December 1 - 18, 2022

A Free Celebration of New Work

Goodman Theatre presents its New Stages Festival, now in its 18th 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.

Read Content Advisory Info
  • The New Stages Festival is recommended for ages 14 and up. For more information contact the box office at 312.443.3800

Please Note: Masks are currently recommended, but not required, while in the theater. Policies may change based on prevailing medical guidance. Learn more about Goodman’s current Health and Safety Protocols at

The 2022 New Stages Ticket Info

All developmental productions and staged readings are FREE with reservations!

Are you a theater professional interested in attending our Professionals Weekend? Click Here to learn more.


Contact the box office at 312.443.3800 (12noon - 5pm, daily).

Developmental Productions
Full stagings of new plays in process
  • This Happened Once at the Romance Depot Off the I-87 in Westchester

    This Happened Once at the Romance Depot off the I-87 in Westchester

    By Gina Femia
    Directed by Kimberly Senior

    December 1 - 18, 2022, running in rotating repertory

    Kevin’s days are full of monotony, selling bondage gear and sex toys to ordinary customers. But when schoolteacher Beth blows into Kevin's store in desperate search for a vibrator, it sparks an unlikely relationship that forces them both to confront what they think they know about love, romance and sex. Revealing that nothing, and no one, are what they seem, Gina Femia’s hilarious and intimate new play asks us to re-examine ourselves, our fears, and our dreams.


  • Rust


    By Nancy García Loza
    Directed by Laura Alcalá Baker

    December 4 - 17, 2022, running in rotating repertory

    Güera, a young pocha, is trying very hard to be a perfect Mexican daughter and contain her glaring imperfections. The hot Chicago summer has her climbing trees, fighting with her brothers, and melting like a paleta under her parents’ searing gaze. Suddenly, when Abuelo moves in, Güera wonders if she really has to be perfect at all. Why be perfect when you can be free?


Staged Readings
  • White Monkey

    White Monkey

    By Charlie Oh
    Directed by Eric Ting

    Saturday, December 17 at 10:30 AM

    Li runs a "rent-a-foreigner" agency, loaning out white actors to Chinese businesses looking to boost their international prestige. She finally meets an assignment worthy of her creativity and ambition: populate an entire ghost city with white people in order to convince skeptical Chinese buyers to move in. It’s Li’s chance at the Chinese Dream, but what will this exorbitant lie cost her? A sweeping epic that takes us from the factories of Shenzen to the penthouses of the political elite, Charlie Oh's new play is an absurd, high-stakes tale of global hi-jinks with grave consequences.

    Read Content Advisory Info
    • White Monkey contains adult language, descriptions of violence, and sexual references. For more information contact the box office at 312.443.3800
  • Fever Dreams (of Animals on the Verge of Extinction)

    Fever Dreams (of Animals on the Verge of Extinction)

    By Jeffrey Lieber
    Directed by Susan V. Booth

    Saturday, December 17 at 2 PM

    For decades, Adele and Zachary have rendezvoused in a remote cabin in the woods to celebrate their passion and be together. This year, though, something has changed: the place is falling apart, a sense of loss pervades the air, they’re both keeping secrets, and Adele has brought a gun...her long-time husband Miller's gun. This new thriller from Jeffrey Lieber (co-creator of TV’s LOST) is equal parts romance, mystery, and emotional reckoning.

    Read Content Advisory Info
    • Fever Dreams (of Animals on the Verge of Extinction) contains adult language, sexual references, themes of death and grief, and descriptions of violence. For more information contact the box office at 312.443.3800
  • Modern Women

    Modern Women

    By Omer Abbas Salem
    Directed by Lavina Jadhwani

    Sunday, December 18 at 10:30 AM

    Would you like mehndi, threading, or a blowout? In a beauty salon, nestled in a quiet Skokie strip mall, multiple generations of Arab and Indian friends find comfort and routine. When the owner hires a new esthetician on a whim, they must all negotiate the changing world outside together. Omer Abbas Salem’s new play is a re-imagined American classic, spoken by immigrants and recolored by their love and supremely big feelings.

    Read Content Advisory Info
    • Modern Women contains adult language and themes of death and grief. For more information contact the box office at 312.443.3800
  • What Will Happen to All This Beauty

    What Will Happen to All That Beauty?

    By Donja R. Love
    Directed by Malika Oyetimein

    Sunday, December 18 at 1:30 PM

    It’s 1986. Max and her husband J.R. are living in Brooklyn, preparing for their first child. But as an epidemic rages, the couple's future is tested. Max spends her time fighting for her husband's life; before she realizes it, so much time has passed, and she now finds herself fighting for her son. Written as an offering to the community of Black people living with HIV/AIDS, Donja R. Love’s new epic explores questions of legacy, family, and healing against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis of the 80s and its imprints today.

    Read Content Advisory Info
    • What Will Happen to All That Beauty? contains adult language, themes of death and grief, sexual descriptions. For more information contact the box office at 312.443.3800