Casting Announced for Goodman’s Gloria, Uncle Vanya, Destiny of Desire, and World Premiere

News   Casting Announced for Goodman’s Gloria, Uncle Vanya, Destiny of Desire, and World Premiere
The theatre company will present one world premiere and three Chicago premieres in 2017.
Kyle Beltran
Kyle Beltran Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Goodman Theatre has announced complete casting and creative teams for four of its winter and spring 2017 productions, which include one world-premiere Goodman commission and three Chicago premieres.

The Chicago premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Gloria, directed by Evan Cabnet, will run January 14–February 19, 2017, in the Albert Theatre. The cast includes Kyle Beltran, Catherine Combs, Michael Crane, Jennifer Kim, Jeanine Serralles, and Ryan Spahn.

The Goodman will present the acclaimed Vineyard Theatre production of MacArthur “Genius” Award winner Jacobs-Jenkins’ work, about a group of twenty-somethings who are pursuing it all at one of New York’s most esteemed cultural magazines.

The creative team includes Takeshi Kata (set), Ilona Somogyi (costumes), Matt Frey (lights), Matt Tierney (sound), J. David Brimmer (fight choreographer), and Briana J. Fahey (production stage manager).

Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, adapted by Annie Baker from a literal translation by Margarita Shalina and the original Russian text, will have its Chicago premiere February 11–March 12, 2017, under the direction of Robert Falls in the Owen Theatre.

The cast features Kristen Bush (Yelena), Marton Csokas (Astrov), David Darlow (Serebryakov), Marilyn Dodds Frank (Maria), Tim Hopper (Vanya), Caroline Neff (Sonya), Larry Neumann, Jr. (Telegin), Alžan Pelesić (Yefim), and Mary Ann Thebus (Marina).

The creative team includes Todd Rosenthal (set), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes), Keith Parham (lights), Richard Woodbury (sound), and Kimberly Osgood (production stage manager).

Karen Zacarías’ Destiny of Desire, directed by José Luis Valenzuela, will play March 11–April 16, 2017, in the Albert Theatre.

The Chicago premiere features Esperanza America, Elisa Bocanegra, Eduardo Enrikez, Evelina Fernandez, Fidel Gomez, Cástulo Guerra, Ricardo Gutierrez, Ruth Livier, Mauricio Mendoza, and Ella Saldana North.

According to the Goodman, “Zacarías brings the seductive power of Latin American telenovelas to the stage in this new comedy, exploring race, gender and class politics through the lens of the Latin American telenovela, one of the world’s most popular storytelling genres. On a stormy night in a Mexican hospital, two baby girls are born―one into a life of privilege, the other to an impoverished family. But when the girls are deliberately swapped, the stage is set for two outrageous misfortunes to grow into one remarkable destiny.”

The creative team includes François-Pierre Couture (sets), Julie Weiss (costumes), Pablo Santiago (lights), John Zalewski (sound), Rosino Serrano (composer/music director), and Alden Vasquez (production stage manager).

The world-premiere Goodman commission of Lauren Yee’s King of Yees will be directed by Joshua Kahan Brody and run March 31–April 30, 2017, in the Owen Theatre featuring a cast of five. They are Francis Jue, Stephenie S. Park, Dan Smith, Angela Lin, and Rammel Chan.

King of Yees, which explores the history of America’s largest Chinatown through the eyes of a new generation, made its debut as part of the Goodman’s 2015 New Stages Festival and is produced in association with Center Theatre Group. According to press notes, “The affable Larry Yee (Jue) remains a driving force in the San Francisco Chinese American community as the head of the Yee Family Association, a seemingly obsolescent men's club dedicated to the preservation of the Yee line. His daughter Lauren (Park), however, is dismissive of its patriarchal culture policy, despite her father’s lifelong dedication to the group. When Larry suddenly goes missing, Lauren’s desperate search drops her into a strange but familiar world where she will have to embrace the past if she wants to get her father back.”

The creative team includes William Boles (set), Izumi Inaba (costumes), Heather Gilbert (lights), Mikhail Fiskel (sound), Mike Tutaj (projections), and Donald Claxon (production stage manager).

Casting has not yet been announced for the three remaining plays of the season—Objects in the Mirror by Charles Smith (April 29–June 4, 2017); Lady in Denmark by Dael Orlandersmith (May 19–June 18, 2017); and Ah, Wilderness! by Eugene O’Neill (June 17–July 23, 2017).

Additionally, Goodman artistic director Robert Falls announced that his longtime creative collaborator, artistic associate and producer Steve Scott, will direct O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness! Scott assumes this responsibility from Falls, who was originally announced as the production’s director.

Ah, Wilderness! is a classic family comedy by one of my favorite playwrights. Steve Scott has established an extraordinary, wide-ranging directing career in Chicago for well over three decades, and I know this production is in gifted hands,” said Falls in a statement. “In making this decision, I found that my responsibilities as the artistic leader of Goodman Theatre—responsibilities that include planning our upcoming 2017/2018 Season at a challenging time in our society—required my full attention in the next few months, making it necessary for me to step aside from this production.”

Falls continues to direct the Chicago premiere of Uncle Vanya.

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