Joining such notables as resident director David Petrarca and artistic associate Mary Zimmerman, dramatist Keith Reddin has been appointed resident playwright at Chicago's Goodman Theatre for the 1998-99 season.
Reddin's plays include Brutality of Fact, Big Time, Life During Wartime, Life And Limb and an adaptation of Bulgakov's Black Snow. Also an actor, Reddin first came to the Goodman in 1985 when he appeared as The Government Inspector in a Frank Galati staging of the comedy. Said Goodman artistic director Robert Falls, "Keith is a hugely talented writer with sharp wit and a global view of the ironies inherent in contemporary life... No writer has been more produced here or proved a better collaborator."
While at the Goodman, Reddin will work on a new play, commissioned by the theatre, that parallels the fall from grace of current politicos with that of Ulysses S. Grant. Reddin will also serve as a mentor to fledgling playwrights at the Goodman and help select and dramaturg new works.
As for the upcoming Goodman season, Tina Landau is not only staging Steppenwolf Theatre's 1998-99 season-opener The Berlin Circle, but also, in May 1999, Goodman's Theatre's revival of her musical, Floyd Collins, a co-production with San Diego's Old Globe Theatre.
Originally produced in New York, the 1996 work has a book by Landau and music and lyrics by Adam Guettel, and is based on the attempted rescue of a farmer trapped in a Kentucky cave. The prolonged tragedy became a 1925 media circus and a portent of future hullabaloos. Floyd Collins will be the fourth play of the Goodman season and will run Apr. 23-May 30, 1999, opening May 3, 1999. Jan. 8-Feb. 14, 1999 (opening Jan. 18, 1999), the Goodman Theatre revisits Waiting for Godot, to be staged by Goodman artistic associate Michael Maggio with native Chicagoan Harry J. Lennix as Estragon. Samuel Beckett's other plays include Happy Days and Endgame.
The Goodman season will begin, Sept. 18-Oct 25 (opening Sept. 28), with Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, staged by Robert Falls and starring Brian Dennehy (Translations). Miller's other works include The Crucible and All My Sons.
A very different offering will be Regina Taylor's Oo Bla Dee, a commissioned play about African-American female jazz instrumentalists. Goodman artistic director Tazewell Thompson will direct, Mar. 5-Apr. 11, 1999 (opening Mar. 15, 1999).
The company's fifth and final `98-99 show will be August Wilson's recently-revised early drama Jitney. Goodman artistic associate Chuck Smith will stage the play (June 18-July 31, 1999, opening June 28, 1999), about the eccentric and sometimes desperate denizens of a Pittsburgh gypsy cab stand.
Jitney will mark the seventh Wilson play staged at the Goodman, including the world premiere of Seven Guitars. For information on the Goodman season call (312) 443-3800.
-- By Lawrence Bommer
and David Lefkowitz