Goodman Theater has announced the casting of Life After by the rising star writer/lyricist/composer Britta Johnsondirected by Annie Tippe. Directing the cast of nine is Samantha Williams (Broadway’s Caroline, Or Change and Dear Evan Hansen) as teenage Alice, a young woman who, in search of facts, uncovers a more complicated truth as she pieces together the events of the fateful night that changed her family forever. Chicago’s first production also includes Paul Alexandre Nolan (Franc), Lucy Panouche (Hannah) Bryonha Marie Parham (Beth), Jen Sese (Ms. Hopkins), Skyler Volpe (Kate) Chelsea Williams (Fury), Lauryn Hobbs (Fury) and Ashley Pérez Flanagan (Fury). The production includes choreography by Ann Yee and musical supervision, arrangements and orchestrations 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 now available 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 international theater scene, and it is a joy to produce her extraordinary new work and to welcome the director back Annie Tippe and this wonderful company,” said robert falls. “In the past 35 years as Artistic Director of the Goodman Theatre, 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 play made its American debut in San Diego The old globe (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 amazing creative time and an amazing cast; it’s like a dream come true. This is my first big project after such a difficult few years, and I’m so moved to be able to do this with such a talented, compassionate, and inspiring group of artists, and 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. absolute brimming with talent, empathy and curiosity for the people they portray,” said Lucille Lortel Award-winning director Annie Tippe. “In these uncertain times, I can’t imagine audiences 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 her sister Anika Johnson: Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life (Outside the March/MSC, Dora nomination), Brantwood (Theatre Sheridan, Dora Award), Jacob Two-Two (YTP, Dora nomination), Trap Door (Theatre Sheridan). 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 Continuity by Bess Wohl at the 2017 New Stages Festival. Her recent theater credits include the premiere of David MalloyOctet of (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 David Malloyaward-winning Ghost Quartet. Other credits include the premieres of The Hombres (Two River); Point Leslye‘s Cult of Love (IAMA Theater Company); Cowboy Bob (village theater; New York Internship + 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.

Alice …………………………..Samantha Williams
Kate…………………….Skyler Volpe
Beth………………………Bryonha Marie Parham
Hannah……………Lucy Panouche
Mrs. Hopkins…………Jen Sese
Fury……………………Chelsea Williams
Fury……………………Lauryn Hobbs
Fury…………………Ashley Perez Flanagan
Franc…………………..Paul Alexandre Nolan

Studies for this production include Stef Tovar-Franc; Claire Kwon-Furies/Hannah; Ariana Burk-Alice/Kate; Alanna Chavez-Furies/Ms. Hopkin; Antoinette Comer-Beth

Scenography by Todd Rosental
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 Foundry/Merri SugarmanCSA and Chicago Casting is 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 Goodman theatre.org/Access for more information on the Goodman Theater’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 (over 150 world and 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 in 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 serves as a frequent 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. Goodman Theater Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism and Access (IDEAA) Action Plan was born out of the belief that progress means action, which means building on the 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 Marie 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.