Tuesday, September 29, 2015

OPENING: Feathers and Teeth at The Goodman Theatre

Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar:



This macabre tale is high on our must see list here at ChiIL Live Shows. It sounds like an exciting new work and a great fit for the fall season.
Goodman Theatre kicks off the 2015/2016 Season in its Owen Theatre with Feathers and Teeth, Charise Castro Smith’s bone-chilling dark comedy that brings dysfunctional family drama to scary new heights. Directed by Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez, Feathers and Teeth was developed in the Goodman’s New Stages Festival and features Northwestern University student Olivia Cygan as the distraught 13-year-old Chris. 
The cast also includes Eric Slater as Chris’ father, Arthur, and Ali Burch as Ellie, her deceased mother. Christina Hall portrays Carol, Arthur’s new live-in fiancée, and Jordan Brodess as Hugo, the boy next door. Carolyn Hoerdemann delivers Foley effects—the representation of ambient sound effects—as soundscape for the action. The design team includes Kevin Depinet (Set); Mikhail Fiksel (Sound); Jesse Klug (Lighting); and Christine Pascual (Costumes). Kimberly Osgood is the production stage manager. 
Feathers and Teeth runs September 19 – October 18, 2015 in the Owen Theatre (Opening Night is September 28). Tickets ($10 - $40; subject to change) are on sale now at, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). The Time Warner Foundation is the Lead Supporter of New Play Development. The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust is the Supporter of New Work Development.
“I started watching 1970s horror films, and became interested in how horror can actually be a way to understand the obsessions or fears of a culture. I was intrigued by the idea of revenge plays,” said playwright Charise Castro Smith, who refers to Feathers and Teeth as a “thrilledy”—a thriller comedy. “This play is a horror play, yes, but it’s also about a family grieving. Sometimes people ask me what I want the audience to know about the play going into it. My response is ‘not much.’ The fun things about the play are the surprises.”
Smith’s other plays include Estrella Cruz [The Junkyard Queen] (Ars Nova ANT Fest/Yale Cabaret/Upcoming: Halcyon Theatre); Boomcracklefly (Miracle Theater in Portland, OR), and The Hunchback of Seville (Brown Trinity Playwrights Rep/Washington Ensemble Theatre). She is currently working on new work commissions from Trinity Repertory Company and South Coast Repertory. She received her MFA from the Yale School of Drama and her BA from Brown University.
“It is such a pleasure to be part of the development of a new play—especially one as unusual as Feathers and Teeth,” said director Henry Godinez. “Charise takes realism and infuses it with a combination of 1970s campy television and truly frightening elements of a horror thriller without ever compromising the central story of a teenage girl’s genuine, heartbreaking story of loss and grief. It’s remarkably human.”
Home-sweet-home quickly turns into a haunted house for 13-year-old Chris (Olivia Cygan) when Carol (Christina Hall)—her father’s new fiancée from hell—moves in. Struggling with the recent death of her mother Ellie (Ali Burch), Chris is convinced her father Arthur’s (Eric Slater) live-in fiancée is ill-intentioned, but she can’t persuade Dad to her point-of-view. Enter a mysterious creature—and a little help from a friend (Jordan Brodess as Hugo).
In role of Foley Artist, Chicago actor Carolyn Hoerdemann provides a live soundscape for the show’s surprises. “I think hearing the sound effects live adds another layer to the play that’s so alive, juicy and tangible,” said Hoerdemann. “I play with sound just as the other actors play off each other.”
Tickets – or call 312.443.3800. Fax: 312.443.3825; TTY/TDD: 312.443.3829. Subscriptions – 3-play Owen Theatre subscriptions start at $75 (

Box Office Hours –12noon - 5pm; on performance days, the 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 tickets for any performance; limit four, with valid student ID (promo code 10TIX)
Group Sales – Discounted tickets for parties of 10+ – 312.443.3820
Gift Certificates – Available in any amount (

EVENTS AND SPECIAL PERFORMANCES (Contact the Box Office for tickets/reservations)
September 27, Artist Encounter with Charise Castro Smith and Henry Godinez, 5-6pm ($5; FREE for Subs/Donors/students) October 7, Sign-Interpreted Performance – 7:30pm; professional ASL interpreter signs the action/text as played

October 11, Audio-Described Performance –2pm; the action/text is audibly enhanced via a special headset

October 11, Touch Tour – 12:30pm; a 45-60 minute presentation detailing the set, costume and character elements October 18, Open-Captioned Performance – 2pm; an LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance
Every Wednesday and Thursday evening, PlayBacks – Discussions with actors immediately following the show

About Goodman Theatre
The Goodman’s 2015/2016 Season features nine productions on its two stages—six in the 856-seat Albert Theatre and three in the 400-seat flexible Owen Theatre plus the annual New Stages Festival, including three development productions; a world premiere special event production of 2666; and partner productions with The Second City and Albany Park Theater Project. The 2015/2016 Season starts with Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar, directed by Kimberly Senior (September 12 – October 18 in the Albert) and continues with Feathers and Teeth by Charise Castro Smith, directed by Henry Godinez, a world premiere (September 19 – October 18 in the Owen); the annual New Stages Festival (October 28 - November 15 in the Owen); the 38th annual production of A Christmas Carol adapted by Tom Creamer, directed by Henry Wishcamper (November 14 – December 27 in the Albert); The Second City’s Twist Your Dickens by Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort (December 4 – 27 in the Owen); Another Word for Beauty by José Rivera, directed by Steve Cosson, a world premiere Goodman commission (January 16 – February 21, 2016 in the Albert); 2666 adapted and directed by Robert Falls and Seth Bockley, a world premiere special event (February 6 – March 13, 2016 in the Owen); The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder, directed by Henry Wishcamper (March 5 – April 10, 2016 in the Albert); Carlyle by Thomas Bradshaw, directed by Benjamin Kamine, a world premiere Goodman commission (April 2 – May 1, 2016 in the Owen); The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window by Lorraine Hansberry, directed by Anne Kauffman (April 30 – June 5, 2016 in the Albert); Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976 by Rebecca Gilman, directed by Robert Falls, a Chicago premiere (May 21 – June 19, 2016 in the Owen); Wonderful Town music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, book by Joseph A. Fields and Jerome Chodorov, directed by Mary Zimmerman (June 28 – August 21, 2016 in the Albert); and a production still to be announced with the Albany Park Theater Project.
Chicago’s flagship theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is an artistic and community institution dedicated to the art of theater and to civic engagement in the issues of the contemporary world. The Goodman has transformed over the past 35 years into a world class theater and premier Chicago cultural institution distinguished by the quality and scope of its programming and its culturally and aesthetically diverse creative leadership; artistic priorities include new plays, reimagined classics, culturally specific works, musical theater and international collaborations. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, achievements include the Goodman’s state-of-the-art two-theater complex in the heart of the downtown Theatre District. Over the past three decades, the Goodman has generated more than 150 world or American premieres and more than 30 new-work commissions. “A mainstay of Chicago and beyond” (Chicago Sun-Times), the Goodman is internationally acclaimed for its “fresh work of magnitude and ambition (and) bold, risky theatrical choices” (Chicago Tribune). From new plays to “first-class revivals” (The New York Times), the Goodman has earned numerous awards for its productions: two Pulitzer Prizes; 22 Tony Awards, including Outstanding Regional Theatre (1992); and nearly 160 Joseph Jefferson Awards. Joan Clifford is Chair of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Swati Mehta is Women’s Board President and Gordon C.C. Liao is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.

Visit the Goodman virtually at, and on Twitter (@GoodmanTheatre), Facebook and Instagram.

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