Artistic Director Robert Falls announces a virtual fundraiser to support Goodman GoodWork—inclusive of the theater’s nationally-recognized, award-winning Education and Engagement programming. “Reimagining Tomorrow” centers on the possibility, opportunity and change in the American Theater after a time when remote work, e-learning and social distance have challenged the fundamental human connection at the industry’s core. Tony Award-nominated director Liesl Tommy—director of the Goodman’s upcoming world-premiere musical adaptation of The Outsiders—joins Walter Director of Education and Engagement Willa J. Taylor for a conversation about how artists, artisans and educators move the industry forward, inspired by lessons learned in 2020. Proceeds support the theater’s programs for youth, schools and lifelong learners—all offered FREE of charge to participants, and funded entirely by individual contributions. Event co-chairs are Zoraida Sambolin, Goodman Trustee and Emmy Award-winning journalist and Weekday Edition co-anchor of NBC News 5 Today; Loretta Cooney, Goodman Trustee; and Women’s Board Members Jacquelyn Robinson and Carole Wood. “Reimagining Tomorrow” takes place on February 22 at 6pm on GoodmanTheatre.org. Funds raised during the free 60-minute event benefit Goodman GoodWork Education and Engagement programs. More information is available at GoodmanTheatre.org/Tomorrow.
“The world’s recovery from the COVID pandemic—and the legacies of racism—will require us to imagine creative interventions for shattered economies, re-envision our democracy and to prepare the next generation to lead with compassion, equity and justice,” said Walter Director of Education and Engagement Willa J. Taylor. “This is the work Goodman’s Education and Engagement programs do every day. This is the work that the fundraiser supports.”
As a not-for-profit arts and civic organization, Goodman Theatre strives to make Chicago a better place for youth, schools and community partners through Goodman GoodWork—FREE education and engagement programming that uses the tools of the theatrical profession to help develop generations of citizens who understand the cultures and stories of diverse voices. Using the arts in service of a wider vision of social change is the Goodman’s guiding principle; offering depth of experience and opportunities for under-resourced communities is an extension of the theater’s vision and investment in quality, diversity and community. Under the leadership of Walter Director of Education and Engagement Willa J. Taylor, Goodman Theatre’s Education and Engagement team includes Associate Director of Education Quenna Barrett; Adrian Azevedo (Education and Engagement Associate); Liam Collier (Education and Engagement Assistant); and Sam Mauceri (School Matinee Series Coordinator). The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement expanded the theater’s ability to touch the lives of Chicagoland (with 85% of youth participants coming from underserved communities) since its 2016 opening.
Liesl Tommy is an award-winning international theater director and director of the highly anticipated MGM biopic Respect, based on the life of Aretha Franklin starring Jennifer Hudson. She is also the director of the upcoming film Born a Crime, based on Trevor Noah’s best-selling memoir, starring Lupita Nyong’o. Tommy directed the world premiere of Eclipsed on Broadway, for which she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play. She will make her Goodman Theatre directorial debut with the world premiere musical adaption of The Outsiders.
Zoraida Sambolin is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, is the Weekday Edition co-anchor of NBC 5 News Today. Previously, she served two years as co-anchor of CNN‘s Early Start, where she covered numerous breaking news stories including the Colorado Theatre shootings, the Boston bombings and the Cleveland kidnappings, and she field-anchored the Newtown Connecticut school massacre. Sambolin broke new ground for the Latinx community as the first Chicago on-air broadcaster to work at English and Spanish-language stations simultaneously. She served as host of Un Buen Doctor, a weekly Spanish language medical series and has won numerous awards for work on two parenting programs created for cable distribution. Sambolin volunteers for numerous organizations and has a special interest in raising awareness about breast cancer in underserved communities.
ABOUT GOODMAN THEATRE
Chicago’s theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit arts and community organization in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and community engagement. Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics. Artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards and more than 160 Jeff Awards, among other accolades. The Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” Its longtime annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, now in its fourth decade, has created a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production and program partner with national and international companies and Chicago’s Off-Loop theaters.
As a cultural and community organization invested in quality, diversity and community, Goodman Theatre is committed to using the art of theater for a better Chicago. Using the tools of the theatrical profession, the Goodman’s Education and Engagement programs aim to develop generations of citizens who understand the cultures and stories of diverse voices. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of these programs, which are offered free of charge for Chicago youth—85% of whom come from underserved communities—schools and life-long learners.
Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.
Today, Goodman Theatre leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Kimberly Senior, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. Jeff Hesse is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Fran Del Boca is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.