goodmanGoodman Theatre presents the third and final session of the 2013/2014 GeNarrations program—a free storytelling workshop for senior citizens and part of Goodman Theatre’s Education and Community Engagement programs. More than 100 total participants throughout Chicago attend seven-week small-group sessions led by a Goodman teaching artist, during which they develop personal narrative performance pieces based on themes raised by Goodman Theatre productions. This session’s theme, “Myths, Legends and Stories We Grew Up With,” is inspired by Mary Zimmerman’s stage adaptation of the ancient Chinese fable The White Snake. The session concludes with a free performance open to the public on Monday June 16 at 4pm at Goodman Theatre. No reservations are required.

Since the program’s inception in 2009, more than 300 Chicagoans aged 55 to 90 have participated in GeNarrations at Goodman Theatre, presented in collaboration with the City of Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services and session-specific community based organizations. Participants in the current session include groups from Renaissance Court, North Center Satellite Senior Center, Portage Park Satellite Senior Center, Norwood Park Senior Center, Abbott Park Satellite Senior Center and the Radclyffe Hall Group, which meets at Goodman Theatre. The two previous GeNarrations sessions this season centered on Rebecca Gilman’s Luna Gale (“Stories of Risk and Decision”) and Cheryl L. West’s Pullman Porter Blues (Stories of Who We Are and Where We Come From”).

The Goodman’s Curriculum and Instruction Associate Bobby Biedrzycki coordinates the GeNarrations, InterGenerations and Senior Theatre programs. Biedrzycki is also Director of Programming at Chicago’s famed writing workshop 2nd Story and on faculty in the Department of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago, where he was the 2013 recipient of the Excellence-in-Teaching Award.

The Goodman is grateful for the generous support of its Education and Community Engagement program sponsors. The Goodman Women’s Board is the Major Supporter of Education and Community Engagement. The Efroymson-Hamid Family Foundation and the Efroymson Family Fund are Education and Community Engagement Season Sponsors. Helen V. Brach Foundation and Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P. are Supporters of Education and Community Engagement. Polk Bros. Foundation is the Principal Foundation Supporter of the Student Subscription Series. Target is the Major Corporate Sponsor for the Target Student Matinees. The Crown Family is the Major Supporter of the Student Subscription Series. JPMorgan Chase is the Corporate Sponsor Partner for the Student Subscription Series. Peoples Gas and the Siragusa Foundation are Supporters of the Student Subscription Series. The Goodman Scenemakers Board is the Sponsor Partner for the General Theater Studies Program. The A&A Fund, Blue Cross Blue Shield, KPMG LLP, the Colonel Stanley Reed McNeil Foundation, and the Edmond and Alice Opler Foundation are Supporters of the General Theater Studies Program. The Field Foundation is the Supporter of GeNarrations. The Walter E. Heller Foundation is the Supporter of the Cindy Bandle Young Critics and the Student Subscription Series. Dr. Scholl Foundation is the Supporter of the Cindy Bandle Young Critics.

Director of Education and Community Engagement Willa J. Taylor began her career in arts education at Arena Stage where, under Founding Director Zelda Fichandler, she established the Allen Lee Hughes Fellows Program—one of the first theater-run apprenticeships designed to increase participation by people of color in professional theater. She then went to Lincoln Center Theater, where she created The Urban Ensemble, a multidisciplinary project that served at-risk youth. This collaboration between Lincoln Center and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and the Public Theater was cited by President Clinton’s Council on the Arts and Humanities in its 1996 report, Coming Up Taller. At Lincoln Center, she consulted for New Victory Theatre, where she designed the arts education program for their inaugural season. Taylor also served as cultural director for Gay Games IV, where she oversaw the production of more than 200 cultural events, including the Broadway production of Sir Ian McKellen’s A Knight Out. For 12 years she served as a Russian and Arabic linguist in the US Navy. While overseas, she oversaw productions for the United Service Organization in Greece and managed Armed Forces Radio and Television in Turkey where she created the Profiles in Black history series. Following her graduation from Kendall College’s culinary program in 2001, Taylor opened Taylor-Made Cuisine, a gourmet catering company as well as Home Café, a neighborhood bistro. In 2005, she helped open and served as the catering chef for Chicago’s EatZi’s Easygoing Gourmet, a chain of gourmet bakeries, take out markets and restaurants based out of Dallas, Texas.

About the Goodman’s Education and Community Engagement
In addition to SSS, Goodman Theatre offers a variety of programming to enable Chicagoland learners of all ages to interact with working theater professionals and deepen the experience of the work on stage. CONTEXT: Discourse & Discussion is a series designed to engage the community in debate, dialogue and deeper exploration of themes within Goodman productions. Unlike a traditional post-show discussion which centers on the production, CONTEXT events focus on particular issues raised within the plays and explore how they resonate in today’s culture. Cindy Bandle Young Critics(CBYC) is a joint venture between Goodman Theatre and the Association for Women Journalists that introduces 11th grade girls to the art of theater criticism and the world of professional writing. Participants see every show in the Goodman’s season, interview theater artists and receive one-on-one mentoring from professional journalists. CBYC is named in honor of Goodman Theatre’s late, longtime press director, Cindy Bandle.General Theater Studies (GTS) is a six-week summer intensive for 14 –19-year olds with a focus on critical thinking, literacy, oral history and storytelling. Designed to validate student voices, help them examine their creativity and introduce them to the creation of theater, GTS is an ensemble-building program that culminates in an original student performance. The Goodman’s Youth Art Council (GYAC) allows past participants in theater programs to stay involved in the institution. Members of this leadership development program are committed to exposing their peers to theatrical productions and act as ambassadors for the Goodman in their communities and schools.GeNarrations is a writing workshop for senior citizens in which participants develop personal narrative performance pieces based on themes raised by Goodman Theatre productions, which they are then invited to perform in a public forum.