July 16 - 18, 2017 in Goodman's Select Theatre

Playwrights Unit

2016/2017 Playwrights Unit

Each year, the Goodman selects four local playwrights to develop their work as members of the Playwrights Unit. Throughout the season, the writers meet regularly with the Goodman’s literary staff to read and discuss their works-in-progress. The members are chosen not only for their strong playwriting skills, but also for their aesthetic diversity; because each approaches playwriting differently, they are able to offer unique insights into one another’s work. This July, the Goodman presents staged readings of the works developed this year.

Playwrights Unit Readings

Join us for New Work from the Playwrights Unit. Tickets are free, but reservations are required.

  • The Beauties

    By Dawn Renee Jones
    Directed by J. Nicole Brooks
    Sunday, July 16 | 2pm | Polk Rehearsal Room

    A goddess with an anxiety disorder enlists the aid of her son to procure beauties for placement in the universe where needed. But when a rare and unusually beautiful maiden accepts the hand of a grotesque monster, mother and son are challenged to reassess their relationship to the superficially attractive. Reserve >> 


  • July 16

    Jo and Liv

    Jo and Liv

    By Evan Linder
    Directed by Krissy Vanderwarker
    Sunday, July 16 | 7:30pm | Polk Rehearsal Room

    Liv has accepted her estranged sister Jo’s invitation to spend Christmas together with their families in New York in 1961. With years of hurt between them, they hope this can be their chance to finally exhume all the skeletons in their closets… or at least the contentious Academy Award stuffed in the cupboard. Reserve >>


  • June in the Parade

    By Emma Stanton
    Directed by Vanessa Stalling
    Monday, July 17 | 7:30pm | Polk Rehearsal Room

    In June’s grandmother’s house, everyone is sick. Her grandmother has dementia, her aunt is hallucinating, and June is beginning to see things that aren’t there. Three generations of women call into question what we inherit, what we are capable of, and who we become as a result of our family. Reserve >>


  • Refrigerator

    By Lucas Baisch
    Directed by Kurt Chiang
    Tuesday, July 18 | 7:30pm | Polk Rehearsal Room

    Eighty-two percent of Earth’s population has disposed of their physical bodies and digitally uploaded their consciousness to IceBox & Co. In the midst of a going-away party for a colleague, the company’s few remaining employees battle their moral and socioeconomic inabilities to abandon reality. Reserve >>


Lucas Baisch is an interdisciplinary playwright and visual artist originally from San Francisco, based in Chicago. His work has been read and developed at InFusion Theatre Company, Salonathon, Victory Gardens Theater, Post Q at Links Hall, Gloucester Stage Company, Chicago Dramatists’ Saturday Series, The Bridge Program at American Theatre Company, The Wulfden, The DeYoung Museum, The NeoFuturists’ Kitchen Festival, SF Playground, and DePaul University. Full-length productions include: The Scavengers (DePaul University), A Measure of Normalcy (Gloucester Stage Company), and Zipped & Pelted (The Wulfden/Chicago Fringe). He recently completed an eight-month residency as Gloucester Stage Company’s 2015 Playwriting Apprentice and will be a 2017 artist-in-residence at Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC. Baisch has also self-published his digital zine series Taste Test since 2015. He received his BFA in playwriting from the Theatre School at DePaul University.

Dawn Renee Jones is a writer, director and educator from Chicago. She is the recipient of the 2015 Ruby Prize for her play A Heap See. Her interdisciplinary collaboration with composer Carei Thomas and visual artist Seitu Jones entitled S’Kin received a workshop production at the Cornerstone Theatre’s Genesis Festival in New Brunswick, and was produced by Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis where it was recognized as one of the year’s best by the Twin Cities Reader. Her feature screenplay Man of the Word won Best Screenplay at the 2008 FilmColumbia Film Festival. Dawn Renee’s writing career began on Madison Avenue where she wrote print and broadcast advertising at the Leo Burnett Company, Young & Rubicam and McCann Erickson advertising agencies and for broad range of national brands. She has been a script doctor on the feature screenplays for Columbia Pictures, Warner Brothers and Paisley Park. Dawn Renee was the founder and artistic director of Alchemy Theatre in Minneapolis where she also directed productions for Actors Theatre of St. Paul (The Blood Knot, If I’m Traveling on a Movin’ Train, and Water Torture), Alchemy Theatre (American Menu, A Raisin in the Sun), Mixed Blood (Ali), Penumbra Theatre (Suspenders), At the Foot of the Mountain Theatre (Angela, Going to Seed, Head Over Heels, Ida B. Wells, and Wake Up Call), Women’s Theatre Project (A Place on Earth) and Starting Gate Theatre (A Raisin in the Sun). She developed theatre curriculum for the State of Minnesota’s Professional Development Institute at the Perpich Center for the Arts, has been an artist in residence at K-12 schools in Minnesota and New York and taught theater history courses at Macalaster College and Metropolitan State University. Dawn Renee has an MFA in creative writing with emphasis in playwriting from Goddard College.

Evan Linder is a founding member and the co-artistic director of The New Colony in Chicago. He works as a playwright, actor and director. He recently reprised the role of Jim in the remount of his play Byhalia, Mississippi, (2016 Non-Equity Jeff Award for new work) at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre. Other plays include FRAT, 11:11, The Warriors, The Bear Suit of Happiness (published by Chicago Dramaworks), B-Side Studio and 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche (published by Samuel French) which ran Off-Broadway at the SoHo Playhouse from 2012-2013 and has been performed all over the U.S., Europe and Australia. Evan’s newest play, The Hunted (co-written with Paul Oakley Stovall), recently received its first staged reading with About Face Theatre’s “First Draaft” Series. Evan is beginning his fifth year as a guest lecturer at the University of Chicago where he has created three new playwriting courses. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and is represented by ICM.

Emma Stanton is a Chicago and New York theater artist. Her plays include Bojko and the Glacier, Jitterbug, One Wood Road, Bountiful Planets, and No Candy. Her written collaborations include The Cure (Walkabout Theater Company), Storm (Walkabout Theater Company & London’s Moon Fool), Circle-Machine (Oracle Theater), and The Straight Line (American Theater Company, as part of their Chicago Chronicle Program). Additionally, Emma has worked with such companies as Collaboraction, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Victory Gardens Theater, About Face Theatre, Redmoon Theater, Double Edge Theater, En Garde Arts, and Roundabout Theatre. Her play In the Danube was a recipient of a Civics and Arts Foundation Playwriting Award for Emerging Artists in Chicago, as well as a finalist for the 2016 Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville. For her play No Candy, Emma was a finalist for the 2016 Susan Glaspell Award, a winner of the 2016 Columbia University/Roundabout Theater Underground Reading Series, and the recipient of the 2016 Jane Chambers Feminist Playwriting Award. Most recently, Emma was the recipient of the 2016 Princess Grace Award Playwriting Fellowship, which includes a year-long residency at New Dramatists in New York.   Emma is the associate artistic director of Walkabout Theater Company in Chicago. BA: Boston College; MFA: Columbia University.

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