The plot twists, outrageous circumstances and fast-paced narrative style of the telenovela arrive on the Goodman stage this spring in Destiny of Desire—Karen Zacarías’ “terrifically entertaining theatrical roller coaster, directed to perfection by José Luis Valenzuela” (The Los Angeles Times). Filled with original live music—arranged and performed in English and Spanish by Rosino Serrano—and movement by choreographer Robert Barry Fleming, Destiny of Desire is Zacarías’ smart, subversive and comic study of the clashes of the haves and have-nots that simultaneously honors and parodies the beloved Latin American TV serial drama. Destiny of Desire, produced in association with South Coast Repertory, appears March 11 through April 16 (opening night is March 20) in the Albert Theatre. Tickets ($20-$75; subject to change) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/Destiny, the box office (170 N. Dearborn) or by phone at 312.443.3800. Details about special events and performances—including “A Date with Destiny” March 15 Scenemakers Board fundraiser for young professionals, “Drama and Desire” March 16 Women’s Night and $10 College Night—appear below. Hoy is the Media Sponsor.
“We are thrilled to welcome back Karen Zacarías, one of our most gifted writers, to the Goodman with this delightful new play,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “If you’re a fan of the telenovela, you’ll relish the twists and turns that are an essential part of the genre’s allure; if it’s your first experience, I think you’ll be charmed by Karen’s wit, ingenuity and sobering insights into the issues that confront us today. Either way, I predict you’ll be seduced by the unique pleasures of the telenovela as translated to the stage.”
When women take destiny into their own hands, the world transforms! On a stormy night in small town Mexico, two baby girls are born—one to poverty, one to privilege—then secretly switched. Eighteen years later the girls meet, brought together by misfortune. Or is it fate? The 11-member company includes Esperanza America, Elisa Bocanegra, Eduardo Enrikez, Evelina Fernández, Fidel Gomez, Cástulo Guerra, Ricardo Gutierrez, Ruth Livier, Mauricio Mendoza, Ella Saldana North and Rosino Serrano. The creative team includes François-Pierre Courture (sets), Julie Weiss (costumes), Pablo Santiago (lights), John Zalewski (sound), Serrano (composer/music director) and Fleming (choreography).
“I think the moment is right for a theatrically adventurous, wickedly subversive and raucously entertaining play that defies labels while challenging and celebrating a Latino tradition,” said Karen Zacarías, whose previous plays at the Goodman include The Sins of Sor Juana (2010) and Mariela in the Desert (2005). “Destiny of Desire is an act of rebellion, heritage and joy—as well as an aesthetic, artistic and political endeavor. Writing this play has been a joyful experience, and I’m thrilled to share it with Chicago audiences at the Goodman, which I consider an artistic home.”
Televised serial dramas of Latin America, Korea, India and beyond are characterized by fast-moving plots, personal stories against political backdrops, music in storytelling, and encouragement of social change. Ugly Betty, Devious Maids, Jane the Virgin and Queen of the South are among U.S. versions of telenovelas. Unlike daytime soaps, telenovelas air during primetime, over the course of roughly 200 episodes (or chapters) up to six nights a week.
"It is great to be at the Goodman with this play, which challenges the perception of Mexicans told through the familiar lens of the Telenovela genre,” said José Luis Valenzuela. “Karen has masterfully created a raucous piece that combines music, humor, and a political edge that culminates in a night of beauty and provocation of what happens when women decide to take over their own destiny."
Karen Zacarías was recently hailed by American Theater Magazine as one of the most produced playwrights in the USA. Other plays premiering in Chicago in 2017 include Native Gardens at Victory Gardens and Into the Beautiful North at 16th Street Theater. Other plays include Mariela in the Desert (World Premiere, The Goodman), The Sins of Sor Juana (productions The Goodman Theater and Teatro Vista), The Book Club Play (16th Street Theater), Legacy of Light (National Steinberg citation winner), the adaptations of Just Like Us (Denver Center), How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent (Round House). She collaborated on the libretto for the ballets Sleepy Hollow and Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises for the Washington Ballet at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and has written 10 TYA musicals with composer Deborah Wicks La Puma. Her plays have been produced at The Kennedy Center, The Goodman Theater, South Coast Rep, The Guthrie, Cincinnati Playhouse, RoundHouse Theater, GALA Hispanic Theater, Denver Theater Center, Dallas Theater Center and many more. Zacarías is a core founder of the Latino Theatre Commons, a national network that strives to update the American narrative to including the stories of Latinos. She is the founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater, an award-winning theater company that teaches playwriting in local public schools in Washington, D.C. Zacarías lives in D.C. with her husband and three children.
José Luis Valenzuela is the artistic director of the Latino Theater Company (LTC) and The Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC) and also a professor and head of the MFA directing program at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television. In 2010, under Valenzuela’s leadership, the LATC was nominated for an L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Award for Best Theatre Season. Valenzuela’s artistic vision and community commitment has garnered numerous recognitions, nominations and awards including the Ann C. Rosenfield Distinguished Community Partnership Prize and the Hispanic Heritage Month Local Hero of the Year Award. He serves on the national steering committee of the Latina/o Theatre Commons and produced the national Latina/o Theatre Festival Encuentro in 2014. Most recently, he directed Destiny of Desire at Arena Stage in Washington D.C. and South Coast Repertory and La Olla – Plautus’s The Pot of Gold for the Latino Theater Company at the LATC.
TICKETS, DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Tickets ($20-$75) – GoodmanTheatre.org/Destiny; 312.443.3800; Fax: 312.443.3825; TTY/TDD: 312.443.3829
Box Office Hours –12noon - 5pm; on performance days, the box office remains open until 30 minutes past curtain
MezzTix – Half-price day-of-performance mezzanine tickets available at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX)
$10Tix – Student $10 day-of-performance tickets; limit four, with valid student ID (promo code 10TIX)
Group Sales and dinner/theater packages with Latinicity restaurant are available for parties 10+; 312.443.3820
Gift Certificates – Available in any amount; GoodmanTheatre.org/GiftCertificates
“A DATE WITH DESTINY” SCENEMAKERS EVENT – March 15 | 5:30pm reception at Catch 35, 7:30pm performance
Tickets are $65. Join the Scenemakers Board for “A Date with Destiny”—a fateful fundraising event that supports New Play Development at Goodman Theatre. Mingle with Chicago young professionals and experience the kind of exciting new plays the Scenemakers Board works to support. GoodmanTheatre.org/DestinyDate
COLLEGE NIGHT – March 15 | 6pm meet-the-artists pizza party, 7:30pm performance
Tickets are $10 using code COLLEGE; includes dinner and performance. Students enjoy a pre-show reception with fellow theater-lovers and cast members, followed by a performance. GoodmanTheatre.org/CollegeNight
“DRAMA AND DESIRE” WOMEN'S NIGHT – March 16 | 5:30pm cocktails and dinner at Petterino's, 7:30pm performance. Tickets are $75; includes dinner and performance. Mingle with the city’s best and brightest female leaders. GoodmanTheatre.org/WomensNight
ARTIST ENCOUNTER – March 19 at 5pm | The Alice Center for Engagement and Education at Goodman Theatre. Tickets are FREE. In a special collaboration with Chicago Foundation for Women, join Zacarías for an in-depth conversation about the play, as well as her experience as a female playwright and her role as an artist in advocating for women’s rights. GoodmanTheatre.org/ArtistEncounter
ACCESSIBILITY AT GOODMAN THEATRE
Touch-Tour, April 8 at 12:30pm – A presentation detailing the set, costume and character elements
Audio-Described Performance, April 8 at 2pm – The action/text is audibly enhanced for patrons via headset
ASL-Interpreted Performance, April 12 at 7:30pm – Professional ASL interpreter signs the action/text as played
Open-Captioned Performance, April 15 at 2pm – An LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance
Visit Goodman Theatre.org/Access for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts.
About Goodman Theatre
America’s “Best Regional Theatre” (Time magazine) and “Chicago’s flagship resident stage” (Chicago Tribune), Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit organization distinguished by the quality and scope of its artistic programming and civic engagement. Founded in 1925, the Goodman is led by Robert Falls—“Chicago’s most essential director” (Chicago Tribune), who marks 30 years as Artistic Director this season—and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, who is celebrated for his vision and leadership over nearly four decades. Dedicated to new plays, reimagined classics and large-scale musical theater works, Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned hundreds of awards for artistic excellence, including: two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, nearly 160 Jeff Awards and more. Over the past three decades, audiences have experienced more than 150 world or American premieres, 30 major musical productions, as well as nationally and internationally celebrated productions of classic works (including Falls’ productions of Death of a Salesman, Long Day’s Journey into Night, King Lear and The Iceman Cometh, many in collaboration with actor Brian Dennehy). In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” For nearly four decades, the annual holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol has created a new generation of theatergoers.
The 2016 opening of the Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement (“the Alice”) launched the next phase in the Goodman’s decades-long commitment as an arts and community organization dedicated to educating Chicago youth and promoting lifelong learning. Programs are offered year-round and free of charge. Eighty-five percent of the Goodman’s youth program participants come from underserved communities.
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 includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. Joan E. Clifford is Chair of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Cynthia K. Scholl is Women’s Board President and Justin A. Kulovsek is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.
Visit the Goodman virtually at GoodmanTheatre.org—including OnStage+ for insider information—and on Twitter (@GoodmanTheatre), Facebook and Instagram.