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Why Ah, Wilderness? A Note from Artistic Director Robert Falls

There is no playwright whose work and life have captivated me more, over the course of my career, than Eugene O’Neill. Always vast in ambition and scope, O’Neill elevated American playwriting in the early 20th century, penning thematically hefty plays and paving the way for writers like Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee. Emerging…

Seeking Refuge: Fighting for a Chance at Freedom

As the curtain rises on Charles Smith’s Objects in the Mirror, Liberian refugee Shedrick Yarkpai has been resettled in Australia — one of more than one million refugees displaced when their homes and communities were destroyed in the Liberian civil wars. A plurality of internationally-resettled refugees ended up in neighboring countries in West Africa: Guinea, Sierra Leone…

A Region Divided: 14 Years of War in West Africa

Objects in the Mirror’s protagonist, Shedrick Yarkpai, begins his journey in his West African coastal home of Liberia, where the lingering trauma of two connected civil wars (spanning 1989–2003) has left much of the country in physical and economic ruin to this day—parts of Monrovia, the capital city, lost power in a 1989 attack, and…

Why Objects in the Mirror? A Note from Artistic Director Robert Falls

Of the many plays we at the Goodman have showcased during our annual New Stages Festival, few have sparked the excitement and admiration expressed by audiences two years ago for the developmental production of Charles Smith’s Objects in the Mirror. Inspired by the harrowing true story of Shedrick Yarkpai, a young Liberian refugee-turned-actor, Charles’ play…

Why Destiny of Desire? A Note from the Artistic Director

To those of us who were not raised with the tradition of the telenovela, the resounding popularity of this Latin American entertainment may seem somewhat puzzling, with its extravagantly-plotted stories, improbable characters and tempestuous performance styles. Like its American cousin, the soap opera, the telenovela often relies on an unlikely blend of romance and mystery…

Lust, Betrayal, Jealousy – The Temptation of the Telenovela

In the early summer of 2016, residents of Rio de Janeiro, host city of the then-upcoming Olympic Games, braced themselves for disruptions to all aspects of their daily lives in the months ahead. But one thing would remain unchanged during the international sporting event: the primetime television schedule. Instead of broadcasting the games on weeknights,…

A Playwright’s Destiny: An Interview with Karen Zacarías

Shortly before the 2015 world premiere of her play Destiny of Desire, Karen Zacarías spoke about the inspiration for her work and her love of telenovelas. Linda Lombardi: What was your inspiration behind writing Destiny of Desire? Karen Zacarías: So often when a Latino dramatist writes a serious play, the jargon critics use to describe…

Essential Goodman Stories: Championing Latinx Voices

For three decades, Goodman Theatre’s artistic priorities and educational programming have centered around three core values of Quality, Community and Diversity. The range of cultural and aesthetic diversity reflected on stage is attributed in large part to the theater’s Artistic Collective—the directors, playwrights and actors who help shape each Goodman season—including Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez.…

The State of Paper in an Era of “Clickbait”

We’ve all heard it: “Print is dead.” But is it? In Gloria, several young editorial assistants have landed jobs at a storied cultural magazine in New York City—but the strains of their daily grind are far from their glamorous professional dreams. Nearly 300 years since the first newspaper, print media is now slashing staffing and…