Goodman Theatre resumes in-person performances with ‘School Girls,’ four world premieres

The company’s 2021-2022 season includes the highly anticipated musical adaptation of “The Outsiders.”

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Katherine Lee Bourné (from left), Tiffany Renee Johnson, Adia Alli, Ashley Crowe and Tania Richard  in “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play” by Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Lili-Anne Brown.

Katherine Lee Bourné (from left), Tiffany Renee Johnson, Adia Alli, Ashley Crowe and Tania Richard in “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play” by Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Lili-Anne Brown.

Photo by Liz Lauren

Goodman Theatre on Wednesday announced it will return to live, in-person performances beginning July 30 with the Chicago premiere of Jocelyn Bioh’s “School Girls: Or, The African Mean Girls Play,” a production that was suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic shutdown of theaters. The production runs July 30-Aug. 29 in the Albert Theatre.

“This, truly, is the moment we’ve been waiting for — at once a ‘homecoming’ and a new beginning — after one of the most challenging periods of our collective experience. We are enormously grateful to our audiences, with special thanks to all who’ve joined us virtually as a sponsor or spectator ... and thrilled to welcome you back now,” said artistic director Robert Falls in a statement.

COVID-19 safety protocols beginning July 30 include a recently overhauled air ventilation system to facilitate fresh air exchange; enhanced cleaning and hand sanitizer stations; at least one empty seat on either side of each seated party as well as mandatory face masks for the 80-minute duration of “School Girls; Or The African Mean Girls Play.”

The theater’s 2021-2022 “Homecoming” season includes the world premieres of:

— “Fannie, The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer” (Oct.1 5 – Nov. 14, 2021 ), the full-on production by Cheryl L. West, directed by Henry Godinez and starring E. Faye Butler, who reprises the title role from the abridged version presented in 2020 as part of theater-in-the-parks programming.

—”the ripple, the wave that carried me home” (Feb. 11 – March 13, 2022), by Christina Anderson, and directed by Miranda Haymon, a world-premiere co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

— “Good Night, Oscar,” (March 12 – April 17, 2022) starring Sean Hayes (“Will & Grace”), directed by Lisa Peterson. The show details the life of the legendary concert pianist/humorist/actor/composer Oscar Levant.

— “The Outsiders,” (May 27 – July 10, 2022), a musical based on the S.E. Hinton novel and Francis Ford Coppola film, with a book by Adam Rapp and directed by Liesl Tommy.

The season also includes a revival of “The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci” in a new production adapted and directed by Mary Zimmerman.

“A Christmas Carol,” a Goodman holiday season tradition for more than 40 years, returns (Nov. 20-Dec. 31). The production, adapted by Tom Creamer and directed by Jessica Thebus, stars Larry Yando reprising his critically acclaimed role as Ebenezer Scrooge.

Also this season is the previously announced “Zulema,” (Aug. 5-Sept. 2), a Goodman Theatre in-the-parks partnership with the Chicago Park District, DCASE Chicago Latino Theater Alliance and the National Museum of Mexican Art; “American Mariachi” (Sept. 18-Oct. 24); the continuation of the “Goodman Live” online series (June 17-July 18); and August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean” (Jan. 22 – Feb. 27, 2022);

For the complete season schedule and information, visit

Tickets to “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play” ($15-$45) are now on sale at Tickets for “A Christmas Carol” go on sale Aug. 20.

Membership packages for the 2021/2022 Season, starting at $75, are available at

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