Samantha Williams, Paul Alexander Nolan & More will star in LIFE AFTER at the Goodman Theater
Goodman Theater has announced the casting for Life After by rising star writer/lyricist/songwriter Britta Johnson, directed by Annie Tippe. Samantha Williams (Broadway’s Caroline, Or Change and Dear Evan Hansen) leads the nine-actor cast as teenage Alice, a young woman who, in search of facts, uncovers a more complicated truth as she reconstructs the events of the fateful night that changed her. family forever. Chicago’s first production also includes Paul Alexander Nolan (Frank), Lucy Panush (Hannah), Bryonha Marie Parham (Beth), Jen Sese (Mrs. Hopkins), Skyler Volpe (Kate), Chelsea Williams (Fury), Lauryn Hobbs (Fury ) and Ashley Pérez Flanagan (Fury). The production features choreography by Ann Yee and musical supervision, arrangements and orchestration by Lynne Shankel. Life After appears from June 11 to July 17; opening night is Wednesday, June 22. Tickets ($25-$80, subject to change) are available now at GoodmanTheatre.org/LifeAfter or by phone at 312.443.3800.
“It is rare and special to encounter a new musical with the depth, beauty and heart of Life After, with such an elegant original score. Britta Johnson is one of the most exciting new talents to emerge on the theatrical stage. world, and it is a joy to produce his extraordinary new work and to welcome back director Annie Tippe and this wonderful company,” said Robert Falls. “Over the past 35 years as artistic director of the Goodman Theater , some of our most memorable productions have been new works of musical theatre. I can’t wait for Chicago audiences to experience Britta’s thrilling new musical this summer.”
Its Chicago premiere at the Goodman Theater continues Life After’s rise, marking the third major production in five years. The piece made its US debut at The Old Globe in San Diego (2019) following a long, multi-Dora award-winning world premiere with Toronto’s Musical Stage Company and Canadian Stage (2017).
Toronto-based playwright/composer/lyricist Britta Johnson said, “I couldn’t be more excited to be working at this legendary theater with such an amazing creative period and incredible cast; it’s like a dream come true. This is my first big project after these difficult few years, and I’m so moved to be able to do it with such a talented, compassionate and inspiring group of artists. I can’t wait to see what we can create together.
“As soon as I heard Britta’s exquisite score for Life After, I knew I would be lucky to have the privilege of working with her. And we’re about to work with a dream cast. brimming with talent, empathy and curiosity for the people they embody,” said Lucille Lortel Award-winning director Annie Tippe. “In these uncertain times, I can’t imagine audiences not s ‘will not identify with Britta’s deeply human work and relish the opportunity to collectively breathe our challenges.”
Johnson’s other writing credits include, with sister Anika Johnson: Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life (Outside the March/MSC, Dora Nomination), Brantwood (Sheridan Theatre, Dora Award), Jacob Two-Two (YTP , nomination Dora) , Trappe (Sheridan Theatre). With Sara Farb: Kelly v. Kelly (MSC/Canadian Stage; Playwright’s Guild of Canada Best New Musical Award winner), Reframed (MSC/Art Gallery of Ontario, Dora nomination). With Katherine Cullen: Stupidhead! (Appointment Dora). She was the librettist for choreographer Robert Binet’s adaptation of Kreutzer’s Sonata with the Moscow Ballet and was the first Crescendo artist with Toronto’s Musical Stage Company, which has notably undertaken to produce three of its shows in three years.
Tippe returns to the Goodman after directing Bess Wohl’s Continuity at the 2017 New Stages Festival. Her recent theater credits include premiering Dave Malloy’s Octet (Signature Theater Company), for which she won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Direction and was named a finalist for the SDC Callaway Award. She also led the first and subsequent tours of Dave Malloy’s award-winning Ghost Quartet. Other credits include the premieres of The Hombres (Two River); Cult of Love by Leslye Headland (IAMA Theater Company); Cowboy Bob (Village Theater; New York Stage + Film); James and Jerome’s Ink (co-directed with Rachel Chavkin; Under the Radar/Met Museum) and The Conversationalists (Bushwick Starr). She is a former Ars Nova Director-in-Residence, a Drama League Directing Fellow, and an alumnus of the Williamstown Directing Corps. Upcoming shows include COWBOY BOB (Alley Theater ’23).
THE AFTER LIFE COMPANY
For additional images and information, visit the Goodman Theater press room.
Beth…………………..Bryonha Marie Parham
Mrs. Hopkins…………..Jen Sese
Fury…………………Ashley Perez Flanagan
Franck…………………..Paul Alexander Nolan
The stunt doubles for this production include Stef Tovar-Frank; Claire Kwon-Furies/Hannah; Ariana Burks-Alice/Kate; Alanna Chavez-Furies/Ms. Hopkin; Antoinette Comer Beth
Scenography by Todd Rosenthal
Costume design by Sarafina Bush
Lighting design by Yi Zhao
Sound design by Joanna Lynne Staub
Choreography by Ann Yee
Musical supervision, arrangements and orchestrations by Lynne Shankel
New York Casting is by Tara Rubin Casting / Merri Sugarman, CSA and Chicago Casting is by Lauren Port, CSA and Rachael Jimenez, CSA. The dramaturgy is by Jocelyn Prince; Briana Fahey is the production manager and Mario Wolf is the manager.
ENHANCED AND ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCE
Visit Goodmantheatre.org/Access for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts.
Tactile visit and audio-description performance: Saturday, July 9, 12:30 p.m. Tactile visit; Performance at 2:00 p.m. – Action/text audibly enhanced for patrons via headphones. NOTE: Guided tours for the 2021/2022 season will not have access to the stage due to current health and safety protocols, but will offer alternative sensory introductions before the show.
Interpreted in ASL: Friday, July 15 at 8 p.m. – An American Sign Language interpreter signs the action/text as it is played.
Spanish subtitles: Saturday July 16 at 8 p.m.
Open-Captioned: Sunday, July 17 at 2 p.m. – An LED panel presents dialogue in sync with the performance.
ABOUT THE GOODMAN THEATER
A Chicago theater since 1925, the Goodman Theater is a nonprofit arts and community organization located in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and reach of its arts programming and community engagement.
Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include the development of new plays (more than 150 world or US premieres), large-scale musical theater works, and reimagined classics. Artists and productions have won two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards and more than 160 Jeff Awards, among other accolades. The Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays of August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle”. Its long tradition of annual holiday A Christmas Carol, now in its fifth decade, has created a new generation of spectators in Chicago. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production and programming partner with national and international companies and Chicago’s Off-Loop Theaters.
Using the tools of the theater profession, Goodman’s education and engagement programs aim to develop generations of citizens who understand the cultures and histories of diverse voices. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is home to these programs, which are offered free of charge to Chicago youth, 85% of whom come from underserved communities – schools and lifelong learners.
As a cultural and community organization invested in quality, diversity and community, Goodman Theater is committed to using the art of theater for a better Chicago. The Goodman Theater Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism and Access (IDEAA) Action Plan was born out of the belief that progress equals action, which involves build on decades-long commitment to using art, assets and resources to contribute to a more just, equitable and anti-racist society.
Goodman Theater was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance of the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through continuous work and the dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who, along with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the funds needed to establish the new Goodman Center in 2000.
Today, the management of the Goodman Theater also includes the distinguished members of the artistic collective: Rebecca Gilman, Dael Orlandersmith, Henry Godinez, Steve Scott, Kimberly Senior, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor and Mary Zimmerman. Jeff Hesse is chair of the board of the Goodman Theater, Fran Del Boca is chair of the women’s board, and Craig McCaw is chair of the board of Scenemakers for Young Professionals.