Thursday, October 27, 2011

Night of Two Openings

Tonight the second of our New Stages Amplified plays begins performances in the Owen, as Kathleen Tolan’s Chicago Boys takes the stage. This will be the second turn in the Owen for Chicago Boys—an earlier draft of the play, which is a fictional account of a young American protégé of economist Milton Friedman who finds himself caught up in the Chilean military coup in the 1970s, was featured as a staged reading in the New Sages festival this past January. As this is the second of our three partially produced plays, Chicago Boys will have only through Sunday, November 6, and tickets start at only $10; be there!

Meanwhile, tonight in New York our summer hit Chinglish officially opens on Broadway. Since the show transferred to New York, playwright David Henry Hwang has been keeping up with his blog—check it out for an update on our favorite bilingual comedy.

Photo: Alfredo Huereca and Derek Gaspar in rehearsal for Chicago Boys. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Seeing Red: Rothko in Pop Culture

By Teresa Rende, Education and Community Engagement Associate

In Red, playwright John Logan paints Mark Rothko as the anti-cool, anti-pop, anti-name-brand-recognition man. As I watched the play and heard Rothko furiously exclaim the likes of Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol were “…trying to kill [him]!” I couldn’t help but wonder what he’d think of his own place in pop culture today. Not only did the thought of a soup can as art infuriate Logan’s Rothko, but he also believed that artists like Jackson Pollock suffered early deaths and artistic stagnation because of their popular success.

In Red, Rothko himself steps back from this direction by recanting his big commercial commission and keeping his work. While he saved the murals the dubious distinction of “over mantels” by pulling them from the Four Seasons before they arrived, he did not save himself from the eye of pop culture. Some might argue that his change of heart made him an even more iconic figure than if he had simply handed the paintings over.

Photo of Edward Gero by Liz Lauren.

Friday, October 21, 2011

News and Notes

New Stages Amplified is in full swing, with our limited-run production of Dartmoor Prison already coming to a close this Sunday. On Saturday, the night before its last performance, we’ll be hosting an Artists Encounter in the Polk rehearsal room with the playwrights of the three produced New Stages Amplified plays. For an hour starting at 6:30pm, our Director of New Play Development, Tanya Palmer, will moderate a conversation between Carlyle Brown, Kathleen Tolan, Seth Bockley and a small audience.

Artist Encounters are one of our more under-the-radar audience engagement events, and they can be especially informative because their intimate nature—they typically include 50 – 100 audience members—allows attendees to talk directly to the artists, shaping the conversation as it moves along. Plus, they’re free to subscribers, students, and Goodman donors, and only $5 for everyone else. Be there.

Photo: (left to right) Steve Pickering, Charles Stransky, Dexter Zollicoffer, and Will Allan in Dartmoor Prison. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nurturing New Work

By Andrew Knight, Assistant to the Associate Producer

With News Stages Amplified officially up and running—Dartmoor Prison had its first performance last Thursday and both Chicago Boys and Ask Aunt Susan are now in rehearsals—there’s a lot of talk about new work at the Goodman and, specifically, the theater’s role in developing it.

This word—developing—is bandied about quite a bit in reference to new plays, perhaps because it’s so inclusive. After all, the Goodman’s role as an institution in premiering new work is vast and varied. The ultimate goal, of course, is to produce the play by assembling actors, a director, designers, and other artists to present the piece to an audience. It’s a simple process in theory, but it takes a lot of time and effort; it requires adequate financing and material resources, an audience, and a level of trust between the artists and the institution to ensure the play can evolve and grow.

Photo: Cedric Young in Dartmoor Prison. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Stars Out Front

By Jenny Seidelman, Campaign Manager

If you’ve ever come to the Goodman's North Dearborn Street home, you may have noticed a group of glittering stars that line the sidewalk directly under the marquee. On Thursday, October 13, we added to that group when Goodman Theatre Women's Board received their very own star on the Walkway of Stars in recognition of the collective $2.5 million they raised for the Endowing Excellence Campaign.

The Walkway of Stars features an eclectic group of names—individuals and organizations without whom we wouldn’t be the theater we are today. Check out who else is featured on the walkway:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dartmoor Prison and America’s Promise of Freedom

By Charlie O'Malley, Literary Management and Dramaturgy Intern

“Freedom? We’re in prison, man. There isn’t any damn freedom for us. We are just the mules that pulls freedom’s plow.”
-Governor, Dartmoor Prison

As any presidential election approaches, the concept of “freedom” is bandied about between candidates, journalists, pundits and voters. Indeed, America has always prided itself on its own brand of liberty, however complicated and challenging that idea may be. Carlyle Brown’s new play, Dartmoor Prison, which kicks off the Goodman’s New Stages Amplified tonight, takes pause to question notions of freedom in America’s history. The play explores American identity and patriotism, as history has defined the two notions, and questions how democracy operates today.

(Photo: Playwright Carlyle Brown. Photo by Michael Brosilow.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fame Games

By Liz Rice, Education and Community Engagement Intern

The Goodman and season opener Red met by way of Hollywood Monday night, as the theater was swarmed by Collaboraction paparazzi (left) for the first 2011/2012 CONTEXT event, The Price of Fame. Attendees were greeted by flashing bulbs and jarring questions that delved into their personal lives—upcoming projects, and of course, who they were wearing. Rumors abounded as whispers that Brad Pitt’s mistress was attending, though nobody seemed to sight her, and that Steven Spielberg was picking up everybody’s next script.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Black and White: A Brief Overture to Dartmoor Prison

By Andrew E.T. Kron, Marketing Intern

This Thursday our much-anticipated New Stages Amplified series begins with Carlyle Brown’s Dartmoor Prison. For more information on the series check out this post from back in July. Dartmoor Prison will only be staged for 12 performances, and tickets are all only $10 or $20 each, so don’t miss your chance to see this riveting new work while it’s here!

In Dartmoor Prison, playwright Carlyle Brown explores two concrete ideas: the will of man and the ultimate goal of survival. The play is very much a tale of war—it's set in Devon, England, during the War of 1812 inside an ominous reformatory known as Dartmoor Prison. But what begins as a story of willpower and endurance transforms into an entirely different tale within itself.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

CONTEXT: The Price of Fame

By Teresa Rende, Education and Community Engagement Associate

On July 24th, 2011, the morning after singer Amy Winehouse died, I and my colleagues were having a discussion about young artists and their propensity to fall into drugs, alcohol abuse, depression and addiction. I had just read Red the day before, and I remembered a scene in which Rothko’s conversation with Ken turns toward the death of artist Jackson Pollock. The two discuss a crucial element of Pollock’s personality, and point to the fact that, while Pollock died in a car accident, his extreme fame and alcoholic history may have been a contributing factor to his demise. With that scene fresh in my mind, the conversation that morning led us to think about the many famous musicians, actors, artists, and comedians we loose rather young, and to ask, “Is there a price to fame?”

Monday, October 3, 2011

News and Notes

It’s been a festive few weeks here at the Goodman. On September 15, we publicly announced our Endowing Excellence campaign—a $15 million effort to provide the Goodman with a permanent cushion of resources to make great theater for years to come. Here at the theater, we had a high-profile breakfast event headlined by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who encouraged an audience of supporters to “get the job done,” by helping us complete the fund-raising campaign, which has raised $10 million so far. You can learn more about the campaign here.

Following the endowment excitement, this past Tuesday we officially kicked off the 2011/2012 Season in style with a day of festivities, absurdities, parties and plays. During the day we sent a brigade of red men out onto the streets to spread the word as we got our hands wet with paint at the theater. And in the evening, we hosted our season opening benefit—wherein more than 400 guests enjoyed cocktails and fine dining in the gorgeously appointed Modern Wing at the Art Institute Chicago (left). Honorees at the night’s event included Chairman Patricia Cox; Red playwright John Logan; Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and James Rondeau, Chair and Frances & Thomas Dittmer Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Institute of Chicago. And of course, following the benefit was the opening-night performance of Red, directed by Artistic Director Robert Falls. Explore our Red video library for a behind-the-scenes look at this amazing play, and if you haven’t bought your tickets yet do so now. Seriously; we just added a week of shows so now’s your chance.

Photo by Liz Lauren.