Robert Falls Names Henry Wishcamper As New Resident Artistic Associate Of Goodman Theatre’s Artistic Collective

Artistic Director Robert Falls names Henry Wishcamper a new resident artistic associate of Goodman Theatre’s Artistic Collective—a group of culturally and aesthetically diverse American theater directors, playwrights and actors who make the Goodman their artistic home and enable the theater’s international reputation for excellence. Wishcamper joins eight current collective members including Falls, who enters his 26th season as the artistic leader of the Goodman; Artistic Associate Brian Dennehy; Artistic Associate Rebecca Gilman; Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez; Associate Producer Steve Scott; Resident Director Chuck Smith; Artistic Associate Regina Taylor; and Manilow Resident Director Mary Zimmerman.

“I first met Henry Wishcamper when he assisted me on the 2006 Broadway production of Shining City; and since then established himself as a remarkable young director in his own right,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “His range and talent has been illustrated by his work off Broadway and at venues across the country—including his memorable productions of Horton Foote’s Talking Pictures and the reimagined Marx Brothers musical Animal Crackers here at the Goodman. I am thrilled to welcome him to the Collective.”

Wishcamper, who recently relocated to Chicago for his new Resident Artistic Associate position after 15 years in New York City, will direct the Chicago premiere of Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities this winter at the Goodman (January 12 – February 17, 2013). “I am extremely honored to make the Goodman, one of our country’s most vibrant and important theaters, my artistic base,” said Wishcamper. “I have fallen in love with Chicago and its theater community, and I am proud to work with Bob and Roche—two of the greatest leaders in the American theater—and the many great actors, writers and designers who live here.”

In addition, Falls announced that Chicago-based playwright, director and performer Seth Bockley—winner of the Goodman’s 2009 Ofner Prize and an inaugural member of the theater’s Playwrights’ Unit (2010/2011 Season)—will spend two years as an artist-in-residence at the Goodman. “Seth is a gifted young playwright with an extraordinary commitment to innovation as a writer and theater-maker,” said Falls. “It’s exciting to deepen our collaboration with him in his new capacity as a playwright-in-residence.”

Goodman Theatre’s commitment to contemporary American theater artists—including the Artistic Collective, playwright-in- residence and the commissioning and production of new plays—has resulted in 46 world premieres over the past decade, nearly half of which were penned by playwrights of color. The Collective has directly contributed to this success, with projects including Rebecca Gilman’s world premiere of A True History of the Johnstown Flood, directed by Robert Falls; Henry Godinez’s Latino Theatre Festival, which most recently premiered the work of Cuba’s Teatro Buendía and since its inception in 2003, has introduced more than 160,000 Chicagoans to prominent Latino theater companies around the globe; Regina Taylor’s reimagined Crowns and her world-premiere productions of Magnolia and The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove; and Mary Zimmerman’s new adaptations of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide and her upcoming world-premiere musical adaptation of The Jungle Book, based on the Walt Disney animated film and stories by Rudyard Kipling (June 21 – July 28, 2013).

The Goodman has commissioned two Pulitzer Prize-winning new works, (Lynn Nottage’s Ruined and David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross) and produced new plays by Edward Albee, Luis Alfaro, Carol Burnett, David Cale, Lydia Diamond, John Guare, David Henry Hwang, Brett C. Leonard, José Rivera, Sarah Ruhl, Wole Soyinka, Tracey Scott Wilson, Derek Wolcott, August Wilson, Tennessee Williams and Karen Zacarías, among others.

Henry Wishcamper joins Goodman Theatre’s Artistic Collective Playwright Seth Bockley becomes a Playwright-in-Residence

Playwrights currently under commission include Kristoffer Diaz, Kristen Greenidge, Itamar Moses, José Rivera, Tanya Saracho, Tracey Scott Wilson and featured in the 2012/2013 Season Quiara Alegría Hudes (The Happiest Song Plays Last), Dael Orlandersmith (Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men) and Christopher Shinn (Teddy Ferrara).

Now entering its third season, Goodman Theatre’s Playwrights Unit is a year-long residency program in which Chicago-based playwrights engage with the Goodman’s artistic staff to aid development of a new play. The 2011/2012 Unit included Philip Dawkins, Nambi Kelley, Elaine Romero and Martín Zimmerman; the 2010/2011 Unit included Bockley, Lisa Dillman, Laura Jacqmin and Rohina Malik.

Since 2000, the Ofner Prize—a commission named for the late David Ofner, former Goodman Chairman—has been awarded biennially to support an emerging Chicago writer. Previous winners include Carson Grace Becker, David Barr III, Brett Neveu, Saracho and Bockley.

About the Artists

Henry Wishcamper’s Goodman directing credits include his own adaptation of the Marx Brothers classic musical Animal Crackers, written by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, with music and lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby and produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Lyric Stage Company, as well as Horton Foote’s Talking Pictures as part of the 2008 Horton Foote Festival. New York directing credits include Spirit Control at Manhattan Theatre Club; Graceland at LCT3; Port Authority at Atlantic Theater Company; Elvis People at New World Stages; The Polish Play at Katharsis Theater Company (where he is Artistic Director); Pullman Car Hiawatha at Keen Company (Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Revival of a Play); So Frightful an Event is Single in the History of Man at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre; The Flying Doctor and The Imaginary Cuckold with the Roundtable Ensemble and ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore at HERE Arts Center. Regional theater and other directing credits include the American premiere of Conor McPherson’s The Birds at Guthrie Theater; Engaging Shaw and The Mystery of Irma Vep at The Old Globe; Art at Barrington Stage Company; The Seafarer and Speech & Debate at TheaterWorks; The Good Thief at Portland Stage Company and Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Maine Summer Dramatic (where he was former artistic director). He has served as the assistant director of the Broadway productions of August: Osage County and Shining City. He serves on the Lincoln Center Theater Young Angels Artists Committee and Manhattan Theatre Club’s Young Patrons Artists Committee. Wishcamper is a Drama League directing fellow and a graduate of Yale University.

Seth Bockley most recently collaborated with the Goodman on during the 2011/2012 Season’s New Stages Ask Aunt Susan Amplified new play series. His writing credits include, a collaboration with lyricist and composer Gabriel February House Kahane, which premiered at The Public Theater in spring 2012; adaptations of George Saunders’ short stories (commissioned by Goodman Theatre through the Ofner Prize and further developed by New York’s Page 73 Productions) and Jon, which won the 2008 Equity Jeff Citation for Best New Adaptation; The Twins Would Like To Say for Dog & Pony Theatre Co.; and for Redmoon Theater, where he spent two years as a directing Laika’s Coffin Winter Pageant 2010 apprentice through the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) New Generations program.

Collective Playwright Seth Bockley becomes a Playwright-in-Residence

Chicago’s oldest and largest not-for-profit resident theater has welcomed nearly two million patrons to productions and events—including 10 festivals celebrating playwrights such as David Mamet, August Wilson and Horton Foote, as well as the biennial Latino Theatre Festival—and served legions of students through its Education and Community Engagement programs (including the FREE Student Subscription Series and other interactive programs). The Goodman has earned more than 90 awards for hundreds of productions, including the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined by Lynn Nottage—one of 25 new work Goodman commissions in the last decade. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre. Ruth Ann M. Gillis is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Sherry John is the President of Women’s Board.

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