Steppenwolf's Young Adult Council (YAC) serves as a home to teen arts learners, makers, and appreciators who are passionate, curious, and interested in theatre. Members of the Young Adult Council create an inclusive, tight-knit community, while using the arts to deeply engage with the world around them.

Working to provide Steppenwolf Theatre with a teen perspective, members offer their expertise on and help curate programming for their peers. Through learning about the inner operations of a large arts institution, teens are introduced to theater professionals and participate in weekly workshops and learning opportunities. Members have the opportunity to cultivate leadership skills, explore the professional world of theater, meet fellow arts appreciators, and have fun!

Leadership - Leadership looks different for everyone. At YAC, we encourage each other to create our own definition of what it means to be a leader! 

Joy - It is important to the YAC that we center joy whenever and wherever possible. 

Curiosity - Throughout the program, Council members are encouraged to lead from a place of curiosity, staying open to an environment where learning is around every corner.

Inclusion - At YAC, we ask you to bring yourself fully and unapologetically – we work to create an environment where you can feel safe and comfortable doing so.

Accountability - Being a part of YAC is a commitment -- we hold each other accountable to ourselves, our peers, and the values and tenants of the program.

*this language was created by members of the 21/22 YAC cohort 

What We Do

The program breaks down into two categories, our core YAC programs that take place every Wednesday as well as paid community engagement and additional leadership opportunities outside of the weekly meetings.

Weekly meetings at Steppenwolf including but not limited to...
  • Script Reading Workshops
  • Meeting staff and ensemble members at Steppenwolf 
  • Learning from theatre artists through hands-on workshops in their craft
  • Exploring our creativity through art-making
  • Seeing plays for free at Steppenwolf and across Chicago 
  • Observing a professional rehearsal process including technical rehearsals and backstage run crew
Our community engagement and leadership opportunities include: 
  • Working with other YAC members to curate our Instagram and other social media content
  • Being Teen Ambassadors for Loft180 
  • Being Teen curators for Steppenwolf for Young Adult productions 
  • Reading potential Steppenwolf for Young Adult shows and giving your perspective 
  • Contributing to study guides for Steppenwolf for Young Adult productions 
  • Interviewing and facilitating conversations with professional artists
  • Volunteering at Steppenwolf's program for area veterans 
and so much more!! 

Join the YAC

Applications for 23/24 YAC cohort are now closed! Thanks for considering joining the Young Adult Council, please reach out for more information or any questions about the Young Adult Council, please contact Steppenwolf Education Interim Director of Education Abhi Shrestha at ashrestha@steppenwolf.org

Check out the Young Adult Council on Instagram

See the YAC in action


The Young Adult Council is generously supported in part by Liz and Eric Lefkofsky.