The Goodman Theatre of Chicago will celebrate the birth of its new North Loop home with two weeks of festivities, beginning Nov. 4 and leading up to a round-the-clock party on Nov. 18. The complex, the theatre's first new facility since 1925, is located on Dearborn Street between Randolph and Lake, the historic site of the Garrick and Woods theatres and the landmark Harris and Selwyn theatres.
The building will house two theatres: the 840-seat Albert Ivar Goodman Theatre and the Owen Bruner Goodman Theatre, a flexible courtyard space that can seat between 200 and 400 people. The two spaces will replace the Goodman's current mainstage and studio theatres.
The Albert Ivar Goodman Theatre will be a tradition proscenium stage, slightly largely than the current mainstage, and equipped with a full fly tower and improved acoustics. The Owen Butler Goodman Theatre, meanwhile, has a timber-frame construction (with exposed fir beams) and can take any number of forms, including end stage, thrust, arena and runway.
Both theatres will be fully soundproofed, to shield performances from the noise of the rumbling elevated trains of the Loop area.
The November festivities will run as follows: • Builder's Day, Nov. 4: The Goodman will open its doors to builders, trade people and their families.
• Press Preview, Nov. 8.
• Official Dedication, Nov. 9, featuring dedication luncheon for major contributors.
• Inaugural Gala, Nov. 11: A black-tie event complete with food and entertainment.
• Subscriber Days, Nov. 12-15: Subscribers may look at the theatre and preview their new comfortable seats.
• Theatre Community Party, Nov. 13: Members of the League of Chicago Theatre are invited to the theatre.
• City of Chicago Day, Nov. 16: The Goodman expresses its thanks to Windy City officials.
• 26-Hour Celebration, Nov. 17-18: More than a day of activities, free and open to the public.
The new Goodman Theatre will have its first production on Nov. 30 with August Wilson's latest work, King Hedley II. The play will officially open on Dec. 11.
--By Robert Simonson