The camaraderie among the players in The Wolves is similar to the relationships many of the youth participants develop in Goodman’s Education and Engagement programs. Goodman programs include the Musical Theater Intensive, which provides pre-professional experience for young artists wishing to pursue a musical theater career; PlayBuild Youth Intensive, which introduces participants to the elements of theater creation by using personal history and storytelling techniques; the Cindy Bandle Young Critics program, which teaches young women theater criticism with mentoring from professional journalists and the Goodman Youth Arts Council, a leadership development program in which members act as ambassadors for the Goodman in their communities and schools. Below participants of the programs answered the question, “What does it mean to be part of an ensemble?”

“Being a part of an ensemble at the Goodman taught me how to share space in a room, and form equal relationships with everyone; knowing that we are all valuable and honored in our own unique way made coming together as a group of young artists so distinctive. If an ensemble is functioning correctly, it can create brilliant, otherworldly results. Part of its beauty is that everyone is continually working towards a better environment and structural relationship.”
—Katie Schaber, Musical Theater Intensive

“As a young female-identified artist, to be in an ensemble means an artistic cultivation. When working with other artists, I am enlightened by their unique insight and appreciation of an art piece. On the other hand, as a female artist of color, I strive to temper my perspective to a universal angle. By participating in an ensemble, I am glad to pass on my perspective and receiving other fascinating voices in return. Being part of an ensemble has taught me to value other’s opinions and gain a well-rounded understanding of art.”
—Chelsea Zhao, Cindy Bandle Young Critics

I remember the story we told, sure, but the feeling of being inspired, loved and supported by a group of fellow artists—including other women—is truly unforgettable.

“As a young woman, I too often doubt myself. When I work in an ensemble, though, I see how my individual contribution is essential to the group’s effort, which helps me gain confidence in my abilities and realize my self-worth. But the work we ultimately produce is more than the sum of each ensemble member’s contributions. There’s nothing more fun than being part of an ensemble—nothing more fun than bonding with other people while achieving a common goal, laughing and crying with them, loving and supporting them. I remember the story we told, sure, but the feeling of being inspired, loved and supported by a group of fellow artists—including other women—is truly unforgettable.”
—Abby Rooney, PlayBuild Youth Intensive

“As a female artist in the Chicago community, it is very empowering to know that my voice matters along with my fellow female and male ensemble members. In today’s age, it is very difficult being a young woman, especially a young woman of color, and working with Goodman Theatre has taught me to value my worth and my opinions and not ever be afraid to be myself, whether people like it or not.”
—Ariana Burks, Goodman Youth Arts Council

Interested in being part of a Goodman ensemble? Applications are now available for a variety of summer programs including the PlayBuild Youth Intensive, the Musical Theater Intensive, as well as internships for college-aged students in varying departments. To learn more visit or e-mail with questions