Graffiti crews are willing to risk anything for their art. Called vandals, criminals, even creative terrorists, Chicago graffiti artists set out night after night to make their voices heard and alter the way people view the world. But when one crew finishes the biggest graffiti bomb of their careers, the consequences get serious and spark a public debate asking, where does art belong? Written by acclaimed playwright Idris Goodwin and Louder than a Bomb founder Kevin Coval, This Is Modern Art gives a glimpse into the lives of anonymous graffiti artists and asks us to question the true purpose of art.

Join the conversation

We are so inspired by the lively dialogue that this exciting new Chicago play has generated among our audiences. We hope that you come see for yourself what all the buzz is about and join the discussion in-person and online.

Here are a couple ways to participate:
- Post-show discussions: We host post-show discussions after every performance of This Is Modern Art. Stick around after the play for a dialogue with your fellow audience members.

- Social media: Active discussions are happening now on Facebook and Twitter. Make your voice heard using hashtags #createart and #jointherevolution.

Watch & Listen

  1. <i>THIS IS MODERN ART</i> in Production

    THIS IS MODERN ART in Production

  2. <i>THIS IS MODERN ART</i> - Trailer

    THIS IS MODERN ART - Trailer

  3. <i>THIS IS MODERN ART (BASED ON TRUE EVENTS)</i> - In Rehearsal


Cast & Artists

The Artists


“Chicago, go see This Is Modern Art. Let’s talk about what qualifies as art. Great acting, beautiful directing, and graffiti”
– April V, Twitter

“Seeing This Is Modern Art exposed me to a new subculture within my own American culture that I never knew was so rich or diverse….I feel like a more well-rounded person”
– Christian, high school student

“I really enjoyed it because they were so engaging with the audience. It was some stuff that people can relate to, and the characters were on point.”
– Keshonda, high school student

“Thank you Kevin Coval and Idris Goodwin. You articulated everything I never could.”
– Britnee, Twitter

“It really hits the heart of a Chicagoan.”
– Y, Twitter

"This is Modern Art shines a light on truths in our city that are so often in the dark, and gives voice to the voiceless."
- Olivia, 17

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.

Special Performances

Post-show Discussion with Kevin Coval
Join us after the performance on Friday, March 6 at 7:30pm for a special post-show discussion with playwright Kevin Coval and a panel of Chicago graffiti artists.

Public Performances—Student Tickets
Tickets for public performances are only $15 for students with ID. Use promo code MODART15.

Student Performances
For school group tickets to weekday 10am matinee performances, contact Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ Education and Community Programs Coordinator Lauren Sivak at 312.654.5643 or by email at

American Sign Language-Interpreted
Wednesday, March 11 at 10am (student performance)
Saturday, February 28 at 7:30pm (public performance)

Open Captioning
Saturday, February 28 at 7:30pm

Audio Description
Saturday, February 28
Curtain: 7:30pm

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