9 Reasons We’re Obsessed with Chicago’s Mary Zimmerman
Chances are that if you’re a theater person, or specifically a Chicago theater person, you already know full well who director, writer, and artist Mary Zimmerman is.
What you might not know, are the nine reasons why we love her. Which is why we’ve laid them out for you here.
1. She’s a dedicated Chicagoan.
Originally from Nebraska, and after growing up in Europe, she received her BS, MA, and PhD from Northwestern University throughout the 80s and 90s and has stayed close to the Windy City since then.
2. She’s big news.
An ensemble member at Lookingglass Theatre and the Manilow Resident Director at Goodman Theatre, you can catch her production of the classic musical Wonderful Town this fall.
3. She doesn’t limit herself artistically.
She adapts, writes, and directs, and has worked in straight theater, musical theater, and opera.
4. She won a MacArthur Fellowship (you know, the “Genius Grant”).
You know who just won that last year? Lin-Manuel Miranda.
5. She’s not about that Aristotle nonsense.
She innovates ways to break conventional narrative form and gets to our innermost hearts via an unexpected route.
6. Sitting in the splash zone of Metamorphoses was life-changing.
7. She creates plays that have splash zones.
8. She’s a well-seasoned storyteller.
Most of the stories she tells are adaptations of ancient world classics that have been passed down for centuries all over the globe, which is neat.
9. She’s political.
In 2003 when it became clear that the U.S. was going to invade Iraq, she canceled her upcoming Goodman production of Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci in favor of doing the Greek tragedy Trojan Women, “the greatest anti-invasion text [she] could think of.”
So if you like being reminded of the wonders of humanity in an increasingly fractured political landscape, check out her work, starting with Wonderful Town, opening September 10 at the Goodman Theatre. She’ll give you all the good feels.