ROBERT FALLS has been the artistic director of Goodman Theatre since 1986. From 1977 to 1985, he was the artistic director of Wisdom Bridge Theatre. Under Mr. Falls’ leadership, the Goodman received the 1992 Special Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater and was named by Time magazine in May of 2003 as “the number one regional theater in the U.S.” Two of Mr. Falls’ most highly acclaimed Broadway productions, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night (first staged at the Goodman) were honored with seven Tony Awards and three Drama Desk Awards. Last season, Mr. Falls directed the Chicago premiere of Rebecca Gilman’s Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976, and co-directed the world premiere production of his and Goodman playwright-in-residence Seth Bockley’s adaptation of Chilean novelist Robert Bolaño’s 2666. This season, for his 30th anniversary at the Goodman, he will direct productions of Uncle Vanya and Ah, Wilderness!
Mr. Falls’ recent credits include his highly acclaimed production of The Iceman Cometh, starring Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy, for the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Prior to that, he directed Rebecca Gilman’s Luna Gale, featuring the original cast from the Goodman’s 2013 world premiere production, for the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles, as well as Mozart’s Don Giovanni for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Other recent productions include the world and off-Broadway premieres of Beth Henley’s The Jacksonian, Measure for Measure, the regional premiere of John Logan’s Red, John Robin Baitz’s Three Hotels, The Seagull and the world premiere of Rebecca Gilman’s A True History of the Johnstown Flood. Previous credits include King Lear (Helen Hayes Award); Desire Under the Elms; the Broadway revival of Eric Bogosian’s Talk Radio; the world premiere of Richard Nelson’s Frank’s Home; the American premiere of Conor McPherson’s Shining City; the Broadway and touring productions of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida; the world premieres of Arthur Miller’s Finishing the Picture, Rebecca Gilman’s Blue Surge and Dollhouse, Eric Bogosian’s Griller, Steve Tesich’s The Speed of Darkness and On the Open Road and John Logan’s Riverview: A Melodrama with Music; the American premiere of Alan Ayckbourn’s House and Garden; the Midwest premieres of Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero and Edward Albee’s The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?; as well as Galileo, The Iceman Cometh, A Touch of the Poet, Three Sisters, The Night of the Iguana, Landscape of the Body, The Misanthrope, Pal Joey and The Tempest. Elsewhere, Mr. Falls has directed Blue Surge at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, Horton Foote’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Young Man from Atlanta on Broadway, the world premiere of Eric Bogosian’s subUrbia at Lincoln Center Theater (Obie Award), The Rose Tattoo for Circle in the Square, The Iceman Cometh at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, The Night of the Iguana at the Roundabout Theatre and The Food Chain at the Westside Theatre, as well as productions for the Guthrie Theater, Remains Theatre, and La Jolla Playhouse. Mr. Falls made his operatic debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago with his 1993 production of Carlyle Floyd’s Susannah, starring Renee Fleming and Samuel Ramey. In 1996, he directed Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul for the Lyric Opera. His production of Susannah has also been performed at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, the Washington Opera, the Grand Théâtre de Genève in Switzerland, and the Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao, Spain.
At the Goodman, Mr. Falls has assembled a team of distinguished artists that includes producer Steve Scott; Manilow resident director Mary Zimmerman; resident director Chuck Smith; resident artistic associate Henry Godinez; artistic associates Regina Taylor, Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman and Henry Wishcamper; and playwright-in-residence Seth Bockley. Under Mr. Falls’ leadership, the Goodman’s Artistic Collective—unique in American theater—is committed to offering Goodman audiences world-class theater experiences, supporting the development of new works by established and emerging playwrights, and providing a creative home for leading American and international theater artists. At Northwestern University, Mr. Falls has served as both a visiting faculty member and artistic director of the graduate directing program. He is a past board president of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization of non-profit professional theaters in America, and has been featured in American Theatre magazine as one of the “most powerful” individuals in the American theater.
Earlier this fall, Mr. Falls received a Jeff Award for his co-adaption of 2666. Last season, he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame for his achievements as a Broadway director and pioneering artist in the American theater. Additional honors include: Savva Morozov Diamond Award (Moscow Art Theatre), O’Neill Medallion (Eugene O’Neill Society), Human Spirit Award (Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis), Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions by an Individual Artist (Illinois Arts Council), “Chicagoan of the Year” (Chicago magazine), Artistic Leadership Award (League of Chicago Theatres), election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts (Lake Forest College), Special Jeff Award for Outstanding Contributions to Theatre, and Chicago Illini of the Year Award (University of Illinois).