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Black and white image of artist and Goodman Associate Artistic Director Michael Maggio.

Michael Maggio Directing Fellowship

Honoring a Great Artist

The death on August 19, 2000 of Goodman Associate Artistic Director Michael Maggio robbed the American theater of one of its most articulate and versatile directors. As the veteran of more than 60 productions in theaters around the country, Michael was a consummate artist who was equally at home in nearly any dramatic genre, from new plays to classics, grand scale musicals to intimate realistic dramas. The list of his Goodman Theatre credits recalls some of the most acclaimed productions in the theater’s recent history: a landmark Romeo and Juliet, set in Chicago’s Little Italy in 1919; the sumptuous Sondheim musicals Sunday in the Park with George and A Little Night Music; the frantic comedy of Keith Reddin’s Black Snow; the haunting beauty of the musical adaptation of Wings; and the much-lauded world premiere of Rebecca Gilman’s Boy Gets Girl. But there were some common elements to all of his work: a fascination with the human condition in all of its guises; an unerring grace and intelligence; and the passionate belief in the power of the theater to illuminate and transform. Michael directed a total of 22 productions at the Goodman, making him the most-produced director in the theater’s modern era. In addition to his duties at Goodman, he served as the Dean of The Theatre School at DePaul University, which gave him the chance to pass his passion for excellence and his generosity of spirit on to another generation.

In recognition of Michael’s artistry and his dedication to nurturing young artists, Goodman Theatre established the annual Michael Maggio Fellowship. The fellowship, which is awarded each fall, honors an early-career Chicago-based director, providing that artist with a stipend, an opportunity to assist one of the theater’s resident directors on a Goodman production, and the chance to become involved in the ongoing artistic life of the Goodman.

Jamal Howard, 2023 Maggio Directing Fellow

Jamal Howard, he/him is a Chicago-based director and choreographer. He is the co-artistic director of New American Folk Theatre and an associate company member with TUTA Theatre. Howard recently choreographed Masks Off for Goodman Theatre’s 2021/22 Playwrights Unit. Select directing and choreography credits include The Great Khan (Redtwist Theatre); tick, tick…Boom! (Boho Theatre); The Apple Tree (Porchlight Music Theatre); 8-Track: The Sounds of the 70s, Songs for A New World (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre); R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (Right Angle Entertainment/National Tour); CorduroyThe WizMagic Tree House (Emerald City Theatre); Dirty GirlScrapsDark of the Moon (New American Folk Theatre) and The Mole Hill Stories (Madison Children’s Theatre). Howard served as the associate artistic director of Emerald City Theatre and has worked with Filament Theatre, First Floor Theater, After School Matters, Mudlark Theater, Artemisia Theatre and CircEsteem.

Past Maggio Fellows

Past recipients of the Michael Maggio Directing Fellowship have included the following outstanding directors: