July 15 - 17, 2022 in the Healy Rehearsal Room

This summer, three plays written by members of the 2021/2022 Goodman Theatre Playwrights Unit cohort are showcased in live readings.

The process of creating a play, from inception to fully realized production, is often long and arduous. Each season, the Goodman Playwrights Unit commissions brand new plays from local writers and presents in-process readings of early drafts to Goodman audiences. See the classics of tomorrow today!

The Playwrights Unit is a program in which local writers meet twice a month to read and discuss their plays-in-process. Each writer possesses a unique voice, and each approaches writing differently; it is precisely this diversity that leads to fruitful discussions. Playwrights Unit plays are strongly considered for production in the Goodman’s New Stages Festival, Future Labs program, and/or mainstage programming. In recent years, audiences have seen Playwrights Unit works in the Owen Theatre such as Andrew Hinderaker’s The Magic Play, Seth Bockley's Ask Aunt Susan, Kristiana Rae Colón's florissant & canfield, Martín Zimmerman's The Solid Sand Below, and Ricardo Gamboa’s The Wizards.

Read Content Advisory Info
  • These plays contain adult language, descriptions of violence including sexual violence, and address themes of death and grief. For more information contact the box office at 312.443.3800


Please note: masks must be worn while inside the theater and children under 5 are not permitted. For a full list of Health and Safety protocols, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/Protocols.

Playwrights Unit


The Goodman Playwrights Unit is a season-long residency program for Chicago-area playwrights. Established in 2010, the program invites up to four playwrights each year to meet bi-monthly with the Goodman’s literary staff and other cohort writers to develop their new Goodman commissions. The playwrights are awarded a $3,000 commission and are offered mid-point and final readings of their plays at the Goodman. Playwrights are also considered artists-in-residence at the theatre: they are invited to opening nights, meetings, rehearsals and special events as available.

Staged Readings
  • Susan H. Pak, Masks Off

    Masks Off

    By Susan H. Pak
    Directed by Helen Young

    Friday, July 15 at 7pm

    Amy and Mo cling to their corrosive friendship as they navigate the perilous journey from girlhood to middle-age. Adorable Amy uses her feminine wiles to get what she wants, while merciless Mo relies on cunning and treachery. When the co-dependent besties finally turn on each other, will they survive their midlife crises alone?


  • Mallory Raven-Ellen Backstrom, A Darkling at Nightfall,

    A Darkling at Nightfall

    By Mallory Raven-Ellen Backstrom
    Directed by Ken-Matt Martin

    Saturday, July 16 at 7pm

    Evren is an anomaly in the universe: a feral woman, half human, raised in the wild by her father, a primordial forest spirit and mythic storyteller. Wildfires rage and climate disasters threaten the globe as she's suddenly sent into the realms of man and faerie. To save the natural world, she must find a way to appeal to the cold heart of mankind—before it’s too late. Mallory Raven-Ellen Backstrom’s new play is a supernatural fairytale exploring the untamed feminine, the interconnection of Earth and Spirit, and the power of the stories we tell to curse and to cure.


  • Omer Abbas Salem, Modern Women

    Modern Women

    By Omer Abbas Salem
    Directed by Sophiyaa Nayar

    Sunday, July 17 at 7pm

    Enter Dhruvy's beauty salon, nestled in a quiet Skokie strip mall, to hear three generations of Arab and Indian friends negotiate this brave new world. Omer Abbas Salem’s new play is a re-imagined American classic, spoken by immigrants and recolored by our love and supremely big feelings. Would you like mehndi, threading, or a blowout?