Season includes new plays by Ruhl, Taylor, Bradshaw

World premieres from Sarah Ruhl, Regina Taylor and Thomas Bradshaw, plus a reimagining by Mary Zimmerman of “Candide” are among highlights of the 2010-11 season at Chicago’s Goodman Theater.

Also on the lineup, Goodman a.d. Robert Falls will stage “The Seagull” in October, in what is described as an intimate re-examination of the Chekhov masterwork.

Prior to that, the Goodman season kicks off in September with Zimmerman’s new adaptation of “Candide,” Leonard Bernstein and Hugh Wheeler’s musical satire based on Voltaire’s novella about a globetrotting young man and his search for the meaning of life. Zimmerman won a Tony in 2002 for “Metamorphoses.”

Opening in January, Taylor’s “Rain” focuses on a New York journalist who returns home to Texas after the meltdown of her marriage, only to be confronted with unearthed family secrets.

Bradshaw’s “Mary” follows in February. Set when the AIDS crisis was peaking in 1983, the absurdist drama concerns a college student who invites his boyfriend home to meet the folks in ultra-conservative Virginia.

Next up in March, Ruhl returns to her home town with “Stage Kiss.” Art imitates life and reality becomes blurry in this comic fairy tale in which former lovers are reunited as romantic leads in a cheesy melodrama.

Three further titles are to be announced to complete the Goodman season.

The theater is teaming with commercial producers to lock in a Broadway transfer engagement for its current double-bill of Eugene O’Neill’s “Hughie” and Samuel Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape,” both starring Brian Dennehy. The plays’ Chicago run has been extended through Feb. 28.

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