Synopsis

It’s 1935. In America, it’s the middle of the Great Depression. In Kansas City, it’s the peak of the city’s legendary jazz era. The scene is hopping with recording deals and jam-packed clubs like Planet Mars, where life revolves around Oriole Carter, a brilliant black saxophonist who leads the house band. Oriole is falling head over heels for the white girlfriend of a local mobster just as a brand new invention called radio is threatening to make him a star.

Ensemble member Eric Simonson received an Oscar for Best Documentary Short for his film A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin in 2006 and was Tony-nominated for his direction of Steppenwolf's The Song of Jacob Zulu, with Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Watch & Listen

  1. A Day in the Life of Steppenwolf Theatre Company

    A Day in the Life of Steppenwolf Theatre Company

  2. Carter

    Carter's Way in Production

  3. Carter

    Carter's Way in Rehearsal

Cast & Artists

The Artists

Reviews

“Extraordinary…exquisite performances”
-Variety

“Sassy…superb…sexual”
-Chicago Sun-Times

“Savvy…smolders with the right kind of smoke”
-Chicago Tribune

Program Articles

David New interviews ensemble member Eric Simonson

Associate Artistic Director David New and ensemble member Eric Simonson explore the creation and themes of Carter's Way.

Improvising History: Jazz in Kansas City

Artistic Associate Michael Vinson discusses the birth of the Kansas City jazz style.

Composer's Notebook

Carter's Way composer Darrell Leonard discusses the production's musical elements.

Letter from the Artistic Director on Carter's Way.

Artistic Director Martha Lavey discusses the development and themes in Eric Simonson's new play.

David New interviews ensemble member Eric Simonson

Associate Artistic Director David New and ensemble member Eric Simonson explore the creation and themes of Carter's Way.

Improvising History: Jazz in Kansas City

Artistic Associate Michael Vinson discusses the birth of the Kansas City jazz style.

Composer's Notebook

Carter's Way composer Darrell Leonard discusses the production's musical elements.

Letter from the Artistic Director on Carter's Way.

Artistic Director Martha Lavey discusses the development and themes in Eric Simonson's new play.

Buy Tickets

Tickets for this production are not currently on sale. Call 312-335-1650 for more information.

Running Time

Content Advisory

Steppenwolf offers an advisory about any stage effect of potential concern to patrons’ health. We will post this information as soon as it’s available. We don’t offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any concerns about content, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650.