- Delven Shaw
Announcing Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s2022/23 Season
8 Plays. 4 World Premieres. 2 New Bars.
One Transformed Campus.
America’s Premier Ensemble Theater Welcomes Audiences Back for 47th Season with Eight Remarkable Stories
CHICAGO (April 19, 2022)—Steppenwolf Theatre CompanyArtistic Directors Glenn Davisand Audrey Francis and Executive Director E. Brooke Flanaganannounced the 2022/23 Season today. With six Steppenwolf Membership Series productions and two Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) productions, the 47th season is the storied company’s first full season in its expanded home—welcoming audiences back to experience the next chapter of Steppenwolf’s bold, visceral and muscular work, while celebrating a dynamic range of exciting new voices and Steppenwolf legends.
Artistic Director Glenn Davis shares, “Steppenwolf and the ensemble of artists that call our theater home are thrilled to share plans for our most robust in-person season since emerging from the pandemic. With six extraordinary works for adult audiences in the Ensemble and Downstairs Theaters, two world-premiere adaptations developed for teens in our Steppenwolf for Young Adults Series, and performances by countless local artists and itinerant companies continuing in our 1700 Theater, we are activating our expanded campus with an amazing spectrum of voices that reflect the vibrant city we call home.”
This year, Steppenwolf unveiled its 50,000-square-foot Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center, designed by world-renowned architect Gordon Gill FAIA of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture and featuring the new in-the-round Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell, with theater design and acoustics by Charcoalblue. Steppenwolf’s first-ever dedicated education space, The Loft, encompasses the entire fourth floor of the new building, and two new full-service lobby bars designed by fc STUDIO, inc. offer additional spaces for socializing alongside the popular Front Bar. The 2022/23 Season continues this transformative moment with four world premieres and three Chicago premieres bursting with vital stories and questions for our times.
“Chicago formed who I am as an artist, and my goal is to do for Chicago what Chicago has done for us,” shares Artistic Director Audrey Francis. “The newly expanded Steppenwolf campus was created as a love letter to our city—a space where audiences from across our 77 neighborhoods can share in the work on our stages and engage in conversations about it. The 2022/23 Season honors that commitment with wide-ranging programming that will activate not only our stages, but the spaces between. We can’t wait to see how these plays catalyze conversation and inspire self-reflection and learning across our café and bars and throughout The Loft. This is the work of the modern American Theatre—to knit back together the threads of a divided society and illuminate that there is more that unites us than divides us.”
World premieres for the 2022/23 Season include:Vichet Chum’s Bald Sisters, a story of sisters reconciling their family’s Cambodian heritage with its complicated American present, directed by Patricia McGregor; ensemble member Kate Arrington’s playwrighting debut with Another Marriage, an intimate and beautifully rendered portrait of marriage that upends the typical romantic comedy, directed by ensemble member and co-founder Terry Kinney; the SYA production of 1919, adapted by J. Nicole Brooks from Eve L. Ewing’s collection of luminous and searing poems about the killing of Black teenager Eugene Williams off the segregated 1919 Chicago lakeshore and how this tragedy reverberates today, directed by Gabrielle Randle-Bent and Tasia A. Jones; and the SYA production ofChlorine Sky, directed by Ericka Ratcliff and adapted by Mahogany L. Browne from her popular young adult novel of the same title, an intimate coming-of-age story about two friends told in verse.
Three Chicago premieres bring more exciting new voices to Steppenwolf: James Ijames’ fantastical play The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington, a fever dream about the dying “Mother of America,” directed by Whitney White and featuring ensemble member Celeste M. Cooper; ensemble member Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night, a sweeping and arresting epic that follows the unlikely lives of seven Russians as they unearth mysteries buried by decades of history and fiction; and Donnetta Lavinia Grays’ stunning, poetic and heartbreaking portrait of Black love, Last Night and the Night Before, directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton and featuring ensemble member Namir Smallwood.
Concluding the 2022/23 Season, Steppenwolf returns to Harold Pinter’s modern masterpiece No Man’s Land, directed by Obie Award winnerLes Waters and featuring ensemble member Austin Pendleton and ensemble member and co-founder Jeff Perry in an alcohol-fueled evening that is at turns a generational power struggle, a tug of war between expert wordsmiths, and a maze of murky meaning—or perhaps just two old English sots waxing nostalgic and waiting for the sun to rise.
“Steppenwolf has long served as both a launching pad for new work and a place where our ensemble can daringly explore classics from a contemporary lens. The 2022/23 Season is no exception—and we are energized by the community of extraordinary artists whose collective work will animate our stages,” shares Executive Director E. Brooke Flanagan. “This is Steppenwolf at its finest—lightning in a bottle. We invite audiences to dive into these poignant and irreverent stories and are hopeful that as we double down on our commitment to Chicago, Chicagoans will join us as members in supporting the collection of artists whose work illuminates our 47th season. By participating in the full ride ahead, audiences will explore our complex world and reconnect to the heartbeat of our shared humanity.”
2022/23 Classic Memberships are now on salestarting as low as $125 and include all six Membership Series productions—three plays in the Downstairs Theater and three plays in the new Ensemble Theater. Classic Members get to choose their seats along with full membership benefits, including unlimited ticket exchanges. Flex Memberships offer six ticket credits that allow patrons flexibility in when and how they see shows at Steppenwolf. For patrons under 30, RED Card Memberships offer six ticket credits for just $100. All members can secure their seats to Steppenwolf for Young Adults performances before they go on sale to the public. Discounted packages for students and teachers and accessible packages are also available. For more information and to purchase Memberships, visit Audience Services at 1650 N. Halsted Street, call 312-335-1650 or visit steppenwolf.org/memberships.
Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series also returns to the 1700 Theater in the 2022/23 Season for a full year of eclectic and genre-defying performance. A home for Chicago’s resilient storytellers, comedians and musicians, LookOut recently relaunched with a bold slate of comedy, storytelling and music for Summer 2022 and beyond. Highlights include talk show That Shit’s Trans: Live! hosted by Irregular Girl; a burst-out-of-quarantine celebration from storytelling series You’re Being Ridiculous; an evening of hilarious comedy from Chicago favorites BAPS, and more. The LookOut series is ongoing, with full programming at steppenwolf.org/lookout.