Skip to Main Content

Apply for the new stages Residency

New Stages Residency

Goodman Theatre’s New Stages Residency (formerly the Playwrights Unit) is a year-long program for Chicago-area generative theater artists. Established in 2010, the program commissions up to four theatrical projects each year, with commissioned artists meeting bi-monthly with the Goodman’s artistic staff and other cohort artists to develop their new works. Each selected project is awarded a $5,000 commission and is offered mid-point and final readings of their plays at the Goodman. Members are also considered artists-in-residence at the theater: they are invited to opening nights, meetings, rehearsals and special events as available.

The New Stages Residency has expanded guidelines from the Playwrights Unit, and will consider any of the following types of project proposals:

  • Single-author works and multiple-author works
  • Non-musical and musical works (including both traditional musicals and plays with music)
  • Works of different generative modalities

Additionally, we are considering proposals from former members of the Playwrights Unit, provided the proposal is for a new and unwritten project.


Applicants must:

  • be based, at least in part, in the Chicagoland area.
  • be available to meet at the theater in person twice a month during business hours.
  • have had at least one fully-produced play and/or have substantial experience in the development of new theatrical work.

If submitting a multi-author proposal, at least one member of the writing team must meet each of the above qualifications.

Women, writers of color, trans and non-binary writers, and writers with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applications for the New Stages Residency are now open. The deadline for applications is June 12, 2023, at 5 PM CT. Decisions will be made and all applicants will the notified of the status of their proposal by late August 2023.

Applicants should send the following to

  • An introductory statement (approximately 500 words) that includes:
    • Why and how your proposed project would benefit from the New Stages Residency process as described on this page (see further description in the FAQ below).
    • A description of the new work you are proposing to create and develop during your time as a Resident. The proposed work must be brand new and unwritten; extant plays proposed for further development will not be considered.
    • Any additional needs you anticipate for the development of your specific work in a cohort setting.
  • A professional resume reflective of your artistic practices, including any plays written and produced, and any other experiences or details you would like to share with us.
  • A 20-page sample of a work you created in the last year or two that you feel best reflects your voice and current interests as an artist and/or a link to up to 10 minutes of video or audio of a past work. If your proposal is selected as a semi-finalist, we will request additional materials, which may include a full manuscript.

Multi-author proposals should submit only one application package. This should include a jointly written introductory statement, a resume for each author, and a work sample representative of each author (which could be a single past work authored by the same writing team or individual works by each author).


  • What can I expect from a Residency meeting?
    • Typically, two projects will share pages or other materials during each three-hour meeting. Meetings are attended by the Goodman artistic staff members and the other cohort members, who will read, listen to, and discuss pages. Please be mindful, if submitting a work that involves music, you will receive feedback from other artists who may not read sheet music or share your musical vocabulary.
  • When and where are Residency meetings?
    • Residency meetings typically last three hours and are scheduled twice a month, between the hours of 10 AM and 6 PM. Meetings ideally occur in-person at the Goodman Theatre (170 N Dearborn St), though accommodations can be made for hybrid meetings in extenuating circumstances. At this time, we are not able to provide travel funds to and from the theater for meetings.
  • How do you define “fully-produced play?”
    • Fully-produced productions can include both professional and academic productions.
  • How is authorship shared in a multi-author proposal?
    • It’s up to you – At the start of the Residency, co-authors will determine how they are credited and how the $5,000 commission fee is split.
  • Who will be reviewing my application?
    • The evaluation includes members of the Goodman artistic staff, current and previous Playwrights Unit members, members of the Goodman Artistic Collective, current and former Maggio Directing Fellows, and the Staff Evaluation Team, which is a cross-departmental team of Goodman staff from all departments of the administration, holding intersectional identities.

If your question is not answered here, please send inquiries to