Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



Steppenwolf Announces Casting for First Four Shows of 2019/20 Season

This article shared 1960 times since Thu Jul 25, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

CHICAGO ( July 23, 2019 ) — Steppenwolf Theatre Company announces casting for the first four productions of the 2019/20 season featuring previously announced ensemble members Audrey Francis, Tim Hopper, Caroline Neff, Yasen Peyankov and Karen Rodriguez, and the return of Steppenwolf regulars including Michael Patrick Thornton, Cedric Young and Keith Kupferer, along with dozens of Chicago-based actors and an exciting debut by South African stage and screen star Nondumiso Tembe.

Lindiwe features the five-time GRAMMY-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo and marks the third collaboration between Steppenwolf and Ladysmith. The legendary a cappella group and Steppenwolf first partnered in 1992 for The Song of Jacob Zulu, which was also directed by ensemble member Eric Simonson and transferred to Broadway receiving six Tony nominations. Actor Cedric Young who will be featured in Lindiwe was part of the original Zulu cast. Then in 1996, Simonson, Steppenwolf and Ladysmith teamed up again for the "beautiful and deeply moving" ( Chicago Tribune ) production of Nomathemba, which went on to The Kennedy Center. Simonson received an Oscar nomination for his 2000 documentary On Tiptoe: The Music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo about the group's global impact and message of love and peace.

Productions include: The Great Leap by Lauren Yee ( September 5 — October 20, 2019 ); Steppenwolf for Young Adults' production of The Brothers Size by ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney ( October 2 — 19, 2019 ); Lindiwe by ensemble member Eric Simonson ( November 7, 2019 — January 5, 2020 ); and Dance Nationby Clare Barron ( December 12, 2019 — February 2, 2020 ).

Single tickets to The Great Leap go on sale this Friday, July 26 at 11am. Classic and Flex Memberships are currently available for the 2019/20 Season. To purchase a Membership and secure a seat now, contact Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or Member pre-sale for additional single tickets to The Great Leap go on sale today, July 23 at 11am through Audience Services.

Classic Memberships start as low as $100 and can save audiences up to 60% off single ticket purchases. The entire season can be experienced by securing your seats to all seven main series productions. Members enjoy perks of discounted tickets, easy and free exchanges, access to insider events, 10% discount at Front Bar & Steppenwolf Shop as well as pre-sale notices before public announcements. Five, six and seven play membership packages are also available. Discounted packages for students and teachers and accessible packages are offered, and current members who renew by May 15, 2019 can guarantee their seats in the Downstairs Theatre. Group sales are also now available.

Steppenwolf also offers year-round flexible membership options including the Black Card which starts as low as $180. With a Black Card, you receive six ticket credits to use whenever and however you want for an entire year. Use all six tickets before that year is up? Reload your card to keep those unforgettable experiences coming. Under 30? Join Steppenwolf RED for just $100 and enjoy the same six flexible ticket credits. That's less than $17 a credit and almost 80% off single ticket prices. Black and RED cardholders receive exclusive discounts, special perks and insider access. For more information and to purchase Memberships, visit Audience Services at 1650 N Halsted St, call 312-335-1650 or visit

Casting Listed Below:

Chicago Premiere

The Great Leap

By Lauren Yee

Directed by Jesca Prudencio

September 5 — October 20, 2019

In the Upstairs Theatre

The cast features ( Pictured L to R ) Glenn Obrero ( Manford ), Deanna Myers ( Connie ), Keith Kupferer ( Saul ) and James Seol ( Wen Chang ).

When an American basketball team travels to Beijing amidst tensions in the late 80s, past relationships collide with present day revelations. Witty and weighty, this Chicago premiere explores cultural barriers, political risks and personal sacrifice. Lauren Yee's The Great Leap is sure to be compelling to basketball fans, history buffs and everyone who has ever had a dream.

Lauren Yee's Cambodian Rock Band, with music by Dengue Fever, premiered at South Coast Rep, subsequent productions at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, City Theatre, Merrimack Rep, Signature Theatre, Portland Center Stage, and Jungle Theatre. Her play The Great Leap has been produced at the Denver Center, Seattle Repertory, Atlantic Theatre, the Guthrie Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Arts Club, and InterAct Theatre, with future productions at Long Wharf, and Asolo Rep. Honors include the Doris Duke Artists Award, Whiting Award, Steinberg/ATCA Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters literature award, Horton Foote Prize, Kesselring Prize, Primus Prize, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton, and the #1 and #2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys List. She's a Residency 5 playwright at Signature Theatre, New Dramatists members, Ma-Yi Writers' Lab member, and Playwrights Realm alumni playwright. TV credits: Pachinko ( Apple ), Soundtrack( Netflix ). Current commissions include Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Second Stage, South Coast Rep. BA: Yale. MFA: UCSD.

Steppenwolf for Young Adults

The Brothers Size

By ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney

Directed by Monty Cole

October 02 — October 19, 2019

In the Downstairs Theatre

The cast features ( Pictured L to R ) Patrick Agada ( Oshoosi Size ), Manny Buckley( Ogun Size ) and Rashaad Hall ( Elegba )

Returning to our stage for the first time since its celebrated Chicago premiere, Steppenwolf for Young Adults presents Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brothers Size. Ogun Size is hardworking and heartbroken. Oshoosi Size is recently returned home from prison and trying to be anywhere but. In this fierce and honest look at the complex bonds of brotherhood, McCraney weaves together poetry, music and Yoruba mythology to magnify the tug-of-war between freedom and the need to belong somewhere, to something, to someone.

Tarell Alvin McCraney is an acclaimed playwright and screenwriter and has been a Steppenwolf ensemble member since 2010. His script In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue is the basis for the Oscar-winning film Moonlight directed by Barry Jenkins, for which McCraney and Jenkins won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. He also wrote the film High Flying Bird which recently premiered on Netflix directed by Steven Soderbergh. McCraney's plays include The Brother/Sister Plays trilogy, Choir Boy, Head of Passes, MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT and WIG OUT!. McCraney is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Grant, the Whiting Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, the Evening Standard Award, the New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Windham Campbell Award, and a Doris Duke Artist Award. He is currently Chair of Playwriting at Yale School of Drama; an ensemble member at Steppenwolf Theatre Chicago; and a member of Teo Castellanos/D-Projects. McCraney is currently working on an original scripted TV series, David Makes Man, for Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network, produced by Michael B. Jordan and Page Fright Productions.

World Premiere


By ensemble member Eric Simonson

Music by Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Directed by ensemble member Eric Simonson and Jonathan Berry

Featureing ensemble member Yassen Peyankov and LadySmith Black Mambazo

November 7, 2019 - January 5, 2020

In the Downstairs Theatre

The cast features ( pictured top row L to R ) Nondumiso Tembe ( Lindiwe ), ensemble member Yasen Peyankov ( Keeper ), Cedric Young ( Mkhulu ), Buddy Fambro( guitarist ), Frank Russell ( bassist ), Erik Hellman ( Adam ) and ( pictured bottom row ) Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

The evocative live music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo forms the foundation of this Steppenwolf world premiere production written and co-directed by ensemble member Eric Simonson. As the story travels from Chicago's Kingston Mines to South Africa and beyond, Lindiwe's love story challenges us to define the boundaries between this world and the next, all the while exploring the sacrifices we make for love.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo is South Africa's five-time GRAMMY Award-winning singing group founded in the early 1960s. A radio broadcast, in 1970, opened the door to a recording career that includes over seventy albums, earning 19 GRAMMY Award nominations and five GRAMMY Award wins, including their most recent album, Shaka Zulu Revisited for Best World Music Album. In the mid-1980s, American singer/songwriter Paul Simon famously incorporated the group's rich harmonies into the Graceland album, a landmark recording considered seminal in introducing South African music to mainstream audiences. When Nelson Mandela was released from prison he stated that Ladysmith Black Mambazo's music was a powerful message of peace that he listened to while in jail. It was Mandela who called Ladysmith Black Mambazo "South Africa's Cultural Ambassadors to the World." The group sings from a traditional music style called isicathamiya ( is-cot-a-ME-Ya ), which developed in the mines of South Africa. The group has also recorded with Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Emmylou Harris and many others. Ladysmith Black Mambazo carries a message of Peace, Love and Harmony to every theater they perform in. We hope you will join them as they spread their message.

Eric Simonson's plays and adaptations at Steppenwolf include Nomathemba ( written with Ntozake Shange and Joseph Shabalala ), Carter's Way, Honest, Slaughterhouse-Five and Fake. Other plays include Louder Faster, Magic/Bird, Bronx Bombers, Bang the Drum Slowly The Last Hurrah, Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright ( with Jeffrey Hatcher ), Edge of the World and Speak American. On Broadway, his credits include Lombardi, Magic/Bird and Bronx Bombers. His plays have been produced around the world and throughout the United States at theaters including The Huntington Theatre Company, L.A. Theatre Works, City Theatre of Pittsburgh, The Kennedy Center, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Arizona Theatre Company, Madison Repertory Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre and Crossroads Theatre Company. His production of Steppenwolf's The Song of Jacob Zulu received six Tony® Award nominations, including one for best direction. He's received an Academy Award for his documentary A Note of Triumph, an Oscar nomination for his documentary Ladysmith Black Mambazo and an Emmy nomination for his HBO documentary about Studs Terkel. Eric's television work includes writing for The Man in the High Castle, Homecoming ( Amazon ), Killing Reagan and Swagger ( Apple TV ). He is the recipient of the Princess Grace award and is the Artistic Director of the Door Kinetic Arts Festival in Door County, Wisconsin.

Chicago Premiere

Dance Nation

By Clare Barron

Directed and choreographed by Lee Sunday Evans

Featuring ensemble members Audrey Francis, Tim Hopper, Caroline Neff andKaren Rodriguez

December 12, 2019 — February 2, 2020

In the Upstairs Theatre

The cast features ( pictured top row, L to R ) previously announced ensemble members Audrey Francis ( The Moms/Vanessa ), Caroline Neff ( Zuzu ), Tim Hopper ( Dance Teacher Pat ) and Karen Rodriguez ( Amina ) with ( pictured bottom row, L to R ) Ariana N. Burks ( Sofia ), Ellen Maddow ( Maeve ), Michael Patrick Thornton ( Luke ), Shanésia Davis ( Ashlee ) and Adithi Chandrashekar ( Connie ).

A pre-teen dance troupe navigates ambition, friendship and desire as they claw their way to Nationals in Tampa Bay. Featuring a multigenerational cast of women playing our pre-teen heroines, this Chicago premiere is fiercely funny, theatrically inventive and full of heart.

Clare Barron is a New York based playwright. Her play Dance Nation was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize, the recipient of the 2017 Susan Smith Blackburn award, and previously received the inaugural Relentless Award ( 2015 ); the play received its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons this past May and ran at the Almeida Theatre in London. Clare's play You Got Older ( 2015 Obie award for Playwriting; nominee for 2015 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play; finalist for the 2015 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize ) received its world premiere through P73 under the direction of Anne Kauffman and recently ran at Steppenwolf. Her play Baby Screams Miracle was recently produced at Woolly Mammoth, after having premiered as part of Clubbed Thumb's 2013 SummerWorks Festival. Her play I'll Never Love Again was produced at the Bushwick Starr in 2016 and was a New York Times Critics' Pick. Clare is the recipient of the 2014-2015 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award ( Vineyard Theater ), the 2014 P73 Playwriting Fellowship; she has received Sloan commissions from MTC and EST, and is also under commission to Lincoln Center Theater, and Playwrights Horizons. She was recently staffed on Maria Semple's upcoming show on HBO, Today Will Be Different, starring Julia Roberts, and is currently developing a project with Gran Via Productions attached for AMC.

2019/20 Season

Steppenwolf's 44th season features The Great Leap, a Chicago premiere by Lauren Yee, directed by Jesca Prudencio ( Sep 5 — Oct 20, 2019 ); Lindiwe, a world premiere by ensemble member Eric Simonson, directed by Eric Simonson and Jonathan Berry, featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo ( Nov 7, 2019 — Jan 5, 2020 ); Dance Nation, a Chicago premiere by Clare Barron ( Dec 12, 2019 — Feb 2, 2020 ); Bug by ensemble member Tracy Letts, directed by David Cromer ( Jan 23 — Mar 8, 2020 ); The Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington, a Chicago premiere by James Ijames, directed by Whitney White ( Apr 2 - May 17, 2020 ); King James, a world premiere by ensemble member Rajiv Joseph, directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro ( May 7 — June 21, 2020 ); and Catch as Catch Can, a Chicago premiere by Mia Chung, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll ( June 4 — July 26, 2020 ).

Visitor Information

Steppenwolf is located at 1650 N Halsted St near all forms of public transportation, bike racks and Divvy bike stands. The parking facility ( $13 or $15, cash or card ) is located just south of our theater at 1624 N Halsted. Valet parking service ( $15 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.

Sponsor Information

Lead support for Lindiwe is provided by the Zell Family Foundation. Other sponsors for Lindiwe include ComEd, Conagra Brands Foundation, Laurents/Hatcher Foundation and The Poetry Foundation. 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, Front Bar serves locally roasted coffee and espresso by Passion House Coffee Roasters and features food by The 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. .

Year of Chicago Theatre

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is proud to be part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, presented by the City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. Home to a community of creators, risk-takers, and big hearts, Chicago theatre is a hotbed for exciting new work and hundreds of world premieres every year. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there's always a seat waiting for you at one of our 200+ theatres. Book your next show today at .

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation's premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble members represent a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead and August: Osage County to Pass Over and Downstate—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 ,, and .

—From a press release

This article shared 1960 times since Thu Jul 25, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Hannah Gadsby at Chicago Theatre on July 13 2022-07-04
- Australian LGBTQ+ comedian Hannah Gadsby will bring her "Body of Work" show to The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., on Wed., July 13, at 7 p.m. Gadsby took the comedy world by storm with the ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Hurricane Diane 2022-07-04
- Title: Hurricane Diane. Playwright: Elizabeth George At: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave; . Tickets: $25-$48. Runs through: July 31 If you had an exceptionally audacious lit professor, you probably read The Bacchae for your ...

Gay News

THEATER Theo Ubique hosting production about Elizabeth Taylor 2022-06-29
- Evanston's Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, 721 Howard St., will run Call Me Elizabeth—an acclaimed one-woman show about the early life of Elizabeth Taylor—on Aug. 20 (at 7:30 p.m.) and 21 (at 2:30 p.m.) only. The production ...

Gay News

Production based on Larry Kramer speech at Center on July 22-31 2022-06-28
- Open Space Arts announced its inaugural production of The Kramer Project, directed and adapted by David Zak from activist Larry Kramer's watershed speech "The Tragedy of Today's Gays." This will be the first production for Open ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elliot Page, NPH, Madonna, Chita Rivera, Jennifer Lopez 2022-06-26
- Elliot Page talked with talk-show host Seth Meyers about how her Netflix show The Umbrella Academy incorporated the actor's own personal transition into season three of the series, Deadline noted. "With Steve Blackman, the showrunner of ...

Gay News

Writers Theatre's 2022-23 season to include 'Tiger Style!,' 'Once' and other productions 2022-06-21
-- From a press release - Glencoe, IL—Writers Theatre Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma and Interim Artistic Director Bobby Kennedy announce the company's 2022/23 four-play season, to include Mike Lew's Tiger Style!, directed by Brian Balcom; ...

Gay News

Goodman Theatre running musical 'Life After' through July 17 2022-06-20
- Goodman Theatre is running the musical Life After through Sunday, July 17. With humor and wit, this "luminous new musical…lush, poetic and surprisingly funny" (The San Diego Union-Tribune) explores how people move through and live with ...

Gay News

Billy Masters 2022-06-20
- "u don't know my alphabet."—Sexy Lukas Gage (from The White Lotus; Love, Victor; and the rebooted Queer as Folk) tweets his response to criticism that Hollywood shouldn't hire him to play LGBTQIA+ roles. When asked to ...

Gay News

WORLD Pride disruption, trans journalists, Tunisian play, marriage bills 2022-06-19
- Turkish police officers carrying clear-plastic riot shields, wielding batons and deploying pepper powder balls as well as tear gas violently broke up a Pride parade that Middle East Technical University students organized in the capital of ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Lightyear,' celebrity event, LGBT runner, Mariah Carey 2022-06-19
Video below - Pixar's latest film Lightyear is hitting theaters, and it has a special moment for gay fans—a same-sex kiss between the character Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and her female partner—that almost didn't happen, Out Magazine note ...

Gay News

Steep Theatre's race-centered 'Paris' running June 17-July 23 2022-06-17
- Steep Theatre, 1044 W. Berwyn Ave., will run the Eboni Booth work Paris on June 17-July 23. Jonathan Berry will direct. Returning home to the small town of Paris, Vermont, Emmie tries to make ends meet ...

Gay News

PERFORMANCE 'Moonset Sunrise' at Navy Pier on June 16 and 18 2022-06-15
- Collaboraction announced that Moonset Sunrise, its 25th-anniversary production, with live performances on June 16 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Beat Kitchen's new Bar Sol on Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave. Through healing ritual, storytelling, ...

Gay News

Queer-themed plays win Tonys; Hudson reaches EGOT status 2022-06-13
- On June 12, the 75th annual Tony Awards were held to honor the top performances from the theater industry. The event—hosted by LGBTQ+ Oscar winner/Tony nominee Ariana DeBose at New York City's Radio City Music Hall—followed ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jodie Comer, 'Queer As Folk,' trans film, Tom of Finland photos 2022-06-12
- Jodie Comer—the Emmy- and BAFTA-winning actress perhaps best known for playing LGBTQ+ assassin Villanelle on BBC America's Killing Eve—will make her Broadway debut next spring in Prima Facie, a new play by Suzie Miller, Deadline noted. ...

Gay News

Theo Ubique marks 25th-anniversary season with four musicals 2022-06-11
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (JUNE 10, 2022) Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre's Artistic Director Fred Anzevino and Managing/Casting Director Christopher Pazdernik announced the 25th Anniversary season today with four musicals including a Midwest Premiere ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.