Alumna Director Soaring in Chicago’s Robust Theatre Scene

Marti Lyons '08
Feb. 24, 2015

Illinois Wesleyan theatre alumna Marti Lyons ’08 has been named the 2014-2015 Michael Maggio Directing Fellow at the Goodman Theatre, and is scheduled to direct several upcoming productions, including the Chicago premiere of Title and Deed by Will Eno.

As the Maggio Fellow, which is designed to be an immersive experience for Chicago-based directors, Lyons will serve as a member of Goodman’s artistic team and assist on a production.       

Beginning March 18, Lyons will direct Title and Deed at Lookingglass Theater Company. Praised by The New York Times as “a haunting and often fiercely funny meditation on life as a state of permanent exile,” Title and Deed is a dramatic comedy about one man’s journey. Written by Eno, whose play Thom Pain (based on nothing) was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, Title and Deed will star Michael Patrick Thorton, a Joseph Jefferson Award winner who appeared in the television drama “Private Practice.”

Lyons is currently director of The Sweeter Option, a fast-paced and darkly funny psychological thriller, at Chicago’s Strawdog Theatre Company, which runs through March 28. This summer, Lyons will direct Body and Blood, a new play about overcoming obstacles and following your heart, at The Gift Theatre Company in Chicago.

Since 2010, Lyons has worked for Lookingglass Theatre Company, a Tony Award-winning regional theatre in Chicago, where she is currently literary manager and company dramaturg. She has been a part of multiple productions at the theatre company, including Still Alice, for which she was associate director and understudy, and Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting, for which she was associate director. Other recent productions include 9 Circles and Mine, both of which she directed. Lyons was also a 2012 Ragdale Fellow at 3Arts, which works to sustain and promote Chicago artists.

At Illinois Wesleyan, Lyons directed a lab theatre production of Woyzeck, conducted a senior honors thesis on English playwright Sarah Kane and experimental theatre, and spent a semester abroad at the British American Dramatic Academy in London.

By Tia Patsavas ’16