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A Free Celebration of New Work

November 30 – December 10, 2023
Goodman’s Owen Theatre

Goodman Theatre presents its New Stages Festival, now in its 19th year–an annual celebration of innovative, risky new work by some of the country’s most singular and ambitious playwrights.

Since New Stages’ 2004 inception, over 100 plays have been produced as developmental productions and staged readings. Join us for a first look at these exciting new works. Full line-up below.

Most offerings in this year’s Festival contain mature themes. Please visit the individual production pages for content advisories and age guidelines.

All remaining performances in our New Stages Festival are sold out. Standby tickets may be available during the day of the performance but are not guaranteed. For standby seating, please arrive before the performance time and check in with the box office. Questions? Call 312.443.3800 (12noon – 5pm, daily).


Phone: 312.443.3800
TTY/TDD: 312.443.3829
Group Sales: 312.443.3815

Open Daily, 12noon – 5pm.

On days with performances, the Box Office walk-up window is open one half-hour after curtain time.

the 2023 lineup

Check out the new plays lined up for our 19th edition of the New Stages Festival and reserve your tickets today!

Developmental musical reading


Book by Zayd Ayers Dohrn
Music and Lyrics by Tom Morello

Directed by Steve H. Broadnax III
Goodman’s Owen Theatre

Soldier and aspiring musician Hampton Weems comes home from Afghanistan to find the South Side of Chicago is also occupied territory – and he’s accidentally joined the resistance. Featuring songs by Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Nightwatchman, Street Sweeper Social Club), Revolution(s) is a punk/metal/hip-hop musical about a young artist finding his voice, why violence is as American as cherry pie, and how young radicals, across generations, are still motivated by love.

Tickets are Free; reservations are required.

November 30 – December 10, 2023



Slippin’ Through the Cracks: The Blues Journey of Bobby Rush

Book by Stephen Helper & Bobby Rush
Music and Lyrics by Bobby Rush

Directed by Stephen Helper & Arminda Thomas
Goodman’s Owen Theatre

From busting his back on sharecropped fields to busting through color barriers on Chicago’s South Side, Blues superstar Bobby Rush has a story of resilience, joy and reconciliation. This new musical, created with Stephen Helper, includes over 25 of Rush’s iconic house-shaking hits.

Tickets are Free; reservations are required.

Friday, December 8 at 7:30pm


staged READINGs

Black Bear Island

Written by Karissa Murrell Myers
Directed by Henry Godinez
Goodman’s Owen Theatre

After the mysterious death of her estranged childhood sweetheart, Amitra suddenly returns home to Black Bear Island, where memories of her past start to unfog. In this new gothic, magical-realistic thriller, Karissa Murrell Myers explores regret, the unreliableness of our own memories and the paths we choose to become who we are.

Tickets are Free; reservations are required.

Friday, December 1 at 7:30pm
Saturday, December 9 at 10am


Perry Street

Written by Lucy Thurber
Directed by Thomas Sadoski
Goodman’s Owen Theatre

Phil and Maggie live leisurely in the West Village, finding joy in bringing artists home and making them a special part of their family. But when their daughter brings home her new partner, the comfortable dynamic shifts in unsettling ways. Lucy Thurber’s provocative new play asks: what are you willing to pay for the people and things you desire most?

Tickets are Free; reservations are required.

Saturday, December 2 at 2pm
Saturday, December 9 at 2pm


Cephianne’s Reflection

Written by Mallory Raven-Ellen Backstrom
Directed by Malkia Stampley

Goodman’s Owen Theatre

For centuries, the inhabitants of the invisible island Ma Isle have received special gifts. Until Cephianne fails her seeking ritual and discovers an enthralling man in her mirror. Mallory Raven-Ellen Backstrom’s fairytale is a tribute to the Gullah dialect and culture of coastal Georgia, where descendants of enslaved peoples turn pain into power.

Tickets are Free; reservations are required.

Saturday, December 2 at 7:30pm
Sunday, December 10 at 10am