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The Goodman Theatre

The Goodman Theatre is a theater located in Chicagomarker's Loopmarker. A major part of Chicago theatre, it is the city's oldest currently active nonprofit organization. The building occupies the site of landmark Harris and Selwyn Theaters property.

The Goodman was founded in 1925 as a tribute to the Chicago playwright Kenneth Sawyer Goodman, who died of influenza in 1918. The theater was funded by Goodman's parents, Mr. and Mrs. William O. Goodman, who donated $250,000 to the Art Institute of Chicagomarker to establish a professional repertory company and a school of drama at the Institute. The theater was designed by architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, although its design was severely hampered by location restrictions resulting in a lack of space for scenery and effects and poor acoustics.

The opening ceremony on October 20, 1925 featured three of Kenneth Sawyer Goodman's plays: Back of the Yards, The Green Scarf, and The Game of Chess. Two nights later the theater presented its first public performance, John Galsworthy's The Forest.

In 1992, the theatre company received the Regional Theatre Tony Award, joining Steppenwolf Theatremarker as Chicago-based recipients of the award. Since then, two other Chicago-based companies, Victory Gardens Theatermarker (in 2001), and Chicago Shakespeare Theatermarker (in 2008), have also received the award, making Chicago the most recognized city in the country.

In 2000, the company moved into its new building at 170 N. Dearborn in Chicago's theater district. It has two fully modern auditoriums, named the Albert and the Owen, after two members of the Goodman family who continue to be major donors.

Goodman Theatre Center

With the production of Radio Golf in 2007, the Goodman became the first theater to mount a production of each of the ten plays in August Wilson's Pittsburgh cycle.

In 2009, the theater will present its 32nd annual presentation of A Christmas Carol.

Other productions the Goodman has staged over the years include Hay Fever, Lady Windermere's Fan, The Little Foxes, You Can't Take it With You, Born Yesterday, Pal Joey, To Be Young, Gifted and Black, Guys and Dolls, Talley's Folly, A House Not Meant to Stand, A Soldier's Play, Fences, Sunday in the Park with George, The Visit, Dancing at Lughnasa, Arcadia, Floyd Collins, Hollywood Arms, Dinner with Friends, The Goat or Who is Sylvia?, The Light in the Piazza, I Am My Own Wife, and Rabbit Hole.


  1. Goodman Theatre history
  2. Goodman Theatre timeline

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