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Tony Award Winner Phylicia Rashad
Tony Award Winner Phylicia Rashad
Directs Chicago Premiere of
Written by Jen Silverman
June 21 – August 5, 2018
Featuring Ensemble Members Ora Jones and Sandra Marquez
In a Warm, Funny Story About a Chance Cohabitation That Sets Two Lives Spinning
Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents the Chicago premiere production of The Roommate by Jen Silverman, directed by Tony Award Winner Phylicia Rashad. A unique story that expresses how early-life choices can lead to mid-life challenges and the humorous, touching and unexpected rewards of bridging the divide, the Steppenwolf production will feature ensemble members Ora Jones as Robyn and Sandra Marquez as Sharon.
The Roommate begins previews June 21, 2018 and the production runs through August 5, 2018 in the Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St. Press performances are Sunday, July 1 at 6pm and Tuesday, July 3 at 7:30pm; opening night is Sunday, July 1. Single tickets ($20-$93) are currently on-sale through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.
Sharon is Midwestern nice. But to Robyn, her new roommate from the Bronx, that just means very nosy and very, very talkative. A comical mismatch leads to a surprising and touching friendship in this new comedy about how early-life choices lead to mid-life challenges and the unexpected rewards of bridging the divide. The Roommate is a warm, funny story about a chance cohabitation that sets two lives spinning. Think The Odd Couple meets Breaking Bad.
Jen Silverman’s The Roommate premiered at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville in 2015 and has received subsequent productions at South Coast Rep, Williamstown and SF Playhouse. Additional work includes The Moors, Phoebe in Winter, The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane (Barrymore Award) and Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Boops (Woolly Mammoth). She is a member of New Dramatists, and has developed work with the O’Neill, New York Theatre Workshop, Portland Center Stage, Berkeley Rep and the Royal Court in London. A recipient of the Helen Merrill and Yale Drama Series Awards, she’s also a two-time MacDowell Fellow and 16/17 Playwrights of New York (PoNY) Fellow at the Lark.
Phylicia Rashad (director), one of the entertainment world’s most extraordinary performing artists, has been bringing laughter to millions of television viewers around the world, moving theatre-goers to tears, thrilling movie fans, offering new insights to students by teaching at renowned learning institutions such as Howard University and Julliard, and breaking new ground as a director.
Phylicia Rashad’s directing credits include August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean at the Seattle Repertory Theatre, August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles (2014 NAACP Theatre Award for Best Director) and Fences at the Long Wharf Theatre and the McCarter Theatre. This spring Ms. Rashad makes her NYC stage directing debut with the comedy Our Lady of 121st Street, running off-Broadway from May 1 to June 10.
Ms. Rashad received both the Drama Desk and the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her riveting performance in the Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun. She received the 2016 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play for her performance in Steppenwolf ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney's Head of Passes at the Public Theater, which played at the Mark Taper Forum this fall. She has performed on Broadway in Steppenwolf’s production of ensemble member Tracy Letts’s August: Osage County; Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (a role that she reprised on the London Stage), August Wilson’s Gem Of The Ocean, (Tony Award nomination) and Cymbeline at Lincoln Center.
Well-known to television audiences for her groundbreaking role of attorney Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show, her recent film credits include Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls and the 2015 Rocky spin-off and sequel Creed, and she currently has a featured guest-starring role in Empire.
Ora Jones (Robyn) is a Steppenwolf ensemble member and was recently seen in Studio Theatre’s production of Curve of Departure and on Broadway last season as Madame de Volanges in Les Liaisons Dangerueses at the Booth Theatre in New York. She also appeared as Mrs. Phelps in Matilda the Musical, both at the Shubert Theatre in New York, and in the first National tour. At Steppenwolf she is in the upcoming production of The Doppelgänger (an international farce) and appeared in The Wheel, Three Sisters, Middletown, The Brother/Sister Plays, The Unmentionables, The Violet Hour, The Crucible, Carter's Way and Morning Star. Some favorite Chicago roles include Katherine of Aragon in Henry VIII, Queen Charlotte in The Madness of George III, Maria in Twelfth Night, Lucienne in A Flea in Her Ear and Mistress Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor for Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Mrs. Rittenhouse in Animal Crackers, Claire in Proof, Mrs. Fezziwig and Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, Madeleine Beck in Boy Gets Girl and Elizabeth I in The Beard of Avon for Goodman Theatre; Jaclyn in Rasheeda Speaks for Rivendell Theatre; Rita Jeffries in My Kind of Town for Timeline Theatre; the Stage Manager in Our Town for Writers Theatre; Gwen in Execution of Justice for About Face Theatre; Bird/Turtle in A Year With Frog and Toad for Chicago Children's Theatre. Regional and other New York credits include performances at Long Wharf Theatre, Yale Repertory, Manhattan Theatre Club, Public Theatre, Weston Playhouse, Milwaukee Repertory and Next Act. Film and television appearances include Chicago Fire, Betrayal, Consumed, Were the World Mine and Stranger than Fiction.
Sandra Marquez (Sharon) joined the Steppenwolf ensemble in spring 2016 and is in the upcoming Steppenwolf production of The Doppelgänger (an international farce). She recently appeared in the Steppenwolf productions of Mary Page Marlowe and The Motherf**ker with the Hat. Other credits at Steppenwolf include A Streetcar Named Desire, Sonia Flew, and One Arm. At Teatro Vista, where she is a longtime company member, she directed Fade, My Mañana Comes, Breakfast Lunch & Dinner and Our Lady of the Underpass and has acted in numerous productions, including A View from the Bridge for which she received a Jeff Award. Last fall she completed a three-year arc playing Clytemnestra in what was billed as Court Theater's Iphigenia Cycle (Iphigenia at Aulis, Electra and Agamemnon). Film and television credits include Boss, Empire, Chicago Med, Chicago Justice and Timer. Marquez is on the theater faculty at Northwestern University.
The Roommate production team includes John Iacovelli (scenic design), Samantha C. Jones (costume design), Xavier Pierce (lighting design) and Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound design). Additional credits include Laura Glenn (stage manager), Christine D. Freeburg (assistant stage manager), JC Clementz (casting director) and Hallie Gordon (artistic producer).
Dates: June 21 – August 5, 2018
Previews: June 21 – June 30, 2018
Press Performances: Sunday, July 1 at 6pm and Tuesday, July 3 at 7:30pm
Opening: July 1, 2018
Regular Run: July 3 – August 5, 2018
American Sign Language Interpretation: Sunday, July 22 at 7:30pm
Open Captioning: Saturday, August 4 at 3pm
Audio Description and Touch Tour: Sunday, July 29 at 1:30pm
Curtain Times: Tuesday – Friday at 7:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm and 7:30pm
Previews: $20 – $54, Regular Run: $20 – $93. Prices subject to change
20 for $20: Twenty $20 tickets are available for all main series shows on the day of the performance at 11am (Mon – Sat) and 1pm (Sun), by phone only at 312-335-1650. Limit 2 per person.
Rush Tickets: Half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each main series show.
Student Discounts: Limited $15 student tickets are available online. (Limit 2 tickets. Must present a valid student ID for each ticket). For additional student discounts, visit steppenwolf.org/students.
Group Tickets: All groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance.
Black Card Memberships are for audiences interested in extreme flexibility. Cards include six tickets for use any time, for any production including the LookOut Series. The tickets are valid for one year with the option to add additional tickets as needed. Perks include easy and free exchanges, access to seats before the general public, savings on single ticket prices and bar and restaurant discounts for pre- and post-show socializing.
Red Card Memberships are available for theatergoers under 30.
More info at steppenwolf.org/memberships
For tickets or more information, contact Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St) at
312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.
Steppenwolf is located at 1650 N Halsted St near all forms of public transportation, bike racks and Divvy bike stands. The parking facility ($12 or $14, cash or card) is located just south of our theater at 1624 N Halsted. Valet parking service ($14 cash) is available directly in front of the main entrance starting at 5pm on weeknights, 1pm on weekends and at 12noon before Wednesday matinees. Limited street and lot parking are also available. For last minute questions and concerns, patrons can call the Steppenwolf Parking Hotline at 312.335.1774.
Committed to making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to everyone, performances featuring American Sign Language Interpretation, Open Captioning and Audio Description are offered during the run of each play. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance and the Downstairs and 1700 Theatres are each equipped with an induction hearing loop. All theaters feature wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms, and Front Bar features a push-button entrance, all-gender restrooms and accessible counter and table spaces.
United Airlines is the Official and Exclusive Airline of Steppenwolf.
Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks
Connected to the main lobby is Steppenwolf’s own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks, offering a warm, creative space to grab a drink, have a bite, or meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night. Open Tuesdays – Sundays from 8am to midnight, Front Bar serves artisanal coffee and espresso is provided by La Colombe and food prepared by Goddess and Grocer. The menu focuses on fresh, accessible fare, featuring grab-and-go salads and sandwiches for lunch and adding shareable small plates and desserts for evening and post show service. www.front-bar.com.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company
is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble represents a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead to August: Osage County—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony Awards—have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programing includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multi-genre performances series. Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities; the esteemed School at Steppenwolf; and Professional Leadership Programs for arts administration training. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre, twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr and instagram.com/steppenwolfthtr.