Goodman Theatre’s 17th annual New Stages Festival, a free celebration of new works by some of the country’s finest established and emerging playwrights.
Cast is listed below. The two plays—Nightwatch by Max Yu, directed by Chay Yew and Layalina by Martin Yousif Zebari, directed by Sivan Battat—are staged in repertory following two weeks of rehearsal.
Three staged readings are presented during the last weekend of the festival, December 18-19: Fires, Ohio by Beth Hyland, directed by Marti Lyons (Saturday, December 18 at 10:30am); Your Name Means Dream by José Rivera, directed by Audrey Francis (Saturday, December 18 at 3pm); Watching the Watcher by Dael Orlandersmith, directed by Neel Keller (Sunday, December 19 at 10:30am).
In addition, from December 3 – 6, the cutting-edge virtual reality experience Hummingbird by Jo Cattell, created by Daria Tsoupikova, Sai Priya Jyothula, Andrew Johnson, Arthur Nishimoto and Lance Long will take place at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory in the University of Illinois at Chicago (842 W. Taylor, #2032).
Nightwatch and Layalina appear December 1 – 19 in repertory in the Owen Theatre; to reserve FREE tickets, call 312.443.3800, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/NewStages or the box office (170 N. Dearborn). For “Professionals Weekend” information, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/Professionals. Access photos of rehearsal by Joe Mazza here.
Since New Stages’ inception, nearly 100 plays have been produced as a developmental production or staged reading, which have gone on to productions at 130 different theater companies, in 68 cities in 27 states.
In addition, both Nightwatch and Layalina were part of the inaugural season of Future Labs—the Goodman’s newest artistic effort to develop works authored and directed by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI, SWANA and other artists of color. Established in January 2021, Future Labs is designed primarily for Chicago-based writers who have not had a play produced at the Goodman. To learn more about Future Labs and to submit a project for consideration, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/FutureLabs
ABOUT NIGHTWATCH AND LAYALINA
The cast for Max Yu’s Nightwatch, directed by Chay Yew, includes Aurora Adachi-Winter (Bonnie), Stan Egi (爷爷 (Yeye)), Wai Ching Ho (奶奶 (Nainai)), Alec Silver (Leo) and Matthew C. Yee (爸 (Ba)). When 20-year-old Leo drops out of college and returns home to San Francisco’s Chinatown, he discovers a secret that’s been kept from him: his father passed away weeks ago. To try to cope, he delves into his family’s untold past in the Chinese Communist Cultural Revolution, redefining everyone and everything he thought was in his bloodline. Winner of the 2019 Relentless Award, this thrilling new play reckons with unknown history and generations of hidden family stories.
The cast for Martin Yousif Zebari’s Layalina, directed by Sivan Battat, includes Salar Ardebili (Young Mazin/Yousif), Arash Fakhrabadi (Sahir/Amin), Gloria Imseih Petrelli (Young Layal/Marwa), Louis Sallan(Yasir/Mazin) and Shadee Vossoughi (Karima/Layal). In 2003, newlywed Layal imagines a future with her family as they make plans to immigrate to the U.S. from Baghdad. 17 years later, just outside of Chicago, Layal’s life and responsibilities look unimaginably different from what she had envisioned two decades before. Martin Yousif Zebari’s surprising new play examines how families maintain their love in the midst of turbulent global and social change. Sivan Battat directs.
The design teams include Kevin Depinet (Original Set Design), Courtney O’Neill (Sets), Izumi Inaba (Costumes for Nightwatch) and Uriel Gomez (Costumes for Layalina), Heather Gilbert (Lights) and Mikhail Fiksel (Sound for Nightwatch) and Ronnie Malley and Eric Backus (Layalina).
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 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 earner 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 fifth 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 of 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 on 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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