The Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre is an intimate 299-seat alley theatre located on the third floor of 1650 N Halsted. Each season, one subscription series play and one Steppenwolf for Young Adults play is produced in the Upstairs Theatre. Occasionally special events are produced in the space, such as comedian Jeff Garlin's two-week run of Closer Than I Appear.
A Special Note for 2012-13 Subscribers
Director/ensemble member Austin Pendleton and scenic designer Walt Spangler are creating an exciting new set for The Birthday Party, which involves bringing the audience closer to the story—literally. We will be reconfiguring the Upstairs Theatre by moving the stage to the center of the room, creating a space that allows for better acoustics and greater intimacy with the audience up front and up close to the action. No seat will be more than eight rows from the stage. This artist-generated design allows for elements of fun and surprise that should make for a compelling and exciting play-going experience.
We are very excited to embark on this journey through Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party with our artists and with you—our audience. Thank you so much for your continued loyal support and your adventuresome spirit which make this kind of artistic innovation possible.
Lobby & Amenities
The lobby of the Upstairs Theatre features a comfortable lounge, a fully-stocked bar, and a lobby display designed to enrich and inform the world of the currently-running production.
Formerly the Steppenwolf Studio, the Upstairs Theatre was inaugurated in 1993 with Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Some of the notable productions in the Upstairs space include ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brother/Sister Plays, Conor McPherson’s Dublin Carol, Laura Eason’s Sex with Strangers, Anton Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard, Frank Galati's after the quake and Joel Drake Johnson's The Fall to Earth. The intimate confines of the Upstairs Theatre also hosted solo performers Karen Finley, Jeff Garlin, Ricky Jay, David Sedaris, and Heather Woodbury, among others.
The Upstairs Theatre has hosted a number of acclaimed Chicago theatres, including City Lit Theatre, European Repertory Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Naked Eye Theatre Company, Roadworks Productions, Second Stage Theatre, 500 Clown and TurnAround Theatre. Redmoon Theater Company has presented world premiere adaptations such as Frankenstein, Hunchback, Unbinding Isaac, and Seagull. About Face Theatre presented the Chicago premiere of Take Me Out and the world premieres of Theater District and the Jeff-winning musical Winesburg, Ohio, first produced in a one-act version under Steppenwolf for Young Adults.