Thursday, March 8, 2018

OPENING: Dael Orlandersmith's One-Woman Show Until the Flood at Goodman Theatre 4/27-5/13/18

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On the heels of a critically-acclaimed off-Broadway run, Goodman Theatre Artistic Associate and Alice Center Resident Artist Dael Orlandersmith brings her one-woman show, Until the Flood to Goodman Theatre, April 27 – May 13. Directed by Neel Keller, Orlandersmith “finds common humanity” (Variety) with “an urgent moral inquest” (The New York Times) of the social unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of teenager Michael Brown. Pulling from a series of extensive interviews, Orlandersmith crafts a theatrical experience in which a diverse mosaic of voices try to come to terms with the complex events that shook the nation. Until the Flood appears April 27 – May 13, 2018 (opening night is April 29 at 7pm) in Goodman Theatre’s 350-seat flexible Owen Theatre. Tickets ($10 - $29; subject to change) are available at, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn).

“I was approached by the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis to create a work about the shooting of Michael Brown because art can create some sort of dialogue, at least,” said Pulitzer Prize Finalist Dael Orlandersmith, whose previous Goodman productions include Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men and Stoop Stories. “I am, first and foremost, a theater worker, and I needed to make these characters come alive with their own individual truths. Throughout this process, Neel and I have made an effort to look into the soul of people unflinchingly and bring them to life.”

Until the Flood made its world premiere at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis in fall 2016. The theater’s initial concept behind the commission was an artistic approach to what appeared to be an ongoing national conversation. Serving dual roles as writer and performer, Orlandersmith’s work has garnered high praise for her exploratory neutrality in this character study. Recently hailed as a New York Times Critics Pick, the production currently appears off-Broadway at the Rattlestick Theater for a limited run until February 18. The show will debut at The Milwaukee Repertory Theater from March 13 to April 22, before making its Chicago premiere at the Goodman.

"I first heard Dael perform her dazzling poetry 30 years ago. As a writer, performer and friend, she always surprises and confounds me. In Until The Flood she does it again—wading into the divisive, polarized enmity swirling around Darren Wilson's shooting of Michael Brown, and returning with stories and characters who reveal how bound together we actually are in the same roiling, painful currents of emotion, history, race and politics" said director Neel Keller. 

Dael Orlandersmith is an Artist Associate and Alice Center Resident Artist at the Goodman. Orlandersmith has collaborated with the Goodman on Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men during the 2012/2013 Season and Stoop Stories during the 2009/2010 Season. Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men was developed as a co-commission between the Goodman and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it was staged in May 2012. Orlandersmith 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; 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. 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. 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, Orlandersmith wrote and performed Until the Flood, which was commissioned by St Louis Repertory Theatre. In 2018, it will be 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. 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. Orlandersmith is currently working on two commissions.

Neel Keller (Director) is a Los Angeles-based theater director and an Associate Artistic Director at Center Theatre Group, where he helps develop, direct and produce productions at CTG’s three venues: the Ahmanson, Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas theaters. As a director and collaborator, he has worked extensively on new plays. His recent productions include the world premieres of Julia Cho’s Office Hour, Jennifer Haley’s The Nether, Kimber Lee’s different words for the same thing, Dael Orlandersmith’s Until the Flood and Forever and Lucy Alibar’s Throw Me On The Burnpile and Light Me Up. He has also directed works by Shelia Callaghan, John Guare, David Greig, Tom Babe, Jessica Goldberg, Nicky Silver and Howard Gould, as well as classic plays by Molière, Tennessee Williams, Moss Hart, Joe Orton and Shakespeare. Keller’s productions have been mounted at theaters across the country, including The Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, Kirk Douglas Theater, South Coast Repertory, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theater, Remains Theatre, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Portland Center Stage and Ireland’s Abbey Theatre. He has helped develop new plays with many organizations including, the Ojai Playwrights Conference, Sundance Theatre Lab, Hedgebrook and The Playwrights Center. He has served on review panels for several national organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kilroys, PEN West and Theatre Communications Group. He is an honors graduate of Oberlin College and a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the Directors Guild of America


Tickets ($10-$29) –; 312.443.3800; Fax: 312.443.3825; TTY/TDD: 312.443.3829
Box Office Hours –12noon - 5pm; on performance days, the box office remains open until 30 minutes past curtain
MezzTix – Half-price day-of-performance mezzanine tickets available at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX) 
$10Tix – Student $10 advance tickets; limit four, with valid student ID (promo code 10TIX)
Group Sales are available for parties 10 ; 312.443.3820
Gift Certificates – Available in any amount;

 AMERICA’S “BEST REGIONAL THEATRE” (Time magazine), Goodman Theatre is a premier not-for-profit organization distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and civic 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 (celebrated revivals include Falls’ productions of Death of a Salesman and The Iceman Cometh). Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, over 160 Jeff Awards and many more accolades. In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle” and its annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this season, has created a new generation of theatergoers. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production partner with local off-Loop theaters and national and international companies by providing financial support or physical space for a variety of artistic endeavors.

Committed to three core values of Quality, Diversity and Community, the Goodman proactively makes inclusion the fabric of the institution and develops education and community engagement programs that support arts as education. This practice uses the process of artistic creation to inspire and empower youth, lifelong learners and audiences to find and/or enhance their voices, stories and abilities. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of such programming, most offered free of charge, and has vastly expanded the theater’s ability to touch the lives of Chicagoland citizens (with 85% of youth participants coming from underserved communities) since its 2016 opening.

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: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. David W. Fox, Jr. is Chair of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Cynthia K. Scholl is Women’s Board President and Justin A. Kulovsek is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.

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