Artistic visionaries, Jovan Landry and Goodman Theatre Artistic Director, Robert Falls, in conversation about their work and leadership.

Multidisciplinary artist, Jovan Landry, and Tony Award-winning director and Artistic Director of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, Robert Falls, talk about deepening their artistic work and leading during times of crisis.

We’ll learn about Synergy, the first all women hip-hop album and then hear an excerpt from that work. The episode closes out with a segment from School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Lili-Anne Brown. The play was scheduled to open in March of 2020 and will resume performances when it’s safe to gather.

“Interlude: Chicago Woman Hip-Hop”, from Synergy, the first all-woman produced, performed, and engineered Hip-Hop album. An Interview with Chicago Hip-Hop Veterans Femcee Flipside, Unmuvabo, Lady Gemstar, Jaquanda Villegas, and Tasleem Jamila, on what it means to be a woman in hip-hop from Chicago. Recorded and arranged by Jovan Landry, music produced by Qisum, mixed and mastered by Viibez.

School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Lili-Anne Brown and produced by the Goodman Theatre. This excerpt includes performances by Lanise Antoine Shelley and Tania Richard.

This episode was sponsored by FLATS, a Chicago based apartment community with editing by Hannah Foerschler and original music by Andrew Hansen. Graphic design by Vin Reed. Your host and producer for Pivot Arts is Julieanne Ehre.

Guest Bios

Jovan Landry began exploring her passion for the arts at 16 years old through personal video blogs, followed by tapping into musical production, film, and photography. This creative path transformed her into a well-spoken and confident individual, giving her multiple avenues to share her experiences. Jovan takes pride in her impact through media and intentionally creates work that reflects an accurate representation of her community and the cultures she contributes to without manipulation. Jovan breaks the conventional image of what it means to be a woman in film, photography and hip-hop music: Whether it is crouching, lying or standing on top of a ladder for a particular angle; maneuvering with her subject like a dance; or being onstage as an energetic force with articulate lyrics, embodying both her femininity and masculinity. While all disciplines live separately, Jovan stands firmly in blending each third of her artistry, particularly on personal projects: where she creates her music, directs and edits her music videos, and creates her album artwork.

Robert Falls is a director as well as the Artistic Director of the Goodman Theatre. Most recently, in an unprecedented collaboration between Showtime and The Actors Fund, Goodman Theatre presented Falls’ Tony Award-winning production of Death of a Salesman in a limited streaming run. Additional recent Goodman credits include The Winter’s Tale, We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time, Pamplona, An Enemy of the People, 2666 and The Iceman Cometh. Falls’ Broadway productions include Death of a Salesman, Long Day’s Journey into Night, Talk Radio, Shining City and The Young Man from Atlanta. His Broadway production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida continues to be produced around the world. Previous Goodman productions include, most notably, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Measure for Measure, King Lear, Desire Under the Elms, Finishing the Picture, The Misanthrope, Pal Joey, Galileo, House and Garden, Blue Surge, Dollhouse and Luna Gale. Falls’ honors for directing include a Tony Award (Death of a Salesman), a Drama Desk Award (Long Day’s Journey into Night), an Obie Award (subUrbia), a Helen Hayes Award (King Lear) and multiple Jeff Awards. For “outstanding contributions to theater,” he has also been recognized with such prestigious honors as the Savva Morozov Diamond Award (Moscow Art Theatre), the O’Neill Medallion (Eugene O’Neill Society) and the Illinois Arts Council Governor’s Award. Falls was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2015.