A wryly funny play about the contemporary quirks of our American spirit.


In a modern-day California town that’s seen better days, Mom shares death-defying tales of pioneer crossings with her two squabbling adult daughters as she waits for her bankruptcy to come through. This hilarious and heartbreaking play about today’s American family explores the mixed blessing of our great frontier spirit, which has fueled both self-delusion and survival.

Major Foundation Support provided by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.
The Way West is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.

Additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts

Watch & Listen

  1. <i>THE WAY WEST</i> - Trailer

    THE WAY WEST - Trailer

  2. THE WAY WEST in Production

    THE WAY WEST in Production

  3. <i>THE WAY WEST</i> in Rehearsal

    THE WAY WEST in Rehearsal

  4. 2013/14 Season: <i>THE WAY WEST</i>

    2013/14 Season: THE WAY WEST

Cast & Artists

The Artists

Featured Ensemble Members


"Zestily directed by Amy Morton…a spin on the enduring, even self-mocking tall tales celebrating the pioneer spirit” – Chicago Sun-Times

“Marvelous…the simultaneous freshness and familiarity of subject make this world-premiere production especially compelling” – Newcity

“Punctuated by country-tinged songs and tall tales, and underscored by a kind of foreboding humor, Mansour's quirky dramedy examines optimism and self-delusion” – Daily Herald

“An extremely entertaining, richly textured, and often very funny portrait of a family, and a society, going through economic ruin” – Splash

“A saga of modern-day troubles…Mansour presents a thought-provoking narrative”– TheaterMania

“Acid satire…Mom, Meesh, and Manda are up against the American way of life and its delusions” –Reader

Program Articles

Welcome to The Way West

Welcome to The Way West

“I’m actually just going to pay for my Sprite”

Artistic Director Martha Lavey chats with playwright Mona Mansour about The Way West.

The Struggling Kind

Director of New Play Development Aaron Carter on "how the American spirit of optimism, hard work and perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds is both a blessing and a curse. "

Buy Tickets

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

Running Time

Content Advisory

Steppenwolf does not offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects (such as strobe lights or theatrical fog) that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650.

Additional Information

This production employs theatrical fog.

Downstairs Theatre Info & Seat Map Map / Directions to the theatre The Way West Program

Special Performances

This Mother’s Day, treat mom to an evening she will never forget: 5:30pm 3-couse dinner at Vinci Restaurant followed by the 7:30pm performance of The Way West. This special dinner-theater package is only $50 each and can be purchased by calling Audience Services at 312-335-1650 by using code MOTHER.See the menu here.

Valid on Sunday, May 11, 2014 only. Gratuity not included. Steppenwolf will make the dinner reservation for your party. Offer expires Thursday, Friday, May 9 at 11:59pm.

American Sign Language-Interpreted
Sunday, May 11 at 7:30pm

Open Captioning
Saturday, May 24 at 3pm

Audio Description and Touch Tour
Sunday, May 25
Touch Tour: 1:30pm
Curtain: 3pm

More from the 2013-14 Season


  • Corporate Production Sponsor
    Corporate Production Sponsor