Education & Engagement


The Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement at Goodman Theatre launches a new era for the theater’s decades-long commitment to using its art as education in service of positive social change. “The Alice” is a brand new 10,000 square-foot, LEED-certified nucleus of classrooms, a hands-on STEM learning lab, rehearsal spaces and more; audiences enter the facility via the mezzanine lobby. Under Willa Taylor, Walter Director of Education and Engagement, the Alice will enable the Goodman to impact hundreds more Chicago youth and learners of all ages and backgrounds through expanded programming. 

Recent Press Releases

October 12, 2016 | Cindy Bandle Young Critics Celebrate 10 years 
June 2, 2016 | Summer Programming Announced in the "Alice"

VIDEO and AUDIO
Education Program Montage HD:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/
aha0tosi1d4anln/Education%20Montage_5.20_HD.mov?dl=0

Education Programs Montage | Goodman Theatre 

If you are interested in learning more and/or pursuing a story about the Alice, we will be happy to arrange and interview for you with its creative leadership, led by Willa J. Taylor, Walter Director of Education and Engagement. 

Education & Engagement

  • _Alice 1
    _Alice 1

    Entrance to the Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement at Goodman Theatre 

    Read more

  • _Alice 2
    _Alice 2

    The Clifford Family Lobby in the Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement at Goodman Theatre 

    Read more

  • _Alice 3
    _Alice 3

    Read more

  • _Alice 4
    _Alice 4

    The Walter Family Foundation Lab in the Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement at Goodman Theatre 

    Read more

  • _Hansberry Day 1
    _Hansberry Day 1

    Mamie Hansberry (Playwright Lorraine Hansberry's sister) at Lorraine Hansberry Day at Goodman Theatre 

    Read more

  • _Hansberry Day 2
    _Hansberry Day 2

    Chuck Smith at Lorraine Hansberry Day at Goodman Theatre on May 19 

    Read more

  • _Hansberry Day 3
    _Hansberry Day 3

    The cast of The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window at Lorraine Hansberry Day on May 19 at Goodman Theatre 

    Read more

  • _Hansberry Day 4
    _Hansberry Day 4

    Mamie Hansberry and students from Hansberry College Prep at Lorraine Hansberry Day on May 19 at Goodman Theatre 

    Read more

  • Cindy Bandle Young Critics (CBYC)
    Cindy Bandle Young Critics (CBYC)

    A joint venture between the Goodman and the Association for Women Journalists that introduces 11th grade girls to the art of theater criticism and professional writing. Participants see productions, interview 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.

    Read more

  • CONTEXT: Discourse & Discussion
    CONTEXT: Discourse & Discussion

    A series designed to engage the community in debate, dialogue and a deeper dive into the themes within Goodman productions. Unlike a traditional post-show discussion that centers on the production, CONTEXT explores how issues raised within the play resonate in today's culture. 

    Read more

  • GeNarrations
    GeNarrations

    A writing workshop for adults aged 55+ in which participants develop personal narrative performance pieces based on themes raised by Goodman productions and performed in a public forum.

    Read more

  • Goodman Youth Arts Council (GYAC)
    Goodman Youth Arts Council (GYAC)

    A leadership development program that allows youth who’ve previously participated in the Goodman’s education programs (SSS, CBYC or PlayBuild Youth Intensive) to stay involved after they’ve aged out. Members act as ambassadors for the Goodman in their communities and schools and work to expose their peers to Goodman productions.

    Read more

  • PlayBuild Youth Intensive
    PlayBuild Youth Intensive

    A comprehensive six-week intensive for designed to further critical thinking, literacy and storytelling skills in 14-18 year-old students. Taylor and her teaching artists introduce participants to theater using storytelling, ensemble building, object work and writing exercises. The program culminates in a student showcase.

    Read more

  • Student Subscription Series (SSS)
    Student Subscription Series (SSS)

    Engages more than 20 Chicago public high schools each year to creatively supplement students’ reading, writing, critical thinking and communication skills. Special matinee performances of Goodman productions are supplemented with exclusive teacher training workshops, educational guides and post-show discussions.

    Read more

  • Willa Taylor
    Willa Taylor

    WILLA J. TAYLOR is the Goodman’s director of education and community engagement. She 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. Ms. 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. In addition to a longtime career in the arts, Ms. Taylor brings to the Goodman a wealth of experience in other areas. For 12 years she served as a Russian and Arabic linguist in the U.S. 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.

    Read more