Thomas Bradshaw, Sheila Callaghan and More Will Explore Politics, Gender and Race in Goodman Theatre's New Stages Festival | Playbill

News Thomas Bradshaw, Sheila Callaghan and More Will Explore Politics, Gender and Race in Goodman Theatre's New Stages Festival Cutting-edge political plays, as well as works that explore gender roles in present-day society, will be featured in the Goodman Theatre's New Stages Festival.

A free annual festival of new American plays presented by the Chicago theatre, New Stages will run Oct. 29-Nov. 16 in the Owen Theatre and will feature three developmental productions performed in repertory: Carlyle by Thomas Bradshaw, an exploration of right-wing politics in America through the eyes of an African American Republican; Feathers and Teeth by Charise Castro Smith, which introduces an exotic creature into a fractured family; and The Magic Play by Andrew Hinderaker, a fusion of magic and reality.

In addition to the developmental productions, the festival will include three staged readings Nov. 14–16: Women Laughing Alone with Salad by Sheila Callaghan, an examination of gender stereotyping in a world ruled by social media and appearance; Acquainted with the Night by Keith Reddin, a consideration of personal and global devastation; and Ugly by Tracey Scott Wilson, a look at how the feminist movement has evolved and how little has changed.

"The heart of our new play development strategy at the Goodman is a deep commitment to a playwright over an extended period of time. From commission, to private workshop, to public staged reading to developmental production, we aim to provide the writer with every opportunity to make his/her play the best it can be before a full production, which is always the goal," artistic director Robert Falls said in a statement. "Proudly, our efforts in New Stages have resulted in full productions of at least one new play from each of the festival's past 11 years — including our 2014 opening productions, The World of Extreme Happiness by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig and Smokefall by Noah Haidle. It's the chance for Chicago to experience — for free — the latest work from some of America's best playwrights."

Additionally, the Goodman's "All-New Fall" will offer special events related to the new play development process. Scheduled events include "Playwright at Your Table," featuring Thomas Bradshaw, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, Rebecca Gilman and Noah Haidle Sept. 20 and The New Play Bake-Off Nov. 10.

More information is available by calling (312) 443-3800 or visiting

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