Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is a Tony Award-winning Chicago theatre company founded in 1974 by Gary Sinise, Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, and H.E. Baccus in the Unitarian church on Half Day Road in Deerfield. It has since relocated to Chicago's Halsted Street, in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Its name comes from the Hermann Hesse novel. Martha Lavey, long-time ensemble member, was artistic director 1995-2014. Anna D. Shapiro stepped into the role that October and holds the position today. David Hawkanson, executive director since 2003, retired in January 2015 and managing director David Schmitz has taken the administrative reins.
2016 – 2017
- Visiting Edna by David Rabe
- The Fundamentals by Erika Sheffer
- The Christians by Lucas Hnath
- Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee
- Linda Vista by Tracy Letts
- Passover by Antoinette Nwandu
- Hir by Taylor Mac
Steppenwolf For Young Adults 2015–2016
- The Burials by Caitlin Parish
- Walter Dean Myers' Monster (Myers novel) Adapted by Aaron Carter
In 1980, the theater company moved into a 134-seat theater at the Jane Addams Hull House Center on Broadway Avenue in Chicago. Two years later, the company moved to a 211-seat facility at 2851 N. Halsted Street, which was their home until 1991, when they completed construction on and moved into their current theater complex at 1650 N. Halsted Street (with administrative offices at 1700 N. Halsted Street.)
In its inaugural season, the company presented Paul Zindel's And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little, Grease, Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie.
In 1982, Sam Shepard's True West, starring Sinise and John Malkovich, was the first of many Steppenwolf productions to travel to New York City. In 1994, the company made its Los Angeles debut with Steve Martin's first play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile and in 1996, after successful runs in Chicago and New York, Lyle Kessler's Orphans, directed by Gary Sinise, was the first Steppenwolf production to go international, debuting in London.
Steppenwolf is an ensemble theatre founded in 1974 by Gary Sinise, Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, and H.E. Baccus. It now includes 46 members, including actors Joan Allen, Kevin Anderson, Alana Arenas, Randall Arney, Kate Arrington, Ian Barford, Robert Breuler, Gary Cole, Kathryn Erbe, Francis Guinan, Moira Harris, Jon Michael Hill, Tim Hopper, Tom Irwin, Ora Jones, John Mahoney, John Malkovich, Sandra Marquez, Mariann Mayberry, James Vincent Meredith, Laurie Metcalf, Amy Morton, Sally Murphy, Caroline Neff, Austin Pendleton, William Petersen, Martha Plimpton, Rondi Reed, Molly Regan, Lois Smith, Rick Snyder. Jim True-Frost, and Alan Wilder. It also includes playwrights Tina Landau, Tracy Letts, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Bruce Norris, and Eric Simonson, and directors Frank Galati, K. Todd Freeman, Terry Kinney, Martha Lavey, Yasen Peyankov, and Anna D. Shapiro among its members.
Notable productions include:
- Airline Highway by Lisa D'Amour
- Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee (Starring Tracy Letts and Amy Morton)
- Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris
- August: Osage County by Tracy Letts
- True West by Sam Shepard
- Balm in Gilead by Lanford Wilson
- And a Nightingale Sang by C. P. Taylor
- Orphans by Lyle Kessler
- Coyote Ugly (1985) by Lynn Seifert, directed by John Malkovich
- Burn This by Lanford Wilson
- The Grapes of Wrath adapted by company member Frank Galati
Through its New Plays Initiative, the company maintains ongoing relationships with writers of international prominence while continuing to support the work of aspiring and mid-career playwrights. In 1988, Steppenwolf presented the world premiere of Frank Galati's adaption of The Grapes of Wrath, based on the John Steinbeck novel, which eventually went on to win the Tony Award for Best Play. In 2000 Steppenwolf presented the world premiere of Austin Pendleton's Orson's Shadow, which subsequently was staged off-Broadway and by regional theatres throughout the country.
In December 2007, Steppenwolf opened a new play written and directed by ensemble members at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway. Tracy Letts' August: Osage County was hailed by the New York Times as "... flat out, no asterisks and without qualifications the most exciting new American play Broadway has seen in years." Directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro and featuring seven ensemble members, August: Osage County was number one in Time's Top Ten Theatre Performances of 2007. After moving from the Imperial Theatre next door to The Music Box Theatre for an open-ended run, August: Osage County garnered five Tony Awards including Best Play of 2007, Best Director (Anna D. Shapiro), Best Leading Actress (Deanna Dunagan), Best Featured Actress (Rondi Reed), and Best Scenic Design (Todd Rosenthal). Letts went on to win the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play. 'August' closed on Broadway on Sunday, June 28, 2009, after 648 performances and 18 previews. Concurrently, in November 2008, the play opened at the Royal National Theatre in London for a soaringly successful 10-week run with most of the original Broadway cast, ultimately winning that year's Olivier Award for Rosenthal's set design.
Steppenwolf helped to launch the careers of a number of well-known American actors, including Gary Sinise, John Malkovich, Joan Allen, John Mahoney, Martha Plimpton, Glenne Headly, Gary Cole, Terry Kinney, Kathryn Erbe, Jennifer Morrison and Laurie Metcalf.
In 2009 Steppenwolf was recognized by The Wall Street Journal as a Top Small Workplace in America. Additionally, in 2010 Steppenwolf's apprenticeship program was honored for the second consecutive year as one of the Top 10 Internships in America by leading career website Vault.com.
Among its many honors are the Tony Award for Regional Theatre Excellence (1985) and the National Medal of Arts (1998).
- Steppenwolf @ Twenty-Five. Steppenwolf Theater Company. p. 2.
- Martin Banham -The Cambridge Guide to Theatre 1995 – Page 1035 Notable productions include True West, Balm in Gilead, And a Nightingale Sang, Orphans, Coyote Ugly, Burn This, and company member Frank Galati's adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath. ...
- Best Plays 1983–1984 – Page 59 Otis L. Guernsey – 1989 "Coyote Ugly by Lynn Seifert (San Francisco: Berkeley Stage) — The slightly outrageous story of a hard bitten, depraved family living in the Arizona desert unfolds in the crackling, wild dialogue of this young wild dialogue of this young playwright who was runner- up in the Susan Smith Blackburn competition for women playwrights in 1984."
- Current Biography Yearbook – Volume 49 1989 – Page 355 "After reprising Biff for a taped CBS television version of Death of a Salesman, Malkovich returned to Chicago in March 1985 to direct Lynn Seifert's Coyote Ugly at the Steppenwolf Theatre. "
- Charles Isherwood (December 5, 2007). "Mama Doesn't Feel Well, but Everyone Else Will Feel Much Worse". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
- Richard Zoglin; Tracy Letts (December 9, 2007). "Top 10 Theater Productions". Time. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
- Steppenwolf Theatre Company official website
- Steppenwolf Theatre Company at the Internet Broadway Database