Goodman Theatre is proud to stream the broadcast premiere of Dael Orlandersmith’s Until the Flood—“an urgent moral inquest” (New York Times Critic’s Pick) “so palpably compassionate it achieves a great beauty by bringing us together rather than driving us apart” (Chicago Tribune)—directed by Neel Keller. Based on extensive interviews following the 2014 shooting of Black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson, this tour-de-force one-woman production powerfully explores the roiling currents of American history, race and politics that exploded in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri and sent shock waves across the nation.
The free stream is presented in partnership with All Arts—the free broadcast and digital platform dedicated to the arts—and New York’s Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (where the production was filmed in 2018) and six U.S. regional theaters, including A Contemporary Theatre (Seattle); Center Theatre Group (Los Angeles); Denver Center for the Performing Arts; Milwaukee Repertory Theater; Portland Center Stage (Oregon); and Repertory Theatre of St. Louis—the theater that originally commissioned Orlandersmith to write the play in 2015.
Until the Flood premiered nationwide on Sunday, November 15th. After November 15, Until the Flood will be available for on-demand viewing on on the ALL ARTS app on allarts.org for three years—through fall of 2023. The Goodman is grateful for the support of Corporate Sponsor Partner BMO Harris Bank.
“Until the Flood resonates with ALL of us now more than ever,” said Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith, a Goodman Associate Artist and Alice Resident Artist whose previous Goodman productions include the Chicago premiere of Until the Flood (2018), Lady in Denmark (2018), Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men (2012) and Stoop Stories (2009). “I hope this piece brings communication/thought.”
On August 9, 2014, Darren Wilson, a white police officer, shot and killed Michael Brown, an African American teenager, in Ferguson. The shooting ignited weeks of social unrest, propelled the activist movement Black Lives Matter, and prompted a controversial investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Traveling to the region a few months after the shooting, Orlandersmith conducted interviews with dozens of people who were grievously shaken by the shooting and its turbulent aftermath. From these intimate conversations, she has created eight unforgettable characters who embody a community struggling to come to terms with the personal damage caused by these complex events. Experienced in performance, these voices offer haunting reminders of America’s continuing struggle with racism and justice. Written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith, Until the Flood was directed for the stage and television by Neel Keller, with set design by Takeshi Kata, lighting design by Mary Louise Geiger, costume design by Kaye Voyce, sound design by Justin Ellington, and projection design by Nicholas Hussong.
The Goodman offers two FREE live online events to complement the stream experience:
November 17 at 5pm
Goodman Theatre Artistic Associate, Performer and Playwright Dael Orlandersmith and 2020 MacArthur Fellow, Choreographer and Playwright Larissa FastHorse meet for a thrilling discussion about the artistic process, career successes and struggles, and what ultimately inspires them to create transformative work.
Live @ 5: Art/Activism
November 20 at 5pm
How does an explosive moment in history inspire art? Artists and community activists join the Goodman’s virtual dialogue series to tackle that question and more in a provocative live stream event inspired by Until the Flood.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Dael Orlandersmith (Playwright and Performer) first performed Stoop Stories in 2008 at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and Apollo Theater’s Salon Series; Washington, D.C.’s Studio Theatre produced its world premiere in 2009. Her play Monster premiered at New York Theatre Workshop in 1996. The Gimmick, commissioned by McCarter Theatre, premiered in their Second Stage OnStage series in 1998 and went on to great acclaim at Long Wharf Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop; Ms. Orlandersmith won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Gimmick in 1999. Yellowman was commissioned by and premiered at McCarter Theatre in a co-production with The Wilma Theater and Long Wharf Theatre. Ms. Orlandersmith was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play for Yellowman in 2002. The Blue Album, in collaboration with David Cale, premiered at Long Wharf Theatre in 2007. Bones was commissioned by the Mark Taper Forum, where it premiered in 2010. Ms. Orlandersmith wrote and performed a solo memoir play called Forever at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles in 2014, at the Long Wharf and New York Theatre Workshop in 2015, at Portland Center Stage in 2016 and the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 2017. In the fall of 2016, Ms. Orlandersmith wrote and performed Until the Flood, which was commissioned by St Louis Repertory Theatre. In 2018, it was later produced at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in New York, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and ACT Seattle. Orlandersmith has toured extensively with the Nuyorican Poets Café (Real Live Poetry) throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. Yellowman and a collection of her earlier works have been published by Vintage Books and Dramatists Play Service. Ms. Orlandersmith attended Sundance Institute Theatre Lab for four summers and is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, The Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Guggenheim and the 2005 PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for a playwright in mid-career. She is the recipient of a Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwrights Fellowship and an Obie Award for Beauty’s Daughter. Ms. Orlandersmith is currently working on two commissions.
Neel Keller (Director) has enjoyed a long and happy collaboration with Dael Orlandersmith. They met almost 30 years ago, on a production of Romeo and Juliet. Over the last decade they have worked closely on creating Orlandersmith’s acclaimed plays Until The Flood and Forever, presenting them at theaters across the U.S., and in Ireland, Scotland and England. Other recent productions include the world premieres of Julia Cho’s Office Hour, Eliza Clark’s Quack, Jennifer Haley’s The Nether, Kimber Lee’s different words for the same thing, and Lucy Alibar’s Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up. Neel has directed at many theaters, including The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, Kirk Douglas Theater, Goodman Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Denver Center Theater, Long Wharf Theatre, ACT Seattle, and Portland Center Stage. Neel is an Associate Artistic Director at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles.
Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota Nation) is an award winning writer and 2020-2025 MacArthur Fellow. Her satirical comedy, The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons/Geffen Playhouse), was one of the top ten most produced plays in America last season. She is the first Native American playwright in the history of American theater on that list. Additional produced plays include What Would Crazy Horse Do? (Kansas Cityn Repertory Theater); Landless and Cow Pie Bingo (Alter Theater); Average Family (Children’s Theater Company of Minneapolis); Teaching Disco Squaredancing to Our Elders: a Class Presentation (Native Voices at the Autry); Vanishing Point (Eagle Project) and Cherokee Family Reunion (Mountainside Theater). In 2019, FastHorse entered film and television by co-creating a series at Freeform. Since then, she has set up a movie for Disney Channel and a series for NBC. She is currently in development as the creator for projects with Taylor Made Productions, Echo Lake, and other projects. Film and TV feel like coming home to FastHorse, who began her writer training as a Sundance Native Feature Fellow, Fox Diversity Fellow, ABC Native American Fellow and an intern at Universal Pictures before she found her voice in theater. Over the past several years she has created a nationally recognized trilogy of community engaged plays with Cornerstone Theater Company. The first was Urban Rez in Los Angeles. The second project, Native Nation, was the largest Indigenous theater production in the history of American theater with more than 400 Native artists involved in the productions in association with ASU Gammage. Their current project, The L/D/Nakota Project is set in FastHorse’s homelands of South Dakota. Her radical inclusion process with Indigenous tribes has been honored with the most prestigious national arts funding from Creative Capital, MAP Fund, NEFA, First People’s Fund, the NEA Our Town Grant, Mellon Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and others. Additional theaters that have commissioned or developed plays with Larissa include The Public, Yale Rep, Guthrie, Geffen Playhouse, History Theater, Kennedy Center TYA, Baltimore’s Center Stage, Arizona Theater Company, Mixed Blood, Perseverance Theater Company, The Lark Playwrights Week, the Center Theatre Group Writer’s Workshop and Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor. Her additional awards include the PEN/Laura Pels Theater Award for an American Playwright, NEA Distinguished New Play Development Grant, Joe Dowling Annamaghkerrig Fellowship, AATE Distinguished Play Award, Inge Residency, Sundance/Ford Foundation Fellowship, Aurand Harris Fellowship, and the UCLA Native American Program Woman of the Year. FastHorse’s company, Indigenous Direction, is a consulting company currently working with Guthrie Theater, Roundabout Theater Company, Macy’s and Brown University. She is vice chair of the board of directors of Theater Communications group and represented by Jonathan Mills at Paradigm NY. She lives in Santa Monica with her husband, sculptor Edd Hogan. HoganHorseStudio.com
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.