Making history: Goodman Theatre names first female artistic director in 97 years

  • Susan V. Booth will succeed Robert Falls as the Goodman Theatre's artistic director.

    Susan V. Booth will succeed Robert Falls as the Goodman Theatre's artistic director.

 
 
Posted7/26/2022 1:00 AM

Change is coming to 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago on Oct. 3, when Susan V. Booth takes over as Goodman Theatre's new artistic director, the first female in the theater's 97-year history to hold that position.

Booth, who worked as Goodman's new play development director from 1993 to 2001, returns to Chicago after 21 years as artistic director of the regional Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre Company in Atlanta.

 

Alliance premiered six shows under her leadership that later opened on Broadway, including "The Color Purple," "Sister Act" and "The Prom," among others.

As Goodman's new play development chief, Booth worked with playwrights Luis Alfara, Rebecca Gilman, Jose Rivera and Regina Taylor.

"The Goodman has long played a foundational role in my work as an artist and as an artistic leader," Booth said. "To have come up in a theater so deeply committed to bravery, authenticity and muscular aesthetics was a gift I've been able to take with me and build upon over the last 20 years in Atlanta."

Booth, who also worked with Northlight Theatre in Skokie, previously taught at Northwestern and DePaul universities.

She succeeds artistic director Robert Falls, who resigned from the theater's artistic leadership after 35 years. Falls praised Booth as an inspired choice with outstanding qualifications.

"Having worked with her for almost a decade," he said, "I know she'll bring inspired leadership, energy and fresh ideas to what I'm sure will be an exciting new chapter for the theater."

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