Playwrights Unit

Goodman Theatre’s Playwrights Unit is an exciting program designed to support and develop new work by Chicago playwrights. Over the course of a season, a group of four commissioned writers meet bimonthly with members of the Goodman’s literary staff to develop and workshop their plays-in-progress. The experience culminates with concert readings of each of the new plays. The Playwrights Unit is a collaboration with Chicago Dramatists. Plays developed in the Unit have gone on to receive readings and workshop productions in the New Stages series, as well as full productions at the Goodman.

Press Release: Goodman Theatre Announces The Four Chicago Writers Named To The 2016/2017 Playwrights Unit | September 23, 2016

Playwrights Unit

  • Lucas Baisch
    Lucas Baisch

    Lucas Baisch is an interdisciplinary playwright and visual artist originally from San Francisco, based in Chicago. His work has been read and developed at InFusion Theatre Company, Salonathon, Victory Gardens Theater, Post Q at Links Hall, Gloucester Stage Company, Chicago Dramatists’ Saturday Series, The Bridge Program at American Theatre Company, The Wulfden, The DeYoung Museum, The Neo-Futurists’ Kitchen Festival, SF Playground, and DePaul University. Full-length productions include: The Scavengers (DePaul University), A Measure of Normalcy (Gloucester Stage Company), and Zipped & Pelted (The Wulfden/Chicago Fringe). He recently completed an eight-month residency as Gloucester Stage Company's 2015 Playwriting Apprentice and will be a 2017 artist-in-residence at Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC. Baisch has also self-published his digital zine series Taste Test since 2015. He received his BFA in playwriting from the Theatre School at DePaul University.

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  • Dawn Renee Jones
    Dawn Renee Jones

    Dawn Renee Jones is the recipient of the 2015 Ruby Prize for her play A Heap See. Her interdisciplinary collaboration with composer Carei Thomas and visual artist Seitu Jones entitled S’Kin received a workshop production at the Cornerstone Theatre’s Genesis Festival in New Brunswick, and was produced by Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis where it was recognized as one of the year’s best by the Twin Cities Reader. Her feature screenplay Man of the Word won Best Screenplay at the 2008 FilmColumbia Film Festival. Her writing career began on Madison Avenue where she wrote print and broadcast advertising at the Leo Burnett Company, Young & Rubicam and McCann Erickson advertising agencies and for broad range of national brands. She has been a script doctor on the feature screenplays for Columbia Pictures, Warner Brothers and Paisley Park. Jones was the founder and artistic director of Alchemy Theatre in Minneapolis where she also directed productions for Actors Theatre of St. Paul (The Blood Knot, If I’m Traveling on a Movin’ Train, and Water Torture), Alchemy Theatre (American Menu, A Raisin in the Sun), Mixed Blood (Ali), Penumbra Theatre (Suspenders), At the Foot of the Mountain Theatre (Angela, Going to Seed, Head Over Heels, Ida B. Wells, and Wake Up Call), Women’s Theatre Project (A Place on Earth) and Starting Gate Theatre (A Raisin in the Sun). She developed theatre curriculum for the State of Minnesota’s Professional Development Institute at the Perpich Center for the Arts, has been an artist in residence at K-12 schools in Minnesota and New York and taught theater history courses at Macalester College and Metropolitan State University. Jones has an MFA in creative writing with emphasis in playwriting from Goddard College.   

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  • Evan Linder
    Evan Linder

    Evan Linder is a founding member and the co-artistic director of The New Colony in Chicago. He works as a playwright, actor and director. He recently reprised the role of Jim in the remount of his play Byhalia, Mississippi, (2016 Non-Equity Jeff Award for new work) at Steppenwolf's 1700 Theatre. Other plays include FRAT, 11:11, The Warriors, The Bear Suit of Happiness (published by Chicago Dramaworks), B-Side Studio and 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche (published by Samuel French) which ran off-Broadway at the SoHo Playhouse (2012-2013) and has been performed all over the U.S., Europe and Australia. His newest play, The Hunted (co-written with Paul Oakley Stovall), recently received its first staged reading with About Face Theatre's “First Draaft” Series. Linder is beginning his fifth year as a guest lecturer at the University of Chicago where he has created three new playwriting courses. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and is represented by ICM.

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  • Emma Stanton
    Emma Stanton

    Emma Stanton is a Chicago and New York theater artist. Her plays include Bojko and the Glacier, Jitterbug, One Wood Road, Bountiful Planets, and No Candy. Her written collaborations include The Cure (Walkabout Theater Company), Storm (Walkabout Theater Company & London’s Moon Fool), Circle-Machine (Oracle Theater), and The Straight Line (American Theater Company, as part of their Chicago Chronicle Program). Additionally, Stanton has worked with such companies as Collaboraction, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Victory Gardens Theater, About Face Theatre, Redmoon Theater, Double Edge Theater, En Garde Arts, and Roundabout Theatre. Her play In the Danube was a recipient of a Civics and Arts Foundation Playwriting Award for Emerging Artists in Chicago, as well as a finalist for the 2016 Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville. For her play No Candy, Stanton was a finalist for the 2016 Susan Glaspell Award, a winner of the 2016 Columbia University/Roundabout Theater Underground Reading Series and the recipient of the 2016 Jane Chambers Feminist Playwriting Award. Most recently, she was the recipient of the 2016 Princess Grace Award Playwriting Fellowship, which includes a year-long residency at New Dramatists in New York. Stanton is the associate artistic director of Walkabout Theater Company in Chicago. 

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