Showing posts with label 2017-18 season announced. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2017-18 season announced. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

SAVE THE DATES: Underscore Theatre Company's 2017-18 Season To Include a World Premiere, an Acclaimed Return and a 4th Festival

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


(left to right) Victoria Olivier, Khaki Pixley, Royen Kent (center) Summer Hofford, David Kaplinsky, Tyler Merle Thompson and Mike Mazzocca in Underscore Theatre Company’s 2016 world premiere of HAYMARKET: THE ANARCHIST’S SONGBOOK. Photo by Evan Hanover.
(from Underscore’s original production of HAYMARKET)

Mark your calendars now. Underscore Theatre Company is at again, exploring stories of power and resonance through a musical lens. Here at ChiIL Live Shows we're eager to catch their campy CARRIE 2: THE RAGE world premiere, their remount of acclaimed HAYMARKET: THE ANARCHIST’S SONGBOOK, and their 4th CHICAGO MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL. Check out the details below. Since its creation, Underscore has produced 46 new musicals in Chicago! 

Underscore Theatre Company is pleased to announce its full 2017-18 Season, kicking off this fall with CARRIE 2: THE RAGE (An Unauthorized Musical Parody), an irreverent, rock-infused send-up of Stephen King’s iconic horror film Carrie and its subsequent spin-off The Rage: Carrie 2, featuring a book, music and lyrics by Preston M. Allen. Co-directed by Isaac Loomer and Rachel Elise Johnson, with music direction by T.J. Anderson, CARRIE 2: THE RAGE will play October 13 – November 19, 2017 at The Arkham, 4609 N Clark St. in Chicago. Tickets on sale now at

This winter, Underscore is pleased to present its 4th annual CHICAGO MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL, created to showcase and support the growing field of musical theatre creators from Chicago and beyond. After receiving more than 50 submissions, Underscore has chosen eight new musicals for this year’s Festival to be presented in full productions (full line-up below), plus several additional workshop productions. For 2018, the Festival moves to the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago.

(front, center) LaKecia Harris with (left to right) Tyler Merle Thompson, David Kaplinsky, Victoria Olivier, Khaki Pixley and Summer Hofford in Underscore Theatre Company’s 2016 world premiere of HAYMARKET: THE ANARCHIST’S SONGBOOK. Photo by Evan Hanover.

Underscore’s 2017-18 Season will conclude next spring with a revival of its Jeff Award-nominated Best New Musical HAYMARKET: THE ANARCHIST’S SONGBOOK, the true story of Chicago’s infamous Haymarket massacre. With a book and lyrics by Alex Higgin-Houser and music by David Kornfeld, the actors accompany themselves to the stirring folk-infused score. Following a series of workshops in New York and Chicago, HAYMARKET will return with an updated book, new music and songs. Venue to be announced.

(front, center) LaKecia Harris with (left to right) Khaki Pixley, Mike Mazzocca, Victoria Olivier, David Kaplinsky, Summer Hofford and James Smart in Underscore Theatre Company’s 2016 world premiere of HAYMARKET: THE ANARCHIST’S SONGBOOK. Photo by Evan Hanover.

"As Chicago's only company dedicated exclusively to developing new musicals and to growing the Chicago new musicals community, we're thrilled to enter a phase where we're able to announce a full season, especially a season that covers such a wide range of what new musicals can be," remarked Underscore Artistic Director Alex Higgin-Houser. "With a musical parody in Carrie 2, a new genre for us, the revival of our biggest hit to-date in Haymarket, and eight exciting new works with this year's Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, we're doing our level best to broaden the playing field for new musicals in the city. It's incredibly exciting."

Underscore Theatre Company’s 2017-18 Season Includes:

October 13 – November 19, 2017 
CARRIE 2: THE RAGE (An Unauthorized Musical Parody)
Book, Musics and Lyrics by Preston M. Allen
Co-Directed by Isaac Loomer and Rachel Elise Johnson
Music Direction by T.J. Anderson
at The Arkham, 4609 N Clark St., Chicago

More than a decade after Carrie White burned her high school to the ground with her mind, goth teenager Rachel Lang has her own issues to deal with, and Sue Snell, Carrie’s former classmate and Rachel’s guidance counselor, must grapple with surprising similarities between the two outcasts before history repeats itself. Framed as a backer’s auction for a ridiculously ambitious Broadway production, this irreverent meta-musical pokes fun at the entire “Carrie” canon through a punchy, rock-infused score.

February 2018
at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago

The full line-up includes:

Book, Music & Lyrics by Vi Nhan H. Tran

Born in Vietnam and raised in southwestern Kansas, Vi Nhan H. Tran is torn between the mysterious secrets of his heritage and the waving wheat fields of his adopted home. A poignant and humorous folk musical memoir, The Butcher’s Son chronicles the Tran family’s escape from Vietnam, imprisonment by the Khmer Rouge and resettlement in the cattle country of America. Tran weaves a thrilling refugee story and All-American tale of how family stories become family lore and where one family's search for a home ends.

GRINDR The Opera
Book, Music and Lyrics by Erik Ransom

Four gay men, seeking different types of connection, intersect to hilarious and calamitous results in this sung-through musical parody that puts the notorious gay hook-up app into the exaggerated world of opera. With musical styles ranging from contemporary pop to baroque, GRINDR The Opera is a daring, humorous look at the changing landscape of gay relationships, and the greatest catalyst for the shift: GRINDR.

Book and Lyrics by Bryan Adam and Matthew Kelly, Music by Bryan Adam

When submissive Lady Sterling encounters one of her sexologist husband Dr. Wood Sterling’s newest patients, a demur man who wishes more than anything else to be a woman, she finds herself actively challenging the rigid roles prescribed by Victorian virtue. Within time, she meets all of Sterling’s patients and encourages them to pursue their diverse sexual identities. What follows is a heartfelt and hilarious challenge to Victorian principles, with Lady impersonating an esteemed French doctor and organizing a bordello pairing patients with the wives of her husband’s cheating colleagues, all in an effort to challenge the painful double standards of the time. 

Book by Liz Falstreau, Lyrics by Liz Falstreau and Ashley Flanagan, Music by Ashley Flanagan

Set during the years following the American Civil War, Iron Irene tells the story of two sisters and their fight for family, equality and a better world. Upon the death of their parents, Cassie DeLanie is sent from her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to live in southwestern Wyoming with her sister, Irene. Together, the sisters must learn to adjust to this new world while still attempting to maintain the beliefs and identities of their childhood. Their adventures will lead them to Wyoming’s shining moment: being the first U.S. territory to grant women’s suffrage.

Book and Lyrics by Eric C. Jones, Music by Alex Winkler and Bradley Dean Whyte

A powerful rock musical about forgiveness, restoration, the power of friendship and what it means to be a family. This moving tale intersects and moves back and forth throughout 70 years and tells the story through the viewpoints of three unlikely men from different religious and ethnic backgrounds who are connected through a priceless family heirloom: a gold pocket watch. From the start of WWII to post-911 America, the lives of these characters will forever be changed during the historic liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau. Liberators: An American Musical encourages you to believe that even the most unlikely person can make a difference.

Music and Lyrics by Joey Katsiroubas, Book by Dan Hass

Theresa is a young, single couples’ counselor in Chicago. While she’s great (well, okay) at keeping couples together, she can’t seem to lock down a guy for herself. And the fact that she tends to get attached (well, neurotic) after just one date doesn’t help either. Cut to Mr. Wonderful moving into the office next door: beautiful, bulgy-biceped Will. It’s obsession at first sight, and no obstacle or girlfriend is going to keep Theresa from being with him. She’ll ruin relationships, sabotage dates, push people out of the closet – mixing and matching her clients until it’s just Wonderful and her. Forever. And ever. 

Book by Brian Huther, Ben Auxier and Seth Macchi, Music and Lyrics by Ben Auxier and Brian Huther, Arrangements by Ryan McCall

Set in the 1920s during the decline of Vaudeville and the rise of Hollywood, The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe tracks the journey of an ultra-sharp but down-on-their-luck comedy duo as they navigate the rapidly changing world of entertainment. With a cast of eight portraying nearly fifty characters, audiences will quickly lose themselves in this absurd and delightful comic world and leave with smiles on their faces.

Book, Music, and Lyrics by David Gosz and Leo Fotos

Through intricate characters and intimate music, “TRU” paints a picture of how hauntingly beautiful life can be. “TRU” explores the joys and challenges of the many relationships that are formed throughout one’s life, testing the various forms of love – between a man and his father, between a granddaughter and her grandmother, between a woman and her art, between a student and his teacher, between a man and himself. Walking hand in hand with reality, “TRU” toes the line between what is unbelievable and what is true.

May 2018
Book and Lyrics by Alex Higgin-Houser 
Music by David Kornfeld
Venue to be announced.

Underscore brings back its highly acclaimed Jeff Award-nominated “Best New Musical.” HAYMARKET: THE ANARCHIST’S SONGBOOK tells the Chicago story of the nation’s first Red Scare through the eyes of Lucy Parsons, daughter of a slave and widow of anarchist martyr Albert Parsons. On the last day of her life, and accompanied by the folk-music-playing ghosts of her past, Lucy revisits the Haymarket Affair and the unjust trial that followed it in an attempt to make peace with history. 

About the Artists

Preston M. Allen: Book, Music and Lyrics, CARRIE 2: THE RAGE (An Unauthorized Musical Parody) is a writer, composer, lyricist and bizarrely avid Carrie fan based in New York City. Their work has been featured at the New York Musical Festival, Musical Theatre Factory, Feinstein's/54 Below, Joe's Pub, Laurie Beechman Theatre, Signature Theatre, York Theatre ("Tune In Time" winner), Gallery Players and Second City Chicago. Preston conceived and wrote book, music and lyrics for We Are The Tigers, A New Musical (Hudson Backstage Theatre, L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation winner for Best Lyrics/Composition, nominee for Best Production and Music Direction), Remission (NYMF Developmental Reading Series), CARRIE  2: THE RAGE (An Unauthorized Musical Parody) (Feinstein's/54 Below) and My Gay Killer Husband: A Lifetime Original Musical (Boo Festival Award Winner). Additional projects include book/lyrics for Franklin Pierce: Dragon Slayer (composer Will Buck, Sound Bites 4.0 Selection), music/lyrics for Bradical and the Pink Socks (Diverging Elements), music/lyrics for The Hunted: Encore (LA Webfest Outstanding Score), book/music/lyrics for The Untitled Agent 355 Project with collaborator Jessica Kahkoska (Marion International Fellowship Recipient) and a collaboration with composer/lyricist Rob Rokicki. Preston is a graduate of the Second City Chicago Comedy Studies Program and alum of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop.

Isaac Loomer: Co-Director, CARRIE 2: THE RAGE (An Unauthorized Musical Parody) Originally from MN, he is excited to be putting on his director hat with long time friend Rachel Johnson for the first time since moving to Chicago. He has been obsessed with musical theatre for as far back as he can remember and is thrilled to be working on the world premiere of The Rage: Carrie 2. One of the the things that drew him to the project is a love of the famously flopped musical version of Carrie, and after reading the script to The Rage knew that it would succeed where it's predecessor had failed. It's a show that relishes in the Carrie-verse's successes and flops while still maintaining a clear relevant message for any era.

Rachel Elise Johnson: Co-Director, CARRIE 2: THE RAGE (An Unauthorized Musical Parody) – most recently assistant directed Underscore’s world premiere of My Name is Annie King. She also serves as Underscore’s Company Manager and has been performing in the Chicago theatre community since moving here from California.

T.J. Anderson: Music Director, CARRIE 2: THE RAGE (An Unauthorized Musical Parody) Recent music direction credits include Shockheaded Peter (Black Button Eyes Productions), Now. Here. This., [title of show], A New Brain (Brown Paper Box Co.) and Borderlands (Underscore Theatre Company). He has also recently been seen onstage as an actor in productions with Brown Paper Box Co., City Lit Theater Company and 20% Theater Company. T.J. is an artistic associate with Brown Paper Box Co. and a trumpet player throughout the city.

Alex Higgin-Houser: Book and Lyrics, Haymarket: The Anarchist’s Songbook – is a director, librettist and arts administrator based out of Chicago. As Artistic Director and founding ensemble member of Underscore Theatre Company, Alex has most recently produced My Name is Annie King (2017, Director) Tonya and Nancy: The Rock Opera (2016, Producer), Haymarket: The Anarchist's Songbook (Jeff Nominee, Best New Musical; 2016, Creator, Book/Lyrics) The Story of a Story: The Untold Story (Jeff Nominee, Best New Work; 2015, Producer), Borderlands (2015, Director) and the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival (2014 - 2016, Festival Director). Altogether, with Underscore Theatre Company, Alex has produced or co-produced nearly 50 musicals in the Chicago storefront arena. Alongside regular collaborators Laura Stratford, David Kornfeld and Brendan Siegfried, Alex has authored or co-authored six world-premiere musicals, most recently Numbers Nerds at the New York Musicals Festival (2017, Lyrics).

David Kornfeld: Music, Haymarket: The Anarchist’s Songbook – received his BA in composition from Carleton College and is currently pursuing his MFA in Musical Theatre Writing at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. His musicals include Haymarket: the Anarchist’s Songbook (Jeff Nominated: Best New Work), Liberal Arts: the Musical!, Grounds: a Fresh-Brewed Musical, Pr0ne: a Hardcore, Amateur Musical, and Numbers Nerds, which premiered this summer at NYMF. His Chicago collaborations include Loyola University, Open Door Rep, Li'l Buds Theatre Company, Theatre-Hikes, The Cabaret Project, Stone Soup, Chicago Mammals, CPA Theatricals, Whiskey Wry, weAre Productions, comedienne Brittny Congleton, the Hip Young Gunslingers Big Band, and many more. He is a co-founder of Underscore Theatre.

About Underscore Theatre Company 
Founded in 2011, Underscore Theatre Company is a team of producing artists dedicated to exploring stories of power and resonance through a musical lens; fostering the development of new musicals; and bolstering Chicago’s role as a national leader in musical theatre. Since its creation, Underscore has produced 46 new musicals in Chicago. Underscore is proud to be Chicago's home for new musicals.

Friday, April 14, 2017

SEASON ANNOUNCED: Chicago Shakespeare Theater's 2017-18 Season To Include 3rd Stage, The Yard

Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces
2017/18 Season
Including the introduction of innovative third venue:

The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

Here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama, we're elated about Chicago Shakespeare Theater's new season and new stage, a third Navy Pier performance venue, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare! We can't wait to check it out.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces nine productions of the 2017/18 Season—which will engage audiences with timeless stories in transformational settings. The season also marks the introduction of the Theater's new and innovative third performance venue, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare. Additional productions are to be announced this summer.

Artistic Director and Carl and Marilynn Thoma Endowed Chair Barbara Gaines said, "On the heels of the Theater's 30th Anniversary and the yearlong Shakespeare 400 Chicago festival, we have curated a season that reflects upon historic moments with radically fresh eyes—and at the same time blazes a trail forward by reimagining Shakespeare’s plays for today’s audiences. These works give voice to our collective soul, and serve to unite us in a time when the world feels more divided than ever.”

Regarding the opening of The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, Executive Director Criss Henderson shared, "We are thrilled to introduce audiences this season to The Yard—a forward-thinking venue that is one-of-a-kind in terms of its flexibility and artistic vision. In concert with our existing spaces in the Courtyard Theater and Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, The Yard allows us to best serve our artists and audiences with a dynamic range of spaces that will be responsive to theater-makers for generations to come."

Opening in the 2017/18 Season,The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare redefines the traditional, fixed relationship between artist and audience—offering a radically versatile theatrical platform. Repurposing the footprint of Navy Pier's former Skyline Stage with an enclosed, year-round theater space, this third performance venue connects to Chicago Shakespeare's two existing spaces—the Courtyard Theater and the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare—through expanded lobbies. The innovative design features a series of mobile towers that allow the space to be configured in a variety of shapes and sizes with audience capacities ranging from 150 to 850. The new space allows the Theater to expand its programming, host a wide range of international productions, and double its service to students and teachers.

Kicking off the season, Barbara Gaines re-examines Shakespeare's notorious "battle of the sexes" in The Taming of the Shrew (September 16–November 12, 2017; Courtyard Theater) with an all-woman company. Gaines partners with playwright Ron West (CST's The Comedy of Errors, 2008) to frame Shakespeare's story as a performance by a group of Suffragettes in 1919—on the eve of the passing of the 19th Amendment.

In The Yard is James Thierrée's The Toad Knew (September 19–23, 2017; The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare), presented by his La Compagnie du Hanneton from France as part of CST’s World’s Stage series. Blending together the artistry of dancers, contortionists, and high-wire artists with Thierrée's extraordinary physical prowess, this spectacle premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival, where it was called "flamboyant, hallucinatory and ravishingly beautiful" by The Guardian. Thierrée returns to CST after his magnificent Farewell Umbrella (2007) and Bright Abyss (2005). Tickets for The Toad Knew will go on sale later this summer; CST subscribers and donors will have early access to this limited engagement.

Chicago Shakespeare then partners with the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) in its inaugural International Latino Theater Festival (Fall 2017; Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare) with a Latin American production as part of the World’s Stage series to be announced. Founded through an alliance between the National Museum of Mexican Art, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, and the International Cultural Center, CLATA aims to celebrate and amplify the voices of Latino theater artists in Chicago.

A theatrical revolution comes to the stage in Red Velvet (December 1, 2017–January 21, 2018; Courtyard Theater), staged by leading Broadway and Chicago director Gary Griffin. The award-winning play by Lolita Chakrabarti chronicles the seldom-told, true story of Ira Aldridge, an African-American actor who challenged convention by taking the London stage as the first black Othello in 1833—sending shockwaves through the city at a time when anti-abolition protesters rioted in the streets.

In 2018, the abridged Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night's Dream (January 24–March 10, 2018; The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare) introduces Shakespeare's mystical comedy to family and student audiences in a new production in The Yard, where its extended run will serve thousands of additional students and teachers next year.

Two resolute rulers—Queen Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots—face off in a struggle for the faith of the nation in Schiller's Mary Stuart (February 21–April 15, 2018; Courtyard Theater), with an electric adaptation by Peter Oswald. The production is staged by acclaimed director Jenn Thompson, former artistic director of The Actors Company Theater (TACT), which was named "Company of the Year" by The Wall Street Journal during her tenure.

Celebrated director and playwright Aaron Posner and Teller (of famous duo Penn & Teller) join forces with a new production of Macbeth (April 25–June 24, 2018; The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare), returning after their Jeff Award-winning production of The Tempest at Chicago Shakespeare in 2015. This supernatural thriller dives into the psyches of the power-hungry Macbeth and Lady Macbeth with astounding magic to immerse audiences in the storytelling.

Featured as part of Chicago Shakespeare's World's Stage series is Samuel Beckett's masterpiece Waiting for Godot (May 23–June 3, 2018; Courtyard Theater), presented by Ireland's Druid Theatre and staged by Tony Award-winning director Garry Hynes. The Irish Times called it, "the freshest, funniest and most affecting production of the play in at least a quarter of a century." This production marks the company's third return to Chicago Shakespeare following The Cripple of Inishmaan (2011) and The Walworth Farce (2009).

Touring to neighborhood parks across the City in Summer 2017 in partnership with the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, Boeing and production sponsor BMO Harris, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks presents FREE performances of Shakespeare's timeless Romeo and Juliet (July–August, 2017; neighborhood parks across Chicago) in a gripping 75-minute production, adapted and directed by Marti Lyons.

These productions join the previously announced summer family musical, Madagascar – A Musical Adventure (July 13–August 27, 2017; Courtyard Theater). Based on the DreamWorks Animation motion picture, this wild new musical is directed and choreographed by Matt Raftery at the Theater's home on Navy Pier.

For information on purchasing tickets, visit or call the CST Box Office at 312.595.5600. A variety of flexible packages start at just $180—offering savings over single tickets, and guaranteeing your seat at every production you choose to see. Discounted tickets are also available for groups of 10 or more; Access Shakespeare patrons; and anyone under age 35 through the CST for $20 initiative.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater's 2017/18 Season (at press time)
Madagascar – A Musical Adventure
in CST's Courtyard Theater
July 13–August 27, 2017
based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture
book by Kevin Del Aguila | original music and lyrics by George Noriega & Joel Someillan
directed and choreographed by Matt Raftery

Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks
Romeo and Juliet
in neighborhood parks across Chicago
July–August, 2017
by William Shakespeare
adapted and directed by Marti Lyons

The Taming of the Shrew
in CST's Courtyard Theater
September 16–November 12, 2017
by William Shakespeare
adapted and directed by Barbara Gaines
additional dialogue by Ron West

from FRANCE | La Compagnie du Hanneton
The Toad Knew
in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare
September 19–23, 2017
by James Thierrée

International Latino Theater Festival
Title to be announced
Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare
Fall 2017

Red Velvet
in CST's Courtyard Theater
December 1, 2017–January 21, 2018
by Lolita Chakrabarti 
directed by Gary Griffin

Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night's Dream
in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare
January 24–March 10, 2018
by William Shakespeare

Schiller's Mary Stuart
in CST's Courtyard Theater
February 21–April 15, 2018
in a new version by Peter Oswald
directed by Jenn Thompson

in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare
April 25–June 24, 2018
by William Shakespeare
adapted and directed by Aaron Posner and Teller

from IRELAND | Druid Theatre
Waiting for Godot
in CST's Courtyard Theater
May 23–June 3, 2018
by Samuel Beckett
directed by Garry Hynes

Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is a leading international theater company and a recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award®. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, CST is dedicated to creating extraordinary production of classics, new works and family programming; to unlocking Shakespeare's work for educators and students; and to serving as Chicago's cultural ambassador through its World's Stage Series. Through a year-round season encompassing more than 650 performances, CST attracts 225,000 audience members annually. One in four of its audience members is under eighteen years old, and today its education programs have impacted the learning of over one million students. CST is proud to take an active role in empowering the next generation of literate, engaged cultural champions and creative minds. Throughout 2016, CST spearheaded the international arts and culture festival, Shakespeare 400 Chicago, a yearlong, citywide celebration of the playwright's 400-year legacy.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar

TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions and acclaimed for presenting plays inspired by history that connect to today’s social and political issues, announces its 2017-18 season. 

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we're elated to see that Timeline’s 21st season will feature an even gender balance, with two female and two male playwrights. We're also excited to see works by two Chicago natives and long time favorites of ours, Brett Neveu and Sarah Ruhl. 

This strong season includes the Chicago premiere of an acclaimed play by FROST/NIXON playwright Peter Morgan that has been a hit in both London and New York; a new TimeLine production of a Tony Award-nominated hit by Chicago native Sarah Ruhl; the Chicago premiere of a Kilroys List play by Anna Ziegler that first premiered last year off-Broadway; and the first world premiere developed through TimeLine’s Playwrights Collective, written by Brett Neveu.

TimeLine Theatre’s upcoming 2017-18 season includes:

— The Chicago premiere of THE AUDIENCE by Peter Morgan, the imagined story of Queen Elizabeth II’s weekly meetings with England’s Prime Ministers through decades of history and political strife, directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling and starring TimeLine Company Member Janet Ulrich Brooks as Queen Elizabeth II;

IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY, Sarah Ruhl’s Victorian-era tale of a woman’s journey to understand herself and find greater equality in her marriage and the world, directed by TimeLine Company Member Mechelle Moe at Stage 773;

— The Chicago premiere of BOY by Anna Ziegler, inspired by the real-life story of a boy who claims his true identity after being raised as a girl, and finds love, directed by Damon Kiely;

—  And the world premiere of TO CATCH A FISH by Chicagoan Brett Neveu, the first play to be produced that was written and developed through TimeLine’s inaugural Playwrights Collective, about a family and a community torn apart by a flawed search for justice, directed by TimeLine Company Member Ron OJ Parson.

Further casting will be announced at a later date. For a seventh year, one production of TimeLine’s upcoming 2017-18 season will be presented at an alternate location to accommodate the company’s subscriber base and expanding audience. IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY will be presented at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago. All other productions will be staged at TimeLine Theatre’s home at 615 W. Wellington Ave.

Save up to 20% on tickets to TimeLine’s 2017-18 with a 4-Admission FlexPass Subscription. Four different tiers, priced from $88 to $204, are now on sale. For more information and to purchase, call (773) 281-8463 x6 or visit

“Our 21st season features four plays inspired by history that ignite discussion around several issues that are increasingly critical to confront today,” said TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers. “TimeLine’s Company Members are eager to explore these stories about styles of political leadership, women’s equality, gender identity and law enforcement tactics—all through intimate, provocative productions that immerse audiences, letting them walk in others’ shoes and discuss our role in history.”    


Chicago Premiere
by Peter Morgan
directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling
August 24 – November 12, 2017 (previews 8/16 – 8/23)
Presented at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave.      

A portrait of a dynamic and provocative woman—the symbol of a nation—as she weathers decades of history and political strife. Every Tuesday afternoon for more than 60 years, Queen Elizabeth II has met with each of her 12 Prime Ministers in a private audience, a gesture of unity between government and Crown. Through moments of tension, negotiation, war, and unrest, these conversations with political leaders from Winston Churchill to Harold Wilson to Margaret Thatcher have remained a constant across the years. Playwright Peter Morgan re-imagines each of these meetings, giving us a glimpse at the queen’s role in guiding the circumstances that have shaped Great Britain, and a window into the mystery, compassion and humor of the woman behind the iconic crown.

TimeLine’s production will star Company Member Janet Ulrich Brooks, a six-time Jeff Award nominee for roles at TimeLine, including 33 VARIATIONS, A WALK IN THE WOODS and ALL MY SONS, and where she mostly recently appeared opposite Mike Nussbaum in BAKERSFIELD MIST. Her other recent credits include VANYA & SONIA & MASHA & SPIKE (Jeff Award nomination) at the Goodman Theatre, WOMEN LAUGHING ALONE WITH SALAD (Helen Hayes Award nomination) at Woolly Mammonth Theatre in Washington, D.C., and the short film FOR A GOOD TIME.

THE AUDIENCE, previously seen on Broadway and in the West End and acclaimed as “funny and truthful” (The Times) and “hugely enjoyable and cumulatively very affecting” (The Independent), makes its Chicago debut at TimeLine.

Playwright Peter Morgan also penned FROST/NIXON (another TimeLine hit, in 2010) and recently created the Netflix series THE CROWN, inspired by THE AUDIENCE and streaming now.

by Sarah Ruhl
directed by TimeLine Company Member Mechelle Moe
October 26 – December 17, 2017 (previews 10/20 – 10/25)
Presented at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave.

A story of awakening, equality, and the need for connection that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It is the 1880s and Thomas Edison’s invention of the electric light has begun to change the fabric of daily life. Inspired by Edison’s discovery, scientist and inventor Dr. Givings creates a piece of machinery to treat the increasingly common affliction of female hysteria. When he starts to see a new patient regularly, his wife’s curiosity with the invention and what occurs “in the next room” grows, leading to discoveries of her own. This intimate and humorous story of self-discovery debunks the expectation of sexuality as a dirty word and shows that human connection is not simply a means to an end, but a vital part of life itself.

Inspired by the book The Technology of Orgasm by Rachel P. Maines, this fascinating, funny, and evocative Tony Award-nominated play is insightful, relatable, and an “enticing blend of irreverent humor and skewed realism” (San Francisco Chronicle). Previously featured at TimeLine in 2016 in a staged reading in collaboration with The Chicago Inclusion Project, the company is thrilled to re-examine this play that illuminates “how much control men had over women’s lives, bodies and thoughts, even their most intimate sensations” (The New York Times).

Playwright Sarah Ruhl is the Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Tony Award-nominated writer of STAGE KISS, THE CLEAN HOUSE, and DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE, among many others, and a 2006 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship.

Chicago Premiere
by Anna Ziegler
directed by Damon Kiely 
January 18 – March 18, 2018 (previews 1/10 – 1/17)
Presented at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave.

A moving and poignant story, inspired by true events, about a search for personal identity and acceptance. In the 1960s, a surgical accident causes a well-intentioned doctor to convince the parents of twin boys to raise one as a girl. Two decades later, the repercussions of that choice continue to unfold, as those involved struggle to connect with each other and themselves, stuck between their hope for the future and their uncertainty about the past. BOY explores the beauty of finding love, the complexity of gender identity, and the consequences of the choices we make for those we love.  

Previously featured in 2014 as part of the company’s TimePieces play reading series, TimeLine is proud to stage the Chicago premiere of BOY, an “insightful, gut-wrenching, and beautiful play” that is “dazzlingly, deliciously alive from start to finish” (Talkin’ Broadway).

Playwright Anna Ziegler is an award-winning playwright whose credits include PHOTOGRAPH 51 (produced in the West End starring Nicole Kidman), ACTUALLY and THE LAST MATCH. The Outer Critics Circle nominated her play BOY for the 2016 John Gassner Award.

World Premiere
by Brett Neveu
directed by TimeLine Company Member Ron OJ Parson
May 3 – July 1, 2018 (previews 4/25 – 5/2)
Presented at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave.

Inspired by true events, this compelling new play examines how the pursuit of justice—however well intentioned—can devastate a family and a community. In a low-income, residential neighborhood of Milwaukee, Terry Kilbourn has just begun a new job passing out flyers for a discount warehouse. When his bosses start asking more of him, his loved ones begin to question what is really going on. As higher stakes are revealed and relationships tested, the clarity of who to trust and what to believe grows increasingly murky. Both hilarious and heart wrenching, TO CATCH A FISH walks the line between good intentions and deceit, testing the bonds we have to family and community.

This world premiere play was developed through TimeLine’s Playwrights Collective, launched in 2013 to support Chicago-based playwrights in residence and create new work centered on TimeLine’s mission. TO CATCH A FISH—the first play developed through the Collective to receive a full production—is sure to spark dialogue about the dangers of intention versus implementation in law enforcement, and when one may in fact overshadow the other.

Chicago-based playwright Brett Neveu’s play HARMLESS also received its world premiere at TimeLine (in 2007). His other recent plays include HER AMERICA, PILGRIM’S PROGRESS, DETECTIVE PARTNER HERO VILLAIN and THE OPPONENT.

BIOGRAPHIES (in alphabetical order)    
Nick Bowling (Director, THE AUDIENCE) was the founding Artistic Director and is now Associate Artistic Director and a Company Member of TimeLine Theatre. He is the recipient of seven Jeff Awards for Outstanding Direction (THE HISTORY BOYS, THE NORMAL HEART, FIORELLO!, THIS HAPPY BREED and THE CRUCIBLE at TimeLine, SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM at Porchlight Music Theatre, and ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST at Eclipse Theatre) and also received Jeff Award nominations for BLOOD AND GIFTS, THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION, HAUPTMANN and THE LION IN WINTER at TimeLine; CLOSER THAN EVER at Porchlight Music Theatre; CITY OF ANGELS, THE KING AND I and MAN OF LA MANCHA at Marriott Theatre. Other recent credits at TimeLine include A DISAPPEARING NUMBER, THE LAST WIFE, DANNY CASOLARO DIED FOR YOU, JUNO, 33 VARIATIONS and MY KIND OF TOWN. Other Chicago credits include Paramount's A CHRISTMAS STORY, Northwestern University’s CABARET, Porchlight’s A CATERED AFFAIR, Writers Theatre's BACH AT LEIPZIG and Shattered Globe Theatre's TIME OF THE CUCKOO and FROZEN ASSETS.

Damon Kiely (Director, BOY) is the Chair of Performance at DePaul’s Theatre School and the author of How to Read a Play: Text Analysis for Directors (Routledge 2016). His production of HANK WILLIAMS: LOST HIGHWAY won the Jeff Award for Musical Production Midsized. He previously directed WEEKEND by Gore Vidal for TimeLine Theatre. Kiely served as Artistic Director for American Theatre Company and has directed for American Blues, American Theatre Company, Route 66, A Red Orchid, Next and many others. His original plays THIEVES LIKE US and THE REVEL were produced by The House Theatre of Chicago. Prior to moving back to Chicago, he taught, produced, and directed in New York City. He is a winner of the 2000-02 NEA/TCG Career Directing Program, the 2000 Drama League Fall Directing Program, and the 1997 Princess Grace Award.

Peter Morgan (Playwright, THE AUDIENCE) is an award-winning British film and television screenwriter and playwright. Morgan is best known for writing historical films and plays, including THE QUEEN, FROST/NIXON, THE DAMNED UNITED and RUSH, and is the creator of Netflix's currently running drama series THE CROWN. Other film work includes THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL, HEREAFTER, 360, MARTHA, MEET FRANK, DANIEL and LAURENCE, and THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND.

Mechelle Moe (Director, IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY) Mechelle Moe is a Company Member at TimeLine, where her credits include directing readings of IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY in collaboration with The Chicago Inclusion Project, CARDBOARD PIANO in artistic alliance with The Yard, and EXPERIMENT WITH AN AIR PUMP, and appearing in THE APPLE FAMILY PLAYS, MY KIND OF TOWN, THE FRONT PAGE, THE CHILDREN’S HOUR, NOT ENOUGH AIR, and PARADISE LOST. She is co-artistic director of The Yard, a youth-based theater company that produces theater relevant to young people; performed by young people. She is also a founding member of The Hypocrites, and currently is a part of its ensemble. Moe is a Jeff Award recipient for Actress in Principal Role for her performance in MACHINAL (The Hypocrites) and received a Jeff Award nomination for Actress in Principal Role for STAGE DOOR (Griffin). She has directed and devised numerous works at Senn Arts and with The Yard, including MILK LIKE SUGAR, THE 4TH GRADER’S PRESENT AN UNNAMED LOVE SUICIDE, ECLIPSED, OUR AMERICA: GHETTO LIFE 101: REMORSE (which she also adapted) and METAMORPHOSES, both of which were selected for the 2014 and 2015 Illinois High School Theatre Festivals, as well as the docudrama BROKEN TEXT, an original work by Moe based on her interviews with men recently released from incarceration and living in a transitional facility. Moe graduated with honors from the University of Illinois Chicago with both a bachelor’s degree in Theater as well as Anthropology.    

Brett Neveu (Playwright, TO CATCH A FISH) is an alumnus of TimeLine’s Playwright’s Collective (2013-2016), and his play HARMLESS received its world premiere at TimeLine in 2007. He has since been commissioned twice by the company to write new plays. Recent theatre productions include HER AMERICA (The Greenhouse Theatre), PILGRIM’S PROGRESS (A Red Orchid Theatre), RED BUD (Signal Ensemble) and THE OPPONENT (Red Orchid; Bisno Productions; and 59e59, New York). A Sundance Institute Ucross Fellow, Neveu is also a recipient of the Marquee Award from Chicago Dramatists, the Ofner Prize for New Work, the Emerging Artist Award from The League of Chicago Theatres, an After Dark Award for Outstanding Musical (OLD TOWN) and has worked with companies including The Atlantic Theatre Company and The New Group in New York, The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Royal Court in London and The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Writers Theatre in Chicago. He is a resident-alum of Chicago Dramatists, a proud ensemble member of A Red Orchid Theatre and an alumni member of the Center Theatre Group’s Playwrights’ Workshop in Los Angeles. Neveu has taught writing at DePaul University and The Second City Training Center and currently teaches at Northwestern University. A native of Newton, Iowa, Neveu has a BA degree in Acting and Playwriting from University of Iowa and has an MFA degree in Playwriting from Spalding University.

Ron OJ Parson (Director, THE WORLD AND ME) is a Company Member of TimeLine, where he previously directed A RAISIN IN THE SUN, SUNSET BABY, and the upcoming PARADISE BLUE. He is a native of Buffalo, New York, and a graduate of the University of Michigan’s professional theatre program. He is the co-founder and former Artistic Director of Onyx Theatre Ensemble of Chicago and a co-founder and co-director of Ripe Mango Productions, as well as a Resident Artist at Court Theatre and an Associate Artist with Teatro Vista. Since moving to Chicago from New York in 1994, he has worked as both an actor and director. His Chicago credits include work with The Chicago Theatre Company, Victory Gardens, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chicago Dramatists, Northlight, Court, Black Ensemble Theatre, Congo Square, Windy City Playhouse, Urban Theatre Company, City Lit Theater, ETA Creative Arts, and Writers Theatre. Regionally, Parson has directed shows at Studio Arena Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Milwaukee Repertory, South Coast Repertory, Pasadena Playhouse, Geva Theatre, Virginia Stage, Roundabout Theatre, Wilshire Theatre, The Mechanic Theatre, CenterStage, St. Louis Black Repertory, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, Signature Theatre, and Portland Stage, among others. In Canada, he directed the world premiere of PALMER PARK by Joanna McClelland Glass at the Stratford Festival. Acting credits on television and film include ER, EARLY EDITION, TURKS, AMERICAN PLAYHOUSE, VAMPING, BARBERSHOP 2, PRIMAL FEAR, DROP SQUAD and most recently Starz Network’s BOSS. He is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. For more information, visit

Sarah Ruhl (Playwright, IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY) is a Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Tony Award-nominated playwright and has had her work produced across the country. Her plays include STAGE KISS, IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY (Pulitzer Prize finalist, Tony Award nominee for Best New Play); THE CLEAN HOUSE (Pulitzer Prize Finalist, 2005; The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2004); PASSION PLAY (Pen American award, The Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center); DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE (Helen Hayes Award); MELANCHOLY PLAY (a musical with Todd Almond); EURYDICE; ORLANDO; DEMETER IN THE CITY (NAACP nomination); LATE: A COWBOY SONG; THREE SISTERS; DEAR ELIZABETH; and most recently, THE OLDEST BOY and FOR PETER PAN ON HER 70TH BIRTHDAY. Her plays have been produced on Broadway at the Lyceum by Lincoln Center Theater, off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage and Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater, as well as at Yale Repertory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theater, and in Chicago at the Goodman Theatre and the Piven Theatre Workshop. Her plays have also been produced internationally and have been translated into more than 12 languages. Originally from Chicago, Ruhl received her MFA degree from Brown University, where she studied with Paula Vogel. An alumna of 13P and of New Dramatists, she received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. She was the recipient of the PEN Center Award for a mid-career playwright, the Whiting Writers award, the Feminist Press’ Forty under Forty Award, and a Lilly Award. She served on the executive council of the Dramatist’s Guild for three years, and she is currently on the faculty at Yale School of Drama. Her book of essays on the theater and motherhood, 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write, was a Times Notable book of the year.

Anna Ziegler (Playwright, BOY) is an award-winning playwright whose play PHOTOGRAPH 51 won London’s 2016 WhatsOnStage award for Best New Play. It has also been selected as a “Best of the Year” play by The Washington Post (twice) and The Telegraph. Her play BOY was nominated for the 2016 John Gassner Award by the Outer Critics Circle. In 2017, the Williamstown Theatre Festival and The Geffen Playhouse will co-world-premiere her latest play, ACTUALLY, and The Roundabout Theatre Company will produce the New York premiere of THE LAST MATCH. Her work has been produced on the West End (PHOTOGRAPH 51, starring Nicole Kidman) and at The Old Globe, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Magic Theatre, Playwrights Realm, City Theatre, and many more, and developed at the Sundance Theatre Lab, The O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Soho Rep and the Cape Cod Theatre Project, among others. She is currently writing a television pilot for AMC/Sundance and a screenplay for Scott Free Productions. Oberon Books has published a collection of her work entitled Anna Ziegler: Plays One.

TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the prestigious 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. To date over 20 seasons, TimeLine has presented 70 productions, including nine world premieres and 30 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, now in its 10th year of bringing the company's mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 53 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 11 times.

TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman and Board President John M. Sirek. Company members are Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Behzad Dabu, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, Maren Robinson and Benjamin Thiem.

Major corporate, government and foundation supporters of TimeLine Theatre include Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Chicago Community Trust, The Crown Family, Forum Fund, The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Laughing Acres Family Foundation, MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, The Pauls Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, The Seabury Foundation, and The Shubert Foundation.

TimeLine is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, Theatre Communications Group, Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce and Chicago’s Belmont Theater District.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro and Executive Director David Schmitz have announced 2017/18 Season. The nation’s premier ensemble theater, Steppenwolf celebrates its 42nd season with seven captivating shows—three world premieres and four Chicago premieres—that embrace diversity, compassion and imagination.

“The plays we programmed this season embrace conversations about what American culture is, the stories we tell ourselves and the truths we all share,” 
shares Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro.

Highlights include Aziza Barnes’s ingenious portrait of a day in the life of four young women of color in New York City; the return of ensemble members Francis Guinan and John Mahoney in a beautifully moving play by fast-rising star Jessica Dickey; a dangerous and timely international farce from Matthew-Lee Erlbach, directed by ensemble member Tina Landau; the Chicago premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj with the original cast—Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed—and director, ensemble member Amy Morton; an offbeat and touching Chicago premiere of an Obie award-winning play from Clare Barron, directed by Jonathan Berry; and Jen Silverman’s bold, wickedly funny play The Roommate featuring ensemble members Ora Jones and Sandra Marquez. As previously announced, ensemble member Tracy Letts’s new political play, The Minutes, directed by Anna D. Shapiro, will receive its world premiere production at Steppenwolf before transferring directly to Broadway in spring 2018.

“With plays filled with humor and joy, introspection and irreverence, Steppenwolf Theatre is poised and ready to join the art we make with the moment we are in, and we plan on being a vital, uplifting and humane cultural leader for our city and our country, both of which need us now more than ever,” adds Shapiro.

Next season features ensemble members Alana Arenas, Ian Barford, Gary Cole, Audrey Francis, Francis Guinan, Tim Hopper, Ora Jones, Tina Landau, Sandra Marquez, John Mahoney, James Vincent MeredithAmy Morton, Caroline Neff and newest ensemble member Namir Smallwood.

2017/18 Subscription Memberships are now on sale. Pricing starts at $100; and there are several options available. Subscription Memberships are for audiences who prefer to lock in their seats and dates in advance, while enjoying perks such as easy and free exchanges, ticket discounts and access to seats before the public. For audiences looking for more flexibility with all the perks, Steppenwolf Flex Card Memberships provide six ticket credits for use anytime, to any show. Student, educator and access discounts offered. To purchase, visit Audience Services at 1650 N Halsted St, call 312-335-1650 or visit

Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s 
2017/18 Season
(All plays, artists and dates are subject to change)

Chicago Premiere
The Rembrandt
By Jessica Dickey
Directed by Hallie Gordon
Featuring ensemble members Francis Guinan and John Mahoney
September 7 – October 22, 2017
In the Upstairs Theatre

When a museum guard decides to touch a famous Rembrandt painting, a remarkable journey across the ages ensues. Spanning centuries of human experience, Jessica Dickey’s The Rembrandt movingly explores the power of creative expression and the sacrifices we make in the pursuit of love and beauty, reminding us that though our beliefs may die with the sound of our voice, it’s the love we share—and the art that love inspires—that finds eternity.

Hailed as a “talent to watch” by the New York Times, Jessica Dickey is an award-winning actor and playwright most known for her play The Amish Project, which opened Off Broadway at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (Helen Hayes Award, Barrymore Award, among others). The Rembrandt was commissioned and produced (then titled The Guard) by the Ford’s Theatre as part of the Women’s Voices Festival and was awarded the Stavis Award for Playwriting. 

Hallie Gordon is the Artistic Director of Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) and an artistic producer at Steppenwolf. Gordon will direct Taylor Mac’s Hir this summer, and has directed several shows for SYA including Monster (currently playing through March 9), George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, The Book Thief, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The House on Mango Street and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, which transferred Off-Broadway, among others.

World Premiere
The Minutes
By ensemble member Tracy Letts 
Directed by artistic director Anna D. Shapiro 
Featuring ensemble members Ian Barford, Francis Guinan and Tim Hopper 
November 9 – December 31, 2017
In the Downstairs Theatre
Steppenwolf’s production of The Minutes will premiere at Steppenwolf and then move directly to Broadway in Spring 2018. Remaining casting TBA. The Minutes will mark the fifth collaboration between Shapiro and Letts; and the seventh play by Letts that will premiere at Steppenwolf.

The Minutes, Tracy Letts’s scathing new comedy about small-town politics and real-world power, the writer who brought you August: Osage County exposes the ugliness behind some of our most closely-held American narratives while asking each of us what we would do to keep from becoming history’s losers.

Tracy Letts is a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright, actor and Steppenwolf ensemble member. He is the author of the plays Linda Vista (running March 30 – May 21, 2017), Mary Page Marlowe, The Scavenger’s Daughter, Superior Donuts, August: Osage County (Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award), Man from Nebraska (Pulitzer Prize finalist), Bug and Killer Joe. Also an actor, he received the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. TV and film credits include Lady Bird, The Lovers, Christine, Elvis and Nixon, The Big Short, HBO’s “Divorce" and two seasons as Sen. Lockhart on Showtime’s “Homeland.”

Anna D. Shapiro is a Tony Award-winning director and Artistic Director of Steppenwolf. She has directed several notable productions at Steppenwolf, including Visiting Edna, Mary Page Marlowe, August: Osage County (2008 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Man from Nebraska and The Motherf**ker with the Hat (also on Broadway, 2011 Tony nomination for Best Director). Broadway credits include Larry David’s Fish in the Dark, Of Mice and Men and the Steppenwolf revival of This Is Our Youth.

World Premiere
By Aziza Barnes
Directed by Nataki Garrett
Featuring ensemble member Namir Smallwood
December 7, 2017 – January 21, 2018
In the Upstairs Theatre

Some days feel like they will never end. After a morning that includes a cancer scare and kicking her girlfriend out of the house, Octavia decides to have a last turn up with her best friends. In poet Aziza Barnes’s ingenious portrait of a day in the life of four young women of color in New York City, BLKS explores the joy and anguish of growing up and out. Riotously funny and magically rendered, Barnes’s playwriting debut marks the arrival of a truly original contemporary American voice.

Winner of the 2015 Pamet River Prize, Aziza Barnes’s first full length collection, i be but i ain’t is from YesYes Books, 2016. They are a Cave Canem Fellow, co-founder of The Conversation Literary Festival and co-host of the podcast, The Poetry Gods. Barnes is a graduate of New York University and participant in the 2016 Ojai Playwrights Conference.
Named in American Theatre Magazine’s “One to Watch”, Nataki Garrett is the Associate Artistic Director of Denver Center for the Performing Arts, a Company Member at Woolly Mammoth, and co-Artistic Director of BLANK THE DOG PRODUCTIONS (BTD). Most recently for BTD she directed Carolyn Bryant, which focuses on the decades-long silence of the woman for whom Emmett Till was brutally murdered in Mississippi in 1955. Garrett directed An Octaroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Woolly Mammoth, which will be remounted this July.

Chicago Premiere
You Got Older
By Clare Barron
Directed by Jonathan Berry
Featuring ensemble members Audrey Francis and Caroline Neff
January 25 – March 11, 2018
In the Downstairs Theatre

There’s a haunted place between where we started and where we need to be that finds the most tender among us—and breaks them open. In You Got Older, Clare Barron’s bawdy, irreverent and touching play, Mae, brokenhearted and unemployed, returns home to care for her ailing father and escape the loneliness of a life that just can’t seem to get off the ground.
Clare Barron’s plays have been produced by Page 73, Woolly Mammoth, Clubbed Thumb and The Bushwick Starr, and will be presented by Playwright Horizons in 2018. She is the recipient of an Obie Award, the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and the Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship. Barron was also the co-winner of the inaugural 2015 Relentless Award established in honor of Philip Seymour Hoffman for her play Dance Nation.

Jonathan Berry is an artistic producer at Steppenwolf and prolific Chicago director. His Steppenwolf directing credits include Constellations, Melinda Lopez's Gary for the First Look new play series and A Separate Peace for Steppenwolf for Young Adults. A company member of both Steep and Griffin Theatres, Berry has also directed for many Chicago companies, including Goodman Theatre, Steep, Griffin, Remy Bumppo, Lifeline and The Gift.

The Doppelgänger (an international farce) 
By Matthew-Lee Erlbach
Directed by ensemble member Tina Landau 
Featuring ensemble members Alana Arenas, Gary Cole, Ora Jones, Sandra Marquez and James Vincent Meredith 
April 5 – May 20, 2018
In the Downstairs Theatre 

In the dangerous back channels of international resource politics, a wealthy British businessman suffers an untimely accident just before a critical African copper deal is signed. So when his unwitting (and witless) American doppelgänger is thrust into negotiations to avert intercontinental disaster, chaos erupts, leaving us wondering: whose side are we supposed to be on... and who will save Africa? This new American farce is a hilarious, irreverent and timely look at the back-room deals that shape our world and the unlikely cast of characters who make them.

Matthew-Lee Erlbach is an actor and playwright from Chicago and NYC whose plays include the acclaimed solo play, Handbook for an American Revolutionary and Eager to Lose, a Burlesque Farce in Rhyming Verse (Ars Nova). His plays have been developed with The New Group, Vineyard, Ars Nova, MCC and Williamstown, among others. A recipient of the 2017 Humanitas Prize New Voices Award and member of Ars Nova’s 2014/15 Play Group, he has written for Showtime's Masters of Sex as well as for Nickelodeon, MTV, WWE and The Huffington Post.

Acclaimed writer, director and teacher, Tina Landau has been a Steppenwolf ensemble member since 1998. Recent work includes directing/conceiving The SpongeBob Musical and ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Head of Passes (The Public, upcoming at Mark Taper Forum), among others. On Broadway, Landau has directed Tracy Letts’s Superior Donuts and the revival of Bells are Ringing. For Steppenwolf, she has directed The Wheel, Hot L Baltimore, The Brother/Sister Plays, The Tempest and more.  

Chicago Premiere
Guards at the Taj
By Rajiv Joseph
Directed by ensemble member Amy Morton 
Featuring original cast members Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed
May 31 – July 15, 2018
In the Upstairs Theatre
India 1648. The dawn will reveal for the first time the extraordinary beauty of the Taj Mahal, built as a tribute to the ruler who demanded its construction. But for two hapless imperial guards, the morning light brings with it an unspeakable task that will shake their faith in God, the empire and their lifelong friendship. This boldly funny and deeply moving play examines the true meaning of beauty and the cost of transcendence in a world that confuses the value of both.

Rajiv Joseph’s Broadway play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for drama, and also awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to Guards at the Taj, New York credits include The North Pool (Vineyard Theater), Gruesome Playground Injuries (Second Stage Theatre) and Animals Out of Paper (Second Stage Theatre), among others. He wrote for the Showtime series “Nurse Jackie” and was the co-screenwriter of the film Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner.

Amy Morton directed the world premiere of Guards at the Taj at the Atlantic Theater Company in 2015, and returns with the original cast for the Chicago debut. Morton has been an ensemble member since 1997 and directed several Steppenwolf productions including Clybourne Park, American Buffalo, Dublin Carol, The Pillowman, among others. She has performed in more than 30 Steppenwolf productions, including Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (also on Broadway, Tony nomination) and August: Osage County (also at the National Theatre and Broadway, Tony nomination). Currently she stars as Trudy Platt in the NBC drama series Chicago P.D.

Chicago Premiere
The Roommate
By Jen Silverman
Director TBD 
Featuring ensemble members Ora Jones and Sandra Marquez 
June 21 – August 5, 2018 
In the Downstairs Theatre 

Sharon is Midwestern nice. But to Robyn, her new roommate from the Bronx, that just means 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.

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.

Memberships & Ticket Information
Last season Steppenwolf expanded from a 5-play to 7-play season and with that has expanded the ways in which audiences can experience all the offerings. Steppenwolf Flex Card Memberships include the Steppenwolf Black Card and the Red Card. The Black Card provides six ticket credits that can be used at any time for any production; credits are valid for one year with the option to add on credits as needed. Membership 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. The Red Card offers audiences under the age of 30 the option to purchase six ticket credits at a discounted price to use towards any play, anytime.

Steppenwolf’s Subscription Memberships allow audiences to lock in dates and confirm seats in advance and receive all the membership perks. Options include 7-Play, 6-Play and 5-Play Subscription Memberships, in addition to discounted Student/Educator Series and Accessible Series.

To purchase a 2017/18 Subscription Membership, visit Audience Services at 1650 N Halsted St, call 312-335-1650 or visit Single tickets to the 2017/18 will go on sale at a later date.

Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks
Located in front of the 1700 Theatre is Steppenwolf’s café & bar, Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks. Open daily from 8am to midnight, Front Bar is a creative space to grab a drink, have a bite, or meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night. A morning and evening menu is curated by Chef Chris Pandel, and artisanal coffee and expresso is provided by La Colombe. Functioning as a stand-alone entity, the café & bar also connects to Steppenwolf’s existing main building creating an expanded lobby space. Front Bar was developed with consultation from Steppenwolf’s friends and neighbors, Boka Restaurant Group (BRG), along with interior designers Karen Herold and Kayce Carter of Studio K and the marketing and design firm Grip. More info at

Visitor Information & Accessibility
Steppenwolf is located at 1650 N Halsted St near all forms of public transportation and is wheelchair accessible. Our parking facility consists of both a covered garage and an open-air lot, located just south of our theater at 1624 N Halsted. Valet parking service ($14 cash) is available directly in front of the main entrance and 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. Steppenwolf has an induction loop on both the main and balcony levels of our Downstairs Theatre and in the 1700 Theatre.More info at

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble has grown to 48 members who represent a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights who continue to redefine the landscape of acting and performance. 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 Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities; the School at Steppenwolf for actors; 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. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. 

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