By Rebecca Gilman
Directed by Robert Falls
Originally produced at Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL.
January 18, 2014 through February 23, 2014
About the Premiere Production
Veteran social worker Caroline (Mary Beth Fisher), thinks she has a typical case on her hands when her boss Cliff (Erik Hellman) assigns her to Peter and Karlie (Colin Sphar and Reyna de Courcy), two drug-addicted teenagers accused of neglecting their infant daughter. But when she places their baby in the care of Karlie’s mother (Jordan Baker-Kilner), who is strongly influenced by her pastor (Richard Thieriot), Caroline sparks a family conflict that exposes a secretive past and—after the outcome of a previous case (Melissa R. Duprey)—forces her to make a risky decision with potentially disastrous consequences.
During a career that has spanned nearly two decades, Rebecca Gilman has received national and international acclaim for plays which examine some of society’s most complex contemporary problems, through the eyes and experiences of those who are most dramatically affected by them. I am extremely proud that many of these works have premiered at Goodman Theatre, and I am especially excited by her newest play, Luna Gale, which I will be directing this winter. In Luna Gale, Rebecca takes on what has become one of the most complicated and controversial American social institutions, the child welfare system, and examines it from the varying perspectives of a number of characters caught within it: the meth-addicted teenaged parents of an infant girl struggling to retain her custody; the child’s grandmother who seeks to take charge of the baby; the newly-appointed head of the state agency overwhelmed with such cases; the caseworker searching for the “right” answer amid conflicting desires and agendas. In true Gilman fashion, there are no easy answers, and our sympathies shift continually among the central characters, each drawn with humor, intelligence and overwhelming humanity. Luna Gale is one of Rebecca’s strongest works to date, and it does what she does best—forcing us to examine our own preconceptions of social problems by experiencing the honest, often conflicting, and eminently human responses of characters caught within them.
-Robert Falls, Artistic Director
The additional rehearsal time afforded by the Edgerton grant is essential for the inherently complex rehearsal period that any new play experiences to ensure that the play is as ready as possible by the time of its opening.
Director: Robert Falls
Set Design: Todd Rosenthal
Lighting Design: Robert Wierzel
Sound Design: Richard Woodbury
Costume Design: Kaye Voyce
Production stage manager: Joe Drummond
Stage manager: Briana Fahey
Cast: Jordan Baker-Kilner, Reyna de Courcy, Mary Beth Fisher, Erik Hellman, Colin Sphar, Richard Thieriot, Melissa R. Duprey.
Additional funders: The Goodman Women’s Board is a Major Production Sponsor.
Mayer Brown is a Corporate Sponsor Partner.
Ogletree Deakins and U.S. Bank are the Opening Night Sponsors.
Time Warner Foundation is the Lead Supporter of New Play Development.
The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation is the Major Supporter of New Play Development.
The Glasser and Rosenthal Family and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust are Supporters of New Work Development.
The Joyce Foundation is the Principal Supporter of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives.