Apply Now for the Cindy Bandle Young Critics program in Chicago

This Free Program for High School Girls Is Now Open

Image: Taylor Lacey

The Goodman Theatre, Chicago’s celebrated nonprofit theater that’s been hailed by Time magazine as America’s “Best Regional Theater,” is offering a free program to 10th- and 11th-grade girls who are “journalistically savvy and theater curious.”

“Our goal is to improve the girls’ writing skills,” says Willa J. Taylor, artist, educator, and activist who leads the Goodman’s Education and Engagement programs. “They’ll be attending shows and writing reviews, so they should have a love of theater and know what research means.”

The Cindy Bandle Young Critics, or CBYC, program, now in its 10th year, is a free, seven-month program that immerses young women in the world of theater and journalism. A joint venture between the Goodman and the Association for Women Journalists, or AWJ, Chicago, CYBC has students attend twice-monthly Saturday workshops in the Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement. Working print journalists mentor the girls and help them develop not only their critical voice but also professional-level journalism skills.

CBYC participants also interview Goodman artists and staff members to produce feature stories; in addition, they attend press opening nights. The first session takes place at the Goodman on Saturday, Nov. 5. Hurry! The application deadline is Friday, Oct. 21! Applications are available at

CBYC is named for Cindy Bandle (1955—2005), whose tenure as Goodman Theatre’s press director spanned two decades during which she publicized more than 200 productions that featured noted artists, including Carol Burnett, Brian Dennehy, Arthur Miller, David Mamet, August Wilson, and many others. During her time at the Goodman, the theater became one of the most important and respected nonprofit resident theaters in the country. 

Goodman Theatre offers free programming year-round for Chicagoland learners of all ages to deepen their experience of the stage, including an eight-week Summer Musical Theater Intensive and Student Subscription Series. Eighty-five percent of Goodman’s youth participants hail from underserved communities, to which Goodman is connected primarily through neighborhood schools and libraries. Distinguished by its artistic programming and outreach, Goodman is “the first theater in the world to produce all 10 of August Wilson’s ‘American Century Cycle’ plays.”

For more information about the Goodman Theatre, visit the Goodman virtually at–including OnStage+ for insider information–and on Twitter (@GoodmanTheatre), Facebook, and Instagram.