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A FREE seven-week theater intensive for students at the Goodman

About the Program ▼

Program Dates ▼


Past Performances ▼

The Goodman’s PlayBuild – Youth Intensive is an entirely FREE, seven-week program, introducing 14 to 18-year-old students in the Chicago metropolitan area to theater arts. Held at the Goodman, this program gives students the opportunity to learn skills from local theater professionals that are instantly applicable not only to the world of theater, but also their world at large.

PlayBuild acquaints students to the techniques used for devised theater, building and refining their skills in:

  • Performance
    • Acting
    • Space Work and Physical Theater
    • Fight Choreography
    • Improv
  • Creative Writing
    • Storytelling
    • Poetry
    • Comedy
  • Communication
    • Interviewing
    • Team Building
    • Critical Analysis
    • Public Speaking

Designed to validate the voices of its participants and get them to examine their own potential for creativity, PlayBuild introduces students to all elements of the creation of theater, culminating in a performance on the Goodman’s stage.

Building on the legacies of artists like Viola Spolin and techniques like Viewpoints, participants weave together their own stories and stories collected from their communities through interviews and research, culminating in a public performance of an original work. This ensemble-building program invites students to explore how each of us contributes to the human drama. In addition, students will be able to collectively develop and design sound and costumes for the production.

Interested in musical theater? Learn more about the Goodman’s Musical Theater Intensive.


Program Dates

The 2023 session of PlayBuild will run Mondays through Thursdays from 9am-1pm. The program begins on June 26 and culminates with a final performance on August 7, time TBD.

Applications are now open for our third and final round of auditions, which will take place virtually. Young people interested in PlayBuild should answer the following questions in a ninety-second to two-minute video.

  • What’s one thing that brings you joy?
  • What’s something that you’ve overcome?
  • What are some words you live by? Like a life motto, movie quote, something from your momma?
  • How do you like to collaborate with others? Especially when making art?
  • When it’s all said and done, what’s the impact you want to leave on the world?

After filling out the form below,  you will receive a link with further instructions about how to upload your video audition.

The final deadline to apply to PlayBuild is Friday, June 2.

Apply Now


Watch the full length performance of the 2018 final performance: 1968: The Revolution Remastered.

You can also watch the full length PlayBuild (formerly General Theater Studies) 2016 final performance, Fight or Flight, 2015 final performance, The Water is Rising, 2014 final performance, Heartscape, 2012 final performance,  Fear and Progress,  view photos from Domino Effect, the General Theater Studies 2009 final performance, or view photos from (R)Evolution, the 2010 final performance!