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What Are the Odds?

Three out of seven members of Goodman Theatre collective are Northwestern faculty

December 13, 2010 | by Wendy Leopold
EVANSTON, Ill. --- “Spinning into Butter,” Rebecca Gilman’s provocative play about race, racism and political correctness, premiered at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in 1999. Now Gilman, who teaches in Northwestern University’s School of Communication, has been named a member of the Goodman Theatre’s Artistic Collective.

The collective is a group of outstanding American theatre artists who make the Goodman Theatre their home. Gilman, associate professor of radio/television/film at Northwestern, replaces Tony Award-winning director and Northwestern University Professor Emeritus Frank Galati. Galati has been a member of the collective since its inception 24 years ago.

With the addition of Gilman, three out of seven members of the Goodman’s Artistic Collective remain Northwestern faculty. Gilman joins Henry Godinez, associate professor of theatre, and Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman, Jaharis Family Professor of Performance Studies, as part of the group.

After its run at the Goodman, “Spinning Into Butter” was produced in New York at Lincoln Center Theatre. In 2007, the play, which is set on a New England college campus, was made into a movie starring Sarah Jessica Parker. It will be performed at Northwestern’s Theatre and Interpretation Center’s Josephine Louis Theater, on the Evanston campus from Jan. 28 through Feb. 6.

Gilman’s plays include “Boy Gets Girl” (2003), which Time magazine named one of the best theatre productions of the decade, and an adaptation of Carson McCullers’ “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” named by Time as one of 2009’s top 10 plays. “A True History of the Johnstown Flood,” which debuted this year at the Goodman Theatre, is on Time’s top-10 list of 2010 plays and musicals.

Gilman, whose play “The Glory of Living” was a 2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist, is a core faculty member of Northwestern’s MFA Program in Writing for the Screen and Stage. She has collaborated with the Goodman six times in the last 10 years.

Other members of the Goodman Artistic Collective are actor Brian Dennehy, playwright, director and actor Regina Taylor and directors Steve Scott and Chuck Smith.

This year, Taylor has been directing and curating a multimedia project with Northwestern students. “The State(s) of America: The Regina Taylor Project,” will include original student plays, video shorts, songs and photographs that examine the issues now facing our nation. It will be presented at the Ethel M. Barber Theater on the University’s Evanston campus from March 4 through 6 in 2011.

Topics: People