Playwrights Unit

July 21-23, 2016

2015/2016 Playwrights Unit

Each year, the Goodman selects four local playwrights to develop their work as members of the Playwrights Unit. Throughout the season, the writers meet regularly with the Goodman’s literary staff to read and discuss their works-in-progress. The members are chosen not only for their strong playwriting skills, but also for their aesthetic diversity; because each approaches playwriting differently, they are able to offer unique insights into one another’s work. This July, the Goodman presents staged readings of the works developed this year.

Playwrights Unit Readings

Women Rule The Stage: Join us for New Work from the Playwrights Unit. Tickets are free, but reservations are required.

  • July 21 2016
    Lamb Messina


    By Jenni Lamb
    Directed by Vanessa Stalling
    July 21, 2016 | 7:30pm | Polk Rehearsal Room

    Just as Odysseus was forced to choose between the Scylla and Charybdis in The Odyssey, first-time mother Cora must navigate the world of work and motherhood while trying not to lose herself on the journey. Reserve >> 


  • July 22 2016
    Delgado La Havana Madrid

    La Havana Madrid

    By Sandra Delgado
    Directed by Cheryl Lynn Bruce
    July 22, 2016 | 7:30pm | Polk Rehearsal Room

    In an immersive documentary theater experience inspired by the Chicago nightclub that once existed on the corner of Belmont and Sheffield, audiences are invited to share in the stories of the club’s patrons and musicians while chronicling the history of Caribbean Latino music through the 1960s. Reserve >>


  • July 23 2016
    west Tony Kushner...

    Tony Kushner Considers Writing a Gay Fantasia Based on National Themes

    By Calamity West
    Directed by Seth Bockley
    July 23, 2016 |2pm | Polk Rehearsal Room

    New York City, 1986. As a young playwright begins the biggest challenge of his life, the ghosts of characters-to-be collide with the real lives of a changing and dangerous metropolis almost a decade before history cracked open. Reserve >>


  • Florissant & Canfield

    By Kristiana Rae Colón
    Directed by Monty Cole
    July 23, 2016 |7:30pm | Polk Rehearsal Room

    Colliding in the unlikely Eden of a civil rights renaissance, a newly formed alliance of protesters are forced to put their nascent ideologies to the test in the quest for new visions of justice. The intersection of tear gas and teddy bear memorials refracts the realities of Ferguson in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. Reserve >>



Kristiana Rae Colón is a poet, playwright, actor, educator, Cave Canem Fellow and executive director of the #LetUsBreathe Collective. Her play Octagon, winner of Arizona Theater Company's 2014 National Latino Playwriting Award and Polarity Ensemble Theater's Dionysos Festival of New Work, had its world premiere at the Arcola Theater in London in September 2015. Her work was featured in Victory Gardens Theater's 2014 Ignition Festival. In 2013, she toured the U.K. with her collection of poems promised instruments, published by Northwestern University Press. In autumn 2012, she opened her one-woman show Cry Wolf at Teatro Luna in Chicago while her play but i cd only whisper had its world premiere at the Arcola Theater, followed by its New York premiere in the spring of 2016 at The Flea. She is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and one half of the brother/sister hip-hop duo April Fools. She appeared on the fifth season of HBO's Def Poetry Jam.

Sandra Delgado is a Colombian-American actor, singer, writer and producer born and raised in Chicago. She has appeared in many Goodman productions including 2666, The Upstairs Concierge, Pedro Paramo, El Nogalar, Chicago Boys, Electricidad, Massacre, Mariela in the Desert, A Christmas Carol and Zoot Suit. Other Chicago stage highlights include The Motherf**ker with the Hat and Sonia Flew (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), El Grito del Bronx (Teatro Vista, Collaboraction, Goodman Theatre), Anna in the Tropics (Victory Gardens Theater) and Summertime (Lookingglass Theatre Company). Her original work para Carmen premiered at Collaboraction's Sketchbook Festival and was later seen in the Goodman's Latino Theatre Festival in 2010. She is a founding ensemble member of Collaboraction and an ensemble member of Teatro Vista, where she served as associate artistic director from 2006 through 2008 and served as lead producer for the groundbreaking YO SOLO Festival of Latino Solo Shows with Collaboraction and Teatro Vista and produced Collaboraction's popular Sketchbook festival from 2005 through 2008. Ms. Delgado is on the National Steering Committee for the Latina/o Theatre Commons, an advocacy group for Latino theater artists. She was a Theatre Communications Group Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellow at the Goodman, where she developed her solo show, para Graciela. She is currently developing La Habana Madrid, both a documentary film and play about Caribbean Latinos and the salsa music scene in 1960s Chicago; she was recently granted the Joyce Award with Teatro Vista to support the development of the play and a 3ARTS 3AP grant to develop the film. Ms. Delgado can currently be heard as part of the city's “Statue Stories” exhibition recordings at the Alexander von Humboldt statue in Humboldt Park.

Jenni Lamb is a Chicago-based playwright and former improviser and actor. Her plays include 12th and Clairmount, Candy Store, Memento Polonia, Period Piece (with Lisa Linke), Suicide Kills, Quiver and Thou Proud Dream (with Damon Krometis). Ms. Lamb’s plays have had readings or productions with The Gift Theatre, American Theatre Company, Stage Left Theatre, Wordsmyth Theatre (Houston), Northwestern University, Route 66 and Chicago Dramatists. Her play Quiver received an honorable mention from The Kilroys List and was produced as part of the Route 66 season in spring 2016. Ms. Lamb is a two-time semi-finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and has received grants for her writing from the Illinois Arts Council. As an improviser, she has performed on many Chicago stages as well as national comedy festivals in New York, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. She is a producing playwright and member of Living Room Playmakers, a playwright collective focused on creating theater in unusual spaces. She holds an MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage from Northwestern University.

Calamity West is a Chicago-based award-winning playwright. Her Kilroys-cited play, Give It All Back, was developed with Sideshow Theatre Company and Victory Gardens Theater in 2015. Productions of her full-length plays include Rolling (Jackalope Theatre), Ibsen is Dead!, The Peacock (Jackalope Theatre/Kilroys Honorable Mention), The Gacy Play (Sideshow Theatre Company) and Common Hatred (The Ruckus). Ms. West’s short plays have been seen in Chicago with Victory Gardens Theater, The Inconvenience, Chicago Dramatists, Rhinofest, Abbie Fest, Chicago Home Theatre Festival, LiveWire, One-Minute Play Festival, Jackalope Theatre Company, The Anatomy Collective, Broken Nose Theatre, Fight Night, First Floor Theater and The Good Night Ladies. She is represented by The Gersh Agency.