Objects in the Mirror

Apr 29 - Jun 4, 2017 In the Albert
Approximate running time: 2 hours and 15 minutes including one intermission

  • "★★★★ (out of four)"— Chicago Tribune

Surviving war is only the beginning of this refugee's fight.

Who is Shedrick Yarkpai? Escaping the horrors of his war-torn homeland, this Liberian refugee hopes to begin anew in Australia. But his path to peace is haunted by an explosive family secret, and Shedrick must confront the ghosts of his past to reclaim his present. Charles Smith illuminates a war refugee’s dangerous odyssey in this gripping new play about identity, survival and the sacrifices of assimilation.


Why Objects in the Mirror? A Note from Artistic Director Robert Falls

Of the many plays we at the Goodman have showcased during our annual New Stages Festival, few have sparked the excitement and admiration expressed by audiences two years ago for the developmental production of Charles Smith's Objects in the Mirror.

Creating the Objects in the Mirror: A Conversation with Playwright Charles Smith

Shortly before rehearsals began for Objects in the Mirror, playwright Charles Smith spoke with the play's dramaturg Jonathan L. Green about the true life inspiration for the story and his enduring partnership with director Chuck Smith. Jonathan L.

A Region Divided: 14 Years of War in West Africa

Objects in the Mirror 's protagonist, Shedrick Yarkpai, begins his journey in his West African coastal home of Liberia, where the lingering trauma of two connected civil wars (spanning 1989-2003) has left much of the country in physical and economic ruin to this day-parts of Monrovia, the capital city, lost power in a 1989 attack, and remain without electricity.

Seeking Refuge: Fighting for a Chance at Freedom

As the curtain rises on Charles Smith's Objects in the Mirror, Liberian refugee Shedrick Yarkpai has been resettled in Australia - one of more than one million refugees displaced when their homes and communities were destroyed in the Liberian civil wars.

Press & Reviews

'Objects in the Mirror': An African teen's place in the world is made grippingly clear

At one point in "Objects in the Mirror," the gripping story of an African refugee who somehow makes it out of a Guinean refugee camp that held 90,000 hopefuls in a petri dish of malaria, dysentery, cholera and violent government oppression, a young man stands on a bucolic beach and quietly stares at the Indian Ocean.

Paying the price for survival in potent 'Objects in the Mirror'

Charles Smith has given us many fascinating, historically rooted plays about relatively unexplored aspects of black life - from "Black Star Line" (about the rise of Jamaican immigrant Marcus Garvey and his Back to Africa movement of the 1920s), to "Knock Me a Kiss" (about the complex marriage between W.E.B.

Talks & Events
low vision and blind services  PATRONS WHO ARE BLIND OR HAVE LOW VISION

Large print programs: available to download in Microsoft Word format for all shows prior to a performance. Download program.

Braille programs: available day of the performance from the Guest Services desk

Audio Described performance: Saturday, May 27 at 2pm
Blind and low vision patrons receive a headset for one ear that allows them to listen to a description of the key visual elements of a performance while still hearing the actors. These descriptions are inserted into natural pauses in the show.  For access to reserved, discounted seating enter the promo code AUDIO when purchasing online or call the box office at 312.443.3800 (voice) or 312.443.3829 (TTY/TDD).

Touch Tour: May 27 at 12:30pm
The tour will feature a 45-60 minute presentation detailing the set, costume and character elements for the performance. When reserving tickets please indicate how many people will be in your party for both the Touch Tour and the performance.


hearing impaired services


Assistive Listening Devices: Both the Albert and the Owen are equipped with FM frequency assistive listening devices. You may use your own headphones, or they will be provided for you. In addition, neck loops are available that are compatible with t-coil hearing aids. Devices are available at the Guest Services desk in the Goodman lobby. Assistive listening devices are offered free of charge, but a driver's license or valid ID is required as security.

Open Captioned Performance:  Saturday, June 3 at 2pm

For hard of hearing or deaf patrons, an LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance.  For access to reserved, discounted seating enter the promo code OPEN when purchasing online or call the box office at 312.443.3800 (voice) or 312.443.3829 (TTY/TDD).

American Sign Language Interpretation: Wednesday, May 31 at 7:30pm

ASL interpreters are located near the stage for deaf patrons seated in an area of the theater that gives the best sight lines to follow the interpretation and the action on stage. To access reserved, discounted seating in the front five rows for a signed performance, enter the promo code SIGN when purchasing online or call the box office at 312.443.3800 (voice) or 312.443.3829 (TTY/TDD).


mobility services 


Goodman Theatre has accessible wheelchair/scooter locations in both the Albert and Owen* theaters.

Depending on your preferences, you can use the promo codes below to access special reserved seat locations when purchasing tickets online:

  • Enter promo code TRANSFER if you wish to transfer to a theater seat from your walker, wheelchair or scooter.
  • Enter promo code REMOVAL if you require a location where a seat can be removed for you to stay in your wheelchair/scooter while you watch the performance.

Please call ticket services at 312.443.3800 if you have questions or would like to purchase over the phone. All of our ticket representatives can assist you in finding a seat location to fit your needs.

Goodman Theatre has a wheelchair on site, which may be used to transport patrons to and from assigned seats. For use of the on-site wheelchair, contact house management at 312.443.3818.

*Although the Owen Theatre is a general admission house, accessible seats will be reserved for you on the seating level you purchase.

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