Creating a Culture of Opportunity for All—On Stage and Off—at Goodman Theatre
When COVID-19 forced the Goodman to suspend live in-person performances one year ago, the path ahead was uncertain. How could an organization rooted in deep human interaction and close interpersonal connection survive—let alone thrive—in this time of social distance and remote work?
But often, it is in difficult times when artists create their most profound work. The notions of reinvention and introspection are, in a way, a birthright of Goodman Theatre, which was established on the heels of a similarly difficult time in history—the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic—in memory of young playwright Kenneth Sawyer Goodman.
The many challenges of the past year called the artists, staff and boards of Chicago’s oldest and largest not-for-profit theater to reflect on the Goodman’s impact and how it could build on its decades-long commitment to quality, diversity and community to best serve its city. Bold creative thinking inspired exciting new output—productions and programs that will outlive the pandemic—as well as an honest look inward at the ways in which the Goodman lives its values.
Collaboration at every level of the organization brought to bear the Action Plan for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism and Access (IDEAA) at Goodman Theatre—a living document and blueprint of how the Goodman can use its art, assets and resources to help contribute to a more just, equitable and anti-racist American society. Read the plan, and hear from Associate Managing Director Marissa Ford and members of the IDEAA writing team about what being involved in this process means to them.