Future Labs

Goodman Theatre is now encouraging project proposals for the new Future Labs, a series of workshops and presentations written and led by artists of color, beginning in early 2021. We are seeking bold, imaginative works from Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI, SWANA and other playwrights of color for development and public presentation. Future Labs is curated by Associate Director of Education & Engagement Quenna L. Barrett, Literary and New Works Manager Jonathan L. Green, Associate Producer Ken-Matt Martin, and a cross-departmental team of Goodman staff holding intersectional identities.


Each project will be supported with:

  • 15 hours of rehearsal and development (projects at the beginning of 2021 will be hosted virtually, and projects later in the year will happen in person once it is safe to do so)
  • An optional free public reading
  • Individualized dramaturgical support and feedback from Goodman artistic staff
  • Casting by Goodman’s Casting Associate Rachael Jimenez


Proposal process:

  • Project proposals are open to all Chicago-based playwrights of color who have not yet had a full production at Goodman Theatre.
    • If you have had other readings or developmental processes here, or if you are or have been a member of the Playwrights Unit, but you have not had a full production, you are still eligible for this program.
  • Proposed plays must have, at minimum, a full first draft. They must be either unproduced or have had not more than one professional production in the past 10 years.
  • Proposals should be emailed to FutureLabs@GoodmanTheatre.org as either a Microsoft Word file or a PDF file. Proposals should include:
    • the full script of the play being proposed without the playwright’s name on the script
    • a brief introductory note that includes:
      • the name or names of any Chicago-based directors of color you are interested in working with. Projects may, but are not required to, be made in concert with a director. If your project is selected, we will be happy to work with you to identify an ideal collaborator.
      • your resume, and/or brief bio, in any format, highlighting what you want us to know about you and your work.
      • a sentence or two notating whether you think this project could benefit from a digital/virtual workshop in the first half of 2021, or whether you’d rather wait for the potential of an in-person workshop later in the year.
      • any major, long term conflicts that will make you unavailable for a period of weeks or months between January and August 2021. We want to work around your schedule.
      • anything else you’d like for us to know or think about as we read your work.


Programming process:

  • All proposed developmental projects will be read and considered by an evaluation and curation team comprising primarily staff of color, representing departments throughout the organization.
  • Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis starting immediately, and the workshops will be programmed and announced two to three at a time throughout the season. There is no final deadline currently, but we encourage you to make your proposal as soon as you are comfortable. The first selected project’s workshop will commence in January or February 2021. Goodman will program eight to nine workshops in the first eight months of 2021.


Other things to keep in mind:

  • Goodman will retain a three-month option on all accepted projects, and all projects will be considered for future developmental or production opportunities on Goodman’s main stages.
  • We request that playwrights not submit more than one project for consideration every six months. We will not program more than one play per playwright, nor hire the same director on more than one project, within the first nine months of this program.
  • We are currently unable to support musical works in this program due to the expanded nature of those creative teams, though we hope to find ways to support those projects in the future.
  • All artists will be paid for their work in the workshop and public presentation. Playwrights will receive a fee of $500, and their directors will receive a fee of $350.

Questions? Email FutureLabs@GoodmanTheatre.org and let’s chat!


Current & Upcoming Readings

  • The Secretaries

    The Secretaries

    Streaming live on Zoom Saturday, February 27 at 7pm CST

    Berlin, 1944: four women in Aryan drag vie to be the Führer’s personal secretary as he heads into a bunker with his girlfriend. It’s a rough time to be a German, but this is a chance to search for greater importance in a national capacity. Omer Abbas Salem’s fearsome, absurd new work examines complicity and the lies we tell ourselves as we mistake self-interest and supremacy for patriotism. Directed by Audrey Francis.


  • Tokens of Promise

    Tokens of Promise

    Streaming live on Zoom Saturday, March 20 at 7pm CST

    There’s only one open “diversity” analyst position at this start-up. And the minorities must duke it out to access the sweet privilege of employment. A wicked satire about the modern-day job search and scarcity mentality, Ada A.’s new play exposes the inherent competition in employment that leads us to forsake our humanity out of necessity and survival. Directed by Sydney Chatman.




Future Labs Sponsors

Have a question?
Email FutureLabs@GoodmanTheatre.org