"A deeply moving meditation on hope, change and despair"
– The New York Times

Mar 27 - Apr 26, 2020 in Goodman's Owen Theatre

“And what sort of world did you expect, Mrs. Sweeney?” - Dr. Rice, Act II

In this riveting exploration of triumph and loss, master storyteller Brian Friel—“a towering figure of the stage, from Dublin to Broadway” (The Guardian)—reveals the unexpected consequences of a modern medical miracle. Visually impaired since infancy, Molly agrees to a procedure that will restore her sight. But is it she who benefits most—or her ambitious spouse, or her doctor’s career? Robert Falls directs a major revival of this “astonishing, highly entertaining, deeply moving meditation on hope, change and despair” (The New York Times). 


  • Playwright, Brian Friel

    Brian Friel (1929 – 2015) was an award-winning playwright. He has won awards for Dancing At Lughnasa (three Tony Awards including Best Play, a New York Drama Critics Circle award for Best Play and an Olivier Award for Best Play); Aristocrats (Evening Standard Award for Best Play and New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Play); and Molly Sweeney (New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Play). Friel was also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the [British] Royal Society of Literature and the Irish Academy of Letters.

    Playwright, Brian Friel
  • Director, Robert Falls

    Robert Falls is the Artistic Director of Goodman Theatre. Most recently, Falls directed the world premiere of David Cale’s We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time, Pamplona, and remounted his Lyric Opera of Chicago production of Don Giovanni for the Dallas Opera. In the Goodman’s 2017/2018 Albert Season, he directed the world premiere of Rogelio Martinez’s Blind Date and a new production of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, for which he also wrote the adaptation. In the 2015/2016 Season, Falls directed the Chicago premiere of Rebecca Gilman’s Soups, Stews and Casseroles: 1976 and partnered with Goodman Playwright-in-Residence Seth Bockley to direct their world premiere adaptation of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 (Jeff Award for Best Adaptation). Recent productions also include The Iceman Cometh for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Rebecca Gilman’s Luna Gale for the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, Measure for Measure and the world and off-Broadway premieres of Beth Henley’s The Jacksonian.

    Among his other credits are The Seagull, King Lear, Desire Under the Elms, John Logan's Red, Jon Robin Baitz’s Three Hotels, Eric Bogosian’s Talk Radio and Conor McPherson’s Shining City; the world premieres of Richard Nelson’s Frank’s Home, Arthur Miller’s Finishing the Picture, Eric Bogosian’s Griller, Steve Tesich’s The Speed of Darkness and On the Open Road, John Logan’s Riverview: A Melodrama with Music and Rebecca Gilman’s A True History of the Johnstown Flood, Blue Surge and Dollhouse; the American the American premiere of Alan Ayckbourn’s House and Garden; and the Broadway premiere of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida.

    Falls’ honors for directing include, among others, 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 (including a 2012 Jeff Award for The Iceman Cometh). For “outstanding contributions to theater,” Falls has been recognized with such prestigious honors as the Savva Morozov Diamond Award (Moscow Art Theatre), the O’Neill Medallion (Eugene O’Neill Society), the Distinguished Service to the Arts Award (Lawyers for the Creative Arts), the Illinois Arts Council Governor’s Award and induction into the Theater Hall of Fame.

    Director, Robert Falls

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Critical Praise
  • "An astonishing work, one that acutely examines its characters and asks us to make similar observations of ourselves"

    - The New York Times

  • "Three achingly poignant character studies"

    - Variety

  • "A highly entertaining play, often delivering laughs while posing questions"

    - The New York Times

  • "Beautifully composed"

    - Variety

  • "A deeply moving meditation on hope, change and despair"

    - The New York Times

  • A "brooding meditation on sight and blindness, loss and redemption"

    - Variety


Join us for any of the following accessible performances.

Questions? Please contact 312.443.3800 (voice), 312.443.3829 (TTY/TDD) or email Access@GoodmanTheatre.org.

Touch Tour and Audio Described performanceTouch Tour and Audio-Described Performance
Saturday, April 4
12:30pm Touch Tour & 2pm Performance

American Sign Language Interpreted PerformanceAmerican Sign Language-Interpreted Performance
Wednesday, April 8 at 7:30pm

Open Caption Performance Open-Captioned Performance
Saturday, April 11 at 2pm

Season Lineup

2019/2020 Season

Join us for a season of visionary work featuring fresh and energetic voices—eight plays with the power to entertain, challenge and fearlessly reflect our world.

Memberships for the 19/20 season are now on sale. Choose from Classic, Choice and Whenever memberships.