On May 18, the Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement opened at Goodman Theatre above Petterino's restaurant at 170 N. Dearborn St.
This is named for Alice B. Rapoport, a Goodman trustee until her death in 2014. Her husband, Michael A. Sachs, attended a ceremony to name the center in her honor. The expansion project exceeded a $15 million goal all raised from a private sector and not government funding explained executive director Roche Schulfer.
A portrait of Alice Rapoport will always be on display in the new space with a light shining on it similar to the tradition of leaving a light on in the theater.
"This is a game-changing moment for all of us at the Goodman Theatre," said artistic director Robert Falls.
Willa J. Taylor, who has led the Goodman's programs since 2007, spoke of the classes and upcoming collaborations. It was announced that Dael Orlandersmith will be the first artist in residence at the Center. Taylor Skyped in theater group Universes, Steven Sapp, William Ruiz and Mildred Ruiz-Sapp to witness singing and spoken-word performances of the Goodman Theatre Education Program Participants. The piece was titled "We Are What We Imagine Ourselves to Be," taken from the words of playwright August Wilson, who used it in a speech dedicated to the new Goodman building in 2000.
A full schedule of upcoming events and classes can be found at GoodmanTheatre.org .
Photos and text by Jerry Nunn