Chicago's Goodman Theatre, under the leadership of Robert Falls, has unveiled its 2019–2020 season. Included in the programming are the Chicago premieres of Jocelyn Bioh's Off-Broadway hit School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play and Theresa Rebeck's acclaimed new play Bernhardt/Hamlet; the world premiere of a musical adaptation of The Outsiders, featuring a book by Adam Rapp and direction by Liesl Tommy; a brand-new work by Tony-nominated playwright Lucas Hnath (A Dolls's House, Part 2); José Cruz González's music-filled American Mariachi; and a revival of Brian Friel's Molly Sweeney.
Falls has labeled the upcoming slate of shows as a season of “Theatre That Moves,” a dynamic lineup written by and/or featuring a woman protagonist at its heart. "These fresh, powerful works of art entertain and delight, challenge and shock, and fearlessly reflect the world around us,” says Falls.
Kicking off the season in the fall in the Goodman's Owen Theatre will be the world premiere of Dana H. by Hnath. Adapted from interviews conducted by The Civillians' Steve Cosson with Hnath's mother, Dana Higginbotham, the new work details her real-life experience of being held captive by a patient in the psych ward where she worked. Directed by Les Waters, the co-production with Center Theatre Group will run in Chicago September 6–October 6.
Also kicking off in September in the Goodman's Albert Theater will be Bernhardt/Hamlet. Recently seen on Broadway, the comedy-drama brings to the stage the story of the larger-than-life Sarah Bernhardt. Donna Feore will direct; performances are scheduled September 14–October 20.
The Goodman will launch the new year with Lisa Loomer's Roe v. Wade-inspired drama Roe, directed by Vanessa Stalling (in the Albert January 18–February 23, 2020); followed by the world premiere of Korde Arrington Tuttle's Graveyard Shift, directed by Danya Taymor. Loosely inspired by the legacy of Sandra Bland, the new work is an unflinching but open-hearted look at how we navigate a world full of fear (February 7–March 8 in the Owen).
Beginning March 7, artistic director Falls will revive Molly Sweeney by celebrated Irish playwright Friel (March 7–April 12 in the Albert); followed by School Girls, directed by Lili-Anne Brown (March 27–April 26 in the Owen).
In the spring will be the Chicago premiere of American Mariachi. Infused with live mariachi music, the play with music tells the story of Lucha, who, in an effort to shake up her 1970s home life, creates an all-female mariachi band. Henry Godinez will direct the co-production with Dallas Theater Center, running April 25–May 31 in the Albert.
Rounding out the season next June will be the world premiere of The Outsiders. The new musical, based on the novel by S.E. Hinton and Francis Ford Coppola film of the same name, features a book by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp, music and lyrics by Austin-based rock duo Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance) and Justin Levine, direction by Tommy, and choreography by Waitress' Lorin Latarro.
In The Outsiders, the hardened hearts, aching souls and romantic dreams of Ponyboy Curtis, Johnny Cade and their band of greasers take center stage in a fight for purpose and a quest for survival in 1967 Tulsa, Oklahoma. Performances will run June 20–August 2 in the Albert.
The 2019–2020 Goodman season will also feature the 16th annual New Stages Festival, which will run October 23–November 10, 2019; and a return of its annual holiday production, A Christmas Carol.