LIMITED RUN of “The Sound Inside” Opens May 14 for Four Days

(L to R) Mary Beth Fisher (Bella) and John Drea (Christopher) in The Sound Inside by Adam Rapp, directed by Robert Falls at Goodman Theatre (May 13 – 16, 2021) Photo by Cody Nieset
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Chicago favorite Mary Beth Fisher and John Drea in his Goodman debut star in Adam Rapp’s The Sound Inside—the first production of the Goodman’s brand new three-play Live series, directed by Robert Falls. Technology, videography and stage production come together as the play is performed in real-time in the Goodman’s empty Owen Theatre in front of multiple video cameras, and transmitted live to audiences at home, online. Five performances of The Sound Inside include May 13 at 7:30pm (Opening Night); May 14 at 7:30pm; May 15 at 2pm and 7:30pm; and May 16 at 2pm (Closing).Tickets are $30 (or $60 for all three plays in the Live Series) available HERE 

(L to R) Mary Beth Fisher (Bella) and John Drea (Christopher) in The Sound Inside by Adam Rapp, directed by Robert Falls at Goodman Theatre (May 13 – 16, 2021) Photo by Cody Nieset

Live is made possible through the generous support of Northern Trust, Live Major Corporate Sponsor; Katten Muchin Rosenman, LiveCorporate Sponsor Partner; and Winston & Strawn, Ohio State Murders Digital Production Sponsor. The Goodman is grateful to its artist union partners, including Actors’ Equity Association (AEA); Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC); and United Scenic Artists (USA). 

“It’s an enormous joy to, at once, produce live theater again and re-imagine how we deliver our art form,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls, who conceived the Goodman’s new series together with his creative team. “Each of these three extraordinary plays has something to say in this moment, realized through the vision of our directors in close creative collaboration with Christiana Tye and her team in a socially-distanced process. We hope that Live is a special, memorable experience for artists and audiences alike as we await the day when in-person performances can safely resume.”

A “sublime, gripping mystery” (The New York Times Critic’s Pick), The Sound Inside centers on creative writing professor Bella (Mary Beth Fisher), who values her solitude but finds herself opening up to Christopher (John Drea)—a reclusive, mysterious freshman with lofty literary aspirations. As the two connect beyond the classroom, Bella realizes she must ask Christopher for an impossible favor. Their story unfolds to a stunning conclusion, blurring the lines between fiction, friendship and endings. “Much more than a simple capture of the play, this project is the innovative melding of cutting-edge technology, videography and stagecraft—from the best way to seamlessly move a three-person camera crew from scene to scene, to how best to realize an ethereal or uncomfortable look,” said television producer, writer and director Christiana Tye, whose national and international production experience includes NBC Network News, A&E, PBS and more. “I’m thrilled to partner with the Goodman to engage live audiences around the world.”

Mary Beth Fisher (Bella) in The Sound Inside by Adam Rapp, directed by Robert Falls at Goodman Theatre (May 13 – 16, 2021) Photo by Cody Nieset

The Live Series continues with Adrienne Kennedy’s Ohio State Murders, directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene in her Goodman debut (June 17-20); and Chicago-based playwright/director duo Ike Holter and Lili-Anne Brown reunite for Holter’s newest work, I Hate It Here (July15-18). Tye and Gabe Hatfield of Hatfield Post/Production collaborate with each director to realize the vision of the play for the camera medium. 

The Design Team includes Arnel Sancianco (Set), Mieka van der Ploeg (Costumes), Jason Lynch (Lighting), Richard Woodbury (Sound for The Sound Inside), Melanie Chen Cole (Sound for Ohio State Murders), Mikhail Fiskel (Sound for I Hate It Here) and Paul Deziel (Projection Design for I Hate It Here);Briana Fahey is the Production Stage Manager. 

TSI_Pro4: (L to R) Mary Beth Fisher (Bella) and John Drea (Christopher) in The Sound Inside by Adam Rapp, directed by Robert Falls at Goodman Theatre (May 13 – 16, 2021) Photo by Cody Nieset

“I am thrilled to be working at the Goodman, a theater I’ve always dreamed of working at, in a city I’ve always loved” said Tiffany Nichole Greene, acclaimed director of the Hamilton National Tour, who makes her Goodman debut. “To add to this embarrassment of riches, I have the opportunity to direct Ohio State Murders by the incredible Adrienne Kennedy.“

In Ohio State Murders, Obie-Award winner Adrienne Kennedy “leads us delicately but intrepidly into an American heart of darkness” (Curtain Up), directed by Greene. When Suzanne arrives at Ohio State University in 1949 as one of a handful of Black freshmen, she discovers the “safe haven” of academia offers little sanctuary. Decades later, the accomplished writer returns to her alma mater to speak about her work—and unravels the heartbreaking truth and chilling mystery of her life lived in the shadows. Ohio State Murders appears June 17 at 7:30pm; June 18 at 7:30pm; June 19 at 2pm and 7:30pm; and June 20 at 2pm.

John Drea (Christopher) in The Sound Inside by Adam Rapp, directed by Robert Falls at Goodman Theatre (May 13 – 16, 2021) Photo by Cody Nieset

“I am really excited to explore how we can lean into this moment, both artistically and technically” said Lili-Anne Brown, whose longtime professional partnership with playwright Ike Holter has realized notable productions of Lottery Day at the Goodman (2019), Put Your House in Order (La Jolla Playhouse) and The Wolf at the End of the Block (16th Street Theatre).

For the Chicago premiere of I Hate It Here, acclaimed playwright-and-director duo Holter and Brown rejoin forces. If there’s one thing Americans can agree on, it’s that 2020 was not the best way to begin a new decade. With guts and humor, punctuated with story and song, Holter asks who we are in a world on the brink of explosion in this “sharp and satisfyingly foul-mouthed” (The New York Times) rallying cry for our times. I Hate It Here appears July 15 at 7:30pm; July 16 at 7:30pm; July 17 at 2pm and 7:30pm; and July 18 at 2pm.


Chicago’s theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit arts and community organization in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and community engagement.

Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics. Artists and productions have earned 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 longtime annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, now in its fourth decade, has created a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production and program partner with national and international companies and Chicago’s Off-Loop theaters.

TSI_Pro6: (L to R) Director Robert Falls and Video Director Christiana Tye behind the scenes of The Sound Inside by Adam Rapp at Goodman Theatre (May 13 – 16, 2021) Photo by Cody Nieset

Using the tools of the theatrical profession, the Goodman’s Education and Engagement programs aim to develop generations of citizens who understand the cultures and stories of diverse voices. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of these programs, which are offered free of charge for Chicago youth—85% of whom come from underserved communities—schools and life-long learners.

As a cultural and community organization invested in quality, diversity and community, Goodman Theatre is committed to using the art of theater for a better Chicago. Goodman Theatre’s action plan for Action Plan for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism and Access (IDEAA) was born out of the belief that progress means action, which includes building on the decades-long commitment to using art, assets and resources to contribute to a more just, equitable and anti-racist society. 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 also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Rebecca Gilman, Dale Orlandersmith, Henry Godinez, Steve Scott, Kimberly Senior, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. Jeff Hesse is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Fran Del Boca is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.


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