The Steppenwolf ensemble first began performing in the mid-1970s in the basement of a Highland Park, IL church, the ambitious brainchild of three high school and college friends: Jeff Perry, Terry Kinney and Gary Sinise. Fast forward nearly 50 years and the Steppenwolf Theatre Company has become the nation’s premier ensemble theatre with 49 members who are among the top actors, playwrights and directors in the field. Thrilling, powerful, groundbreaking productions — from Balm in Gilead and Grapes of Wrath to August: Osage County, Downstate and The Brother/Sister Plays—have made this theatre legendary.

Today, the company's artistic force remains rooted in the original vision of its founders: an artist-driven theatre, whose vitality is defined by its appetite for bold and innovative work. Every aspect of Steppenwolf is rooted in its Ensemble ethos, from the intergenerational artistic programming to the multi-genre performance series LookOut, to the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf Education and Engagement which serves nearly 15,000 teens annually. While grounded in the Chicago community, more than 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Steppenwolf also holds accolades that include the National Medal of Arts, 12 Tony Awards, and more. Led by Artistic Directors Glenn Davis and Audrey Francis, Executive Director Brooke Flanagan and Board of Trustees Chair, Keating Crown — Steppenwolf continually redefines the landscape of acting and performance.

Steppenwolf operates as a not-for-profit organization relying on community support to produce or present engaging plays, readings and other events every year on our three stages. The theatre’s artistic programming draws a multi-generational audience of nearly 200,000 from the greater metropolitan Chicago area, with a broader impact that reaches all around the globe. 

Our Mission

Steppenwolf Theatre Company strives to create thrilling, courageous and provocative art in a thoughtful and inclusive environment.

We succeed when we disrupt your routine with experiences that spark curiosity, empathy and joy.

We invite you to join our ensemble as we navigate, together, our complex world.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA)

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is committed to creating an organization that deeply values and draws strength from the many and varied stories and storytellers that make up our society. We will work to create a community that at its core is rooted in inclusion, diversity, equity and access.



Steppenwolf is committed to year-round programming that engages our multi-generational audience with thought-provoking productions and helps develop new plays, new audiences and new artists for the future of American theatre.

Steppenwolf's artistic programming includes a Membership series; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a new multidisciplinary performance series.

Front Bar

Located in front of Steppenwolf’s new 1700 Theater, Front Bar is a warm, creative space to grab a drink, have a bite or meet up with friends and collaborators.

Front Bar serves artisanal coffee and espresso by Hex Coffee Co. The in-house menu features fresh, accessible fare with artisanal pastries, grab-and-go salads, sandwiches and snack boxes , as well as shareable flatbreads and small plates. Front Bar also offers complimentary Wi-Fi.

Front Bar Hours
Café will open two hours before the lobby and close after intermission
Bar will open two hours before the lobby 


Our one-of-a-kind special events are unique opportunities to celebrate the work seen on our stages. We endeavor to create an environment where our various communities can come together to talk about the ideas expressed in our work and to share their unique experiences.

We look forward to our annual Gala celebration each spring.

Outreach & Education

At Steppenwolf, we believe it is important "to share something personal, authentic and pragmatic" about our values and methods. By accomplishing this, we not only contribute something of value to the world but, in turn, provide nourishment for our own growth as artists and arts administrators. For more information, you can visit the Education section of our website or choose from the programs below.

Our education and Outreach programs include: