Goodman Theatre Announces World Premiere of graveyard shift

Rising stars playwright korde arrington tuttle and director Danya Taymor reunite for the world premiere production of graveyard shift, following its appearance as a developmental production in the Goodman’s 2018 New Stages Festival. Featuring an ensemble cast of five, graveyard shift is an unflinching but open-hearted look at how we navigate a world full of fear, loosely inspired by the legacy of Sandra Bland. Casting note: Debo Balogun replaces previously announced actor Kyle Vincent Terry, who has left the production. Full casting is below. graveyard shift appears through March 8 in the Goodman’s 350-seat Owen Theatre. Tickets ($10-45; subject to change) are on sale now at GoodmanTheatre.org/graveyardshift, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Goodman Theatre is grateful for the institutional support of the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation.

“I am thrilled to present this world premiere production, which marks korde’s Goodman debut,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “Through his deftly poetic dialogue and rich character development, korde lays bare the human cost of senseless bigotry. Making her Goodman debut along with korde is director Danya Taymor, who has worked closely with korde during the play’s development process, including at our 2018 New Stages Festival. During that festival, I sensed Danya’s keen understanding of korde’s work and admired her poetic staging. graveyard shift is a vital, pressing work.”

When she receives the opportunity of a lifetime, Janelle relocates to Texas and moves in with her partner, Kane. Meanwhile, a small-town police officer’s life is thrown into flux when the coworker he’s romantically involved with decides to leave town. When their worlds collide, Janelle experiences firsthand how dangerous power can be.

“It is a rare gift for a director to get to attempt a piece more than once,” said Director Danya Taymor. “Within the show there is so much about distance, how far we have to go to self-actualize, to find humility in love, to take up space in the world and go after what we want. It feels important for the audience to witness this story as a community, because it concerns all of us as Americans and human beings. The audience envelops the stage, evoking to me the sense of a town hall or a community meeting. The stage is strong and simple, playing with distance, fate and the sense of a dreadful mechanism larger than all of the characters at work.”

The ensemble cast features Debo Balogun (Kane), Keith D. Gallagher (Brian), Rae Gray (Elise), Aneisa Hicks (Janelle) and Lia D. Mortensen (Trish). The creative team includes Kristen Robinson (Set Design), Montana Levi Blanco (Costume Design), Marcus Doshi (Lighting Design) and Richard Woodbury (Original Music and Sound Design). Rebekah Heusel is the Production Stage Manager.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT AND DIRECTOR

korde arrington tuttle (Playwright) is a multi-disciplinary artist from Charlotte, NC. His work has been seen at Ojai Playwrights Conference, The Fire This Time Festival, HomeBase Theatre Collective, The Movement Theatre Company, 2015’s AfroFuturism Conference and The Tenth Magazine. Tuttle is a recipient of the Steinberg Playwriting Fellowship and a finalist for both 2017 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Contest and City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting Contest. Film credits include Them: Covenant and Mix Tape. tuttle is a current playwright-in-residence at Lincoln Center Theater and a Middle Voice Theatre Company Member at Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater. He received his MFA from The New School.

Danya Taymor (Director) is a New York based director and translator. Recent credits include Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Playwright Horizons); “Daddy” (Vineyard Theatre, The New Group); Pass Over (Steppenwolf, Lincoln Center)Familiar (Steppenwolf); queens (LCT3); The Sensuality Party (The New Group); Wyoming (Lesser America); My Daughter Keeps Our HammerThe Place We Built and I Hate Fucking Mexicans (The Flea Theater). Her production of Pass Over was filmed by Spike Lee, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is streaming on Amazon prime. Taymor is an alumna of the Women’s Project Lab, Sundance Theatre Lab, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, Van Lier Fellowship and the 2050 Fellowship at NYTW, where she is a Usual Suspect.

Audiences can save more with Goodman Theatre’s MEMBERSHIP packages—including Classic, 6-play, 4-play or 2-play packages; Choice, a personalized package that can include both Owen and Albert productions; and Whenever—the ultimate flexible package, to be used at any time during the season. Goodman Members receive unlimited ticket exchanges, discounted parking, 15% savings at the Goodman bar and gift shop, restaurant discounts and more. To purchase a Membership visit GoodmanTheatre.org/Memberships or call the Box Office at 312.443.3800.

DRINKS & DISCUSSION – Throughout the run | pre- and post-show | Goodman Theatre | Free | Enhance your theater-going experience with the Drinks & Discussion Series! Stay after, or arrive early, to select performances to enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and discussion led by a member of the Goodman’s Artistic Team. For dates and times, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/DrinksDiscussion

ARTIST ENCOUNTER– February 16, 2020 | 5:30pm reception & discussion | 7:30pm performance | Join graveyard shift director Danya Taymor and playwright korde arrington tuttle in a pre-show reception with complimentary food and drinks as they discuss their process in creating graveyard shift’s unflinching but open-hearted look at how we navigate a world full of fear and love, inspired by the real life story of Sandra Bland.

ACCESSIBILITY AT THE GOODMAN

Touch Tour, March 1 at 12:30pm – A presentation detailing the set, costume and character elements
Audio-Described Performance, March 1 at 2pm – The action/text is audibly enhanced for patrons via headset
ASL-Interpreted Performance, March 7 at 2pm – Professional ASL interpreter signs the action/text as played
Open-Captioned Performance, March 8 at 2pm – An LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance
Visit Goodman Theatre.org/Access for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts.

ABOUT GOODMAN THEATRE

Chicago’s theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit arts and community organization in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and community engagement. Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics. Artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards and more than 160 Jeff Awards, among other accolades. The Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” Its longtime annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, now in its fourth decade, has created a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production and program partner with national and international companies and Chicago’s Off-Loop theaters.

ABOUT GOODMAN THEATRE

Chicago’s theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit arts and community organization in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and community engagement. Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics. Artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards and more than 160 Jeff Awards, among other accolades. The Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” Its longtime annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, now in its fourth decade, has created a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production and program partner with national and international companies and Chicago’s Off-Loop theaters.

As a cultural and community organization invested in quality, diversity and community, Goodman Theatre is committed to using the art of theater for a better Chicago. Using the tools of the theatrical profession, the Goodman’s Education and Engagement programs aim to develop generations of citizens who understand the cultures and stories of diverse voices. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of these programs, which are offered free of charge for Chicago youth—85% of whom come from underserved communities—schools and life-long learners.

Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.

Today, Goodman Theatre leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian DennehyRebecca GilmanHenry GodinezDael Orlandersmith, Steve ScottKimberly Senior, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary ZimmermanDavid W. Fox, Jr. is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Denise Stefan Ginascol is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals