"Rumpelstiltskin" Inspires Goodman World Premiere, Ghostwritten, Starting April 4

News   "Rumpelstiltskin" Inspires Goodman World Premiere, Ghostwritten, Starting April 4
Lisa Tejero and Kim Martin-Cotten are among performers in Goodman Theatre's world premiere of Naomi Iizuka's tale of family ties and mystical stories, Ghostwritten, to play April 4-May 3 in Chicago.
Ghostwritten stars Lisa Tejero, Kim Martin-Cotten and Arthur Acuna
Ghostwritten stars Lisa Tejero, Kim Martin-Cotten and Arthur Acuna Photo by Peter Wynn Thompson

Lisa Portes, who has guided the play from its first appearance at the 2007 New Stages Series at the Goodman, directs. Opening is April 13.

Tejero was seen in Chicago's Mirror of the Invisible World and Metamorphoses. Martin-Cotton was in Chicago's King Lear.

Based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale "Rumpelstiltskin," according to Goodman, Ghostwritten "shows the lengths families will go in order to protect their loved ones. This journey begins in Southeast Asia, when a traveling American woman, Susan, strikes a bargain with a mysterious stranger. Twenty years later, Susan has become an acclaimed chef specializing in Asian cuisine and the mother of an adopted Vietnamese-born daughter. She is successful beyond her wildest dreams — until the stranger from her past reappears to collect on the debt."

The cast also includes Dieterich Gray, Arthur Acuna, Tiffany Villarin and Dan Waller.

"Like all fairy tales there is a much deeper human meaning rooted in these characters and their stories," said Iizuka, who drew on her own multicultural background to explore the many different paths her characters take. "Being able to tell the stories of real immigrants who have moved their lives to the cultural collision that is America honors their struggle for identity while sharing their tales of survival. The play is based on a fairy tale, but characters are rooted in the human reality of acceptance, family and self-appreciation." Born in Tokyo and raised in Japan, Indonesia, Holland and Washington, DC, Iizuka's work includes 36 Views; Anon(ymous); Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls; After a Hundred Years; At the Vanishing Point; Polaroid Stories; Language of Angels; Tattoo Girl and Skin. Her latest play, Strike-Slip, premiered at the 2007 Humana Festival of New Plays.

The creative team includes set designer Linda Buchanan, who uses a "runway" configuration, to transform the 400-seat flexible Owen Theatre "into a mystical river, a secluded forest and a bustling market"; Rachel Healy (costumes), Keith Parham (lighting) and Andre Pluess (sound).

For more information visit GoodmanTheatre.org.


Ghostwritten is a Goodman commission supported by The Joyce Foundation.

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