The Goodman Theatre has announced eight plays it intends to bring to its Chicago stages in 2021 once it returns from its coronavirus hiatus. Of the eight, four are world premieres, and some are works that were originally scheduled prior to theatres nationwide shutting down.
Among the lineup is the world premiere of Cheryl L. West’s Fannie, inspired by the life of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. E. Faye Butler will take on the title role in the Henry Godinez-helmed production.
No word yet on exact timing for any of the titles. “As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our artists and audiences,” explains Artistic Director Robert Falls, “we remain flexible in our planning and will share production dates when the time is right.” Another new bio-play, Good Night, Oscar, will star Will and Grace Emmy winner Sean Hayes as humorist-musician Oscar Levant. Leigh Silverman will direct the Doug Wright play.
Additional world premieres include Christina Anderson’s the ripple, the wave that carried me home in a co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, as well as the stage adaptation of The Outsiders, based on the S.E. Hinton novel and Francis Ford Coppola film. The musical, featuring a book by Adam Rapp and a score by Justin Levine and Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance), was originally scheduled to open this June prior to the shutdown. Liesl Tommy will direct, with choreography by Lorin Latarro.
Three other titles originally slated for the 2019–2020 roster are expected to make their Chicago debuts as part of the new schedule: Jocelyn Bioh’s School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (directed by Lili-Anne Brown), José Cruz González’s American Mariachi (directed by Godinez), and the Hershey Felder-led A Paris Love Story (directed by Trevor Hay).
Rounding out the lineup is a new production of Mary Zimmerman’s The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, which premiered at the Goodman in 1993.