Chicago – Artistic Director Robert Falls has named Kimberly Senior the newest member of Goodman Theatre’s Artistic Collective—ten American theater artists whose work has cemented the theater’s international reputation for excellence over three decades. The Collective, which Falls established when he became Artistic Director, currently includes award-winning playwrights, directors and actors: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. This arrangement has enabled Falls and the Goodman to collaborate with distinguished artists in creating uniquely wide-ranging, culturally and aesthetically diverse annual seasons. Senior, who established a theater career in Chicago over two decades before relocating to New York, made her Broadway debut in 2014 directing Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Disgraced—a production hailed as “first-rate, comes roaring to life (with) fresh currents of dramatic electricity” (The New York Times). She most recently directed Margaret Trudeau, mother of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in her autobiographical one-woman show, Certain Woman of an Age (Second City), which will appear in New York this fall. Upcoming engagements include Byhalia, Mississippi at the Kennedy Center; Harvey Fierstein’s Bella, Bella (Manhattan Theatre Club); Sweat and Our Daughters, Like Pillars (Huntington Theatre) and Sakina’s Restaurant (Center Theatre Group).
“We are tremendously proud to welcome Kimberly Senior, an artist of enormous talent and range, to the Goodman as the newest Associate in our Artistic Collective,” said Robert Falls. “The breadth and depth of Kimberly’s work perfectly reflect who she is an artist—incredibly generous, curious, broad-minded and big-hearted, with an unswerving commitment to new plays and community partnership engagement. We look forward to the new ideas and energy Kimberly will bring to the Goodman, and to deepening our relationship with her in this exciting new capacity.”
“I am extremely honored to become an Artistic Associate at the Goodman, to be invited into this inimitable Collective of artists—and I’m thrilled to work with Robert Falls, one of the most important artists in the American theater,” said Kimberly Senior. “As I was ‘growing up’ in Chicago’s off-Loop theater, the Goodman was a model for me—a pillar of excellence in our local and national arts community. The range of ideas and stories, beginning with the core of the Artistic Collective and extending beyond, has been an enormous source of inspiration. I hope to contribute new ideas and connections to build upon the Goodman’s incredible success as an arts and civic organization.”
In Chicago, Senior is a Resident Director at Writers Theatre and an Associate Artist at TimeLine Theatre. She founded Collaboraction Theatre Company in 1997, and was an Associate Artist at Strawdog Theater for 10 years, Chicago Dramatists for eight years and Next Theatre for six years. In addition, Senior served as the first board president of The Hypocrites. As an educator, Senior spent ten years as both an administrator and Resident Artist with Steppenwolf for Young Adults. In addition, she either ran programs or taught for Court Theater, Northlight Theater, Redmoon Theater, Roadworks Productions, Victory Gardens, Metropolis, Act One Studios and Acting Studio Chicago. She served as adjunct faculty at Columbia College where she teaches Chekhov, Dramaturgy and Text Analysis.
Senior’s select freelance directing includes New York credits: Disgraced (Broadway); Chris Gethard: Career Suicide (Judd Apatow presents); The Who and The What, and Disgraced (LCT3); The Niceties (Manhattan Theatre Club); Discord (Primary Stages); Engagements (Second Stage Uptown); Sakina’s Restaurant (Audible). Chicago credits: Margaret Trudeau’s Certain Woman of an Age (Second City); Support Group for Men, Disgraced, and Rapture, Blister, Burn (Goodman Theatre); Buried Child, The Scene, Marjorie Prime, Diary of Anne Frank, Hedda Gabler, and The Letters (Writers Theatre); Discord, 4000 Miles, and The Whipping Man (Northlight Theatre); Want, and The North Plan (Steppenwolf); Inana, My Name is Asher Lev, All My Sons, and Dolly West’s Kitchen (TimeLine Theatre); The Great God Pan, After the Revolution, Madagascar, The Overwhelming, and The Busy World is Hushed (Next); Waiting for Lefty (American Blues); Old Times, The Conquest of the South Pole, Uncle Vanya, Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters, Fuddy Meers, and Knives in Hens (Strawdog); Cripple of Inishmaan, Bug, and The Pillowman (Redtwist Theatre); Thieves Like Us (The House Theatre); among others. Regional credits: Photograph 51 (South Coast Rep); The Niceties (Geffen Playhouse, McCarter, Huntington, CATF); Sheltered (Alliance); Christmas at Pemberley (Milwaukee Rep); Other Than Honorable (Geva); Sex with Strangers (The Geffen Playhouse); Disgraced (Mark Taper Forum, Berkley Repertory Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre). Film/TV: Chris Gethard: Career Suicide (HBO). Awards: 2016 Alan Schneider Award; a 2013 Finalist for the SDCF Joe A. Callaway Award; 2016 Special Non-Equity Jeff Award for her Chicago career achievements; and the 2018 Primary Stages Einhorn Award for mentorship in the New York community. Teaching: DePaul University and University of Chicago. She is the recipient of Columbia College’s 2010 Excellence in Teaching Award. She has served as Program Director and as a dramaturg for Steppenwolf’s First Look Repertory of New Work and continues to develop new plays with the Ojai Playwrights Conference and PlayPenn.
ABOUT GOODMAN THEATRE
AMERICA’S “BEST REGIONAL THEATRE” (Time magazine), Goodman Theatre is a premier not-for-profit organization distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and civic engagement. Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics (celebrated revivals include Falls’ productions of Death of a Salesman and The Iceman Cometh). Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, over 160 Jeff Awards and many more accolades. In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle;” and its annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, which recently marked its 41st annual production, has created a new generation of theatergoers. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production partner with local off-Loop theaters and national and international companies by providing financial support or physical space for a variety of artistic endeavors.
Committed to three core values of Quality, Diversity and Community, the Goodman proactively makes inclusion the fabric of the institution and develops education and community engagement programs that support arts as education. This practice uses the process of artistic creation to inspire and empower youth, lifelong learners and audiences to find and/or enhance their voices, stories and abilities. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of such programming, most offered free of charge, and has vastly expanded the theater’s ability to touch the lives of Chicagoland citizens (with 85% of youth participants coming from underserved communities) since its 2016 opening.
Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.
Today, Goodman Theatre leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Kimberly Senior, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. David W. Fox, Jr. is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Denise Stefan Ginascol is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.