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Henrik Ibsen at the Goodman

Artistic Director Robert Falls’ adaptation of An Enemy of the People is the latest in Goodman Theatre’s six-decade history of producing Henrik Ibsen and works inspired by the writer’s plays. 1953 David B. Itkin, director of the Goodman Memorial Theatre, helms a production of The Master Builder. 1962 Melvin Bernhardt directs Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, with…

A Note from the Artistic Director

Any theater artist will inevitably confront the genius of 19th century Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Often dubbed “The Father of Modern Drama,” Ibsen wrote plays that differed from his forerunners’ in both style and subject matter. Portraying life “just as it is” had never been a goal for playwrights in previous eras: the ancient Greeks…

Drink Up: The History Behind Your Clean Glass of Water

From cooking to showering, fresh coffee and laundry, we often take the availability of clean water for granted. Yet when Henrik Ibsen wrote An Enemy of the People in 1882, the specialty of bacteriology was in its infancy, and viruses had yet to be discovered, so scientists had just begun to understand how diseases could…

From War to War to War: U.S.-Soviet Relations, 1945-1985

March 11, 1985 Dear Mr. General Secretary, As you assume your new responsibilities, I would like to take the opportunity to underscore my hope that we can, in the months and years ahead, develop a more stable and constructive relationship between our two countries… Thus began President Ronald Reagan’s first letter to Mikhail Gorbachev, the…

A Note from the Artistic Director

In 1985, after decades of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev assembled for a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. These men, representing two of the world’s superpowers, sat in cream-colored armchairs; once the photographers had captured the occasion on film, only interpreters were…

Who’s Who in Blind Date

RONALD WILSON REAGAN (1911 – 2004) Born in northern Illinois in the second decade of a new century, Ronald Reagan grew up in a poor family, his father an Irish Catholic traveling salesman. At age 11, he chose to be baptized a Protestant, his mother’s faith. Attending Eureka College, “Dutch” (as his father nicknamed him) was a…

Arthur Miller at the Goodman

1953 - David B. Itkin, director of the Goodman Memorial Theatre, introduces Chicago audiences to Arthur Miller’s work with a production of Death of a Salesman. 1955 - Maurice Gnesin directs a production of The Crucible. The production features costumes from famed designer Theoni V. Aldredge, who went on to create a fashion sensation with her designs…