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Steppenwolf Theatre Company Announces 30th Season Series

Chicago—Steppenwolf Theatre Company announces its 2005-2006 subscription series, proudly producing Five New Plays. “Our theater is never more alive than when developing new work before an audience," explains Artistic Director Martha Lavey. “For the first time in our history, we will have an entire season devoted to launching New Plays. We’re proud to offer our audience the opportunity to be the first to see new works from well-known and emerging playwrights.” The Steppenwolf ensemble will be integral to the launching of the Five New Plays. “I’m extremely restless; more than when I was at 20,” says Steppenwolf co-founder Terry Kinney. “Each new play is more important to me. It’s the urgency of adulthood.” The 2005-2006 season will open with Last of the Boys by acclaimed playwright Steven Dietz (Fiction, Lonely Planet), featuring Steppenwolf co-founder Jeff Perry and ensemble member Rondi Reed. The Vietnam War tale is the Downstairs Theatre directorial debut of ensemble member Rick Snyder, who directed Reed’s 2004 Jeff Award-winning performance in The Fall to Earth, and whose production of Orange Flower Water traveled to the Galway Arts Festival last year. Steppenwolf follows with ensemble member Frank Galati adapting and directing After the Quake, an award-winning collection of short stories from Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. Galati, whose Steppenwolf literary adaptations---such as The Grapes of Wrath---have thrilled audiences worldwide, will present this fantastic world premiere adaptation in the Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre. In January, Steppenwolf co-founder Terry Kinney directs ensemble members Tracy Letts, Amy Morton and Molly Regan in The Well-Appointed Room, a world premiere work by Richard Greenberg, the Tony Award-winning playwright of Take Me Out, The Violet Hour and Three Days of Rain. A favorite among Steppenwolf audiences, Greenberg again digs deep into modern relationships with verbal wit, piercing insight and good old-fashioned storytelling. Next Steppenwolf will launch Love Song by John Kolvenbach, an up-and-coming playwright who has been produced in New York, Toronto and London’s West End. Ensemble member Austin Pendleton directs the off-beat romantic comedy featuring ensemble members K. Todd Freeman,Tim Hopper and Laurie Metcalf. The season will conclude with another World Premiere from a pool of talented writers seen both at Steppenwolf and other stages around the world. The Five New Plays in the subscription series represent only a fraction of the programming planned for Steppenwolf’s 30th season. Subsequent announcements will follow. The 30th subscription season is as follows: Play #1 NEW PLAY! September 15, 2005 – November 13, 2005 Last of the Boys By Steven Dietz Directed by ensemble member Rick Snyder Featuring ensemble members Jeff Perry and Rondi Reed Somewhere in the Great Central Valley of California sits a rusted old trailer, the home of Ben, a Vietnam vet. Beer drinking with his friend Jeeter is interrupted by the arrival of Jeeter’s new girlfriend, her crazy mother and a phantom from their shared past. This is a fiercely funny, American story by Steven Dietz, one of the country’s most widely-produced playwrights. Play #2 NEW PLAY! October 20, 2005 – February 19, 2006 After the Quake By Haruki Murakami Adapted and directed for the stage by ensemble member Frank Galati In 1995, Haruki Murakami, Japan’s most highly regarded novelist, returned to his hometown of Kobe after a disastrous earthquake nearly destroyed the entire city. After the Quake, the collection of short stories inspired by this event, measures the devastation of a people after a catastrophe. Ensemble member Frank Galati, whose Steppenwolf literary adaptations include the Tony Award-winning The Grapes of Wrath, directs this fantastical world premiere in the Upstairs Theatre. Play #3 NEW PLAY! January 12, 2006 – March 12, 2006 The Well-Appointed Room By Richard Greenberg Directed by ensemble member Terry Kinney Featuring ensemble members Tracy Letts, Amy Morton and Molly Regan Tony Award-winning playwright Richard Greenberg (The Violet Hour, The Dazzle and Three Days of Rain) returns to Steppenwolf with this world premiere. In one well-appointed room in New York City, three couples of different eras struggle with lives being consumed from within and without. Greenberg again digs deep into modern relationships with verbal wit, piercing insight and good old-fashioned storytelling. Play #4 NEW PLAY! March 30, 2006 – June 4, 2006 Love Song By John Kolvenbach Directed by ensemble member Austin Pendleton Featuring ensemble members K. Todd Freeman, Tim Hopper and Laurie Metcalf Beane is invisible to his career-focused sister and her cynical husband. Beane’s life is a shrinking, darkening world…until Molly appears. Immediately, Molly fills Beane’s life with joy and wonder. But does Molly really exist? This off-beat romantic comedy is a world premiere work from hot young playwright John Kolvenbach, whose work has been produced from New York to London’s West End. Play #5 NEW PLAY! June 29, 2006 – August 27, 2006 TBA Steppenwolf is holding the Summer 2006 production open so that we may bring you another exciting World Premiere to culminate our celebration of New Plays in our 30th Season. Five-play season subscriptions are on sale now through Audience Services online at or at (312) 335-1650. Audience Services hours are 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. everyday and 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on days with evening performances. Subscription prices range from $160 to $275. Student subscriptions are 1/2 price with a current valid I.D. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday evenings. Seniors (62 and older) receive a $10 discount on subscriptions. Audio-description, sign language interpreted, post-show discussion, and lecture series are available. For group reservations (15 or more people), call Group Sales at (312) 654-5629. Curtain times are as follows: Tuesday evenings 7:30 p.m. Selected Wednesday matinees 2:00 p.m. Thursday evenings 7:30 p.m. Friday evenings 7:30 p.m. Saturday matinees 3:00 p.m. Saturday evenings 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees 3:00 p.m. Sunday evenings 7:30 p.m. Opening nights 6:00 p.m. Committed to the principle of ensemble performance through the collaboration of a company of actors, directors and playwrights, Steppenwolf Theatre Company makes innovative use of three theaters to fulfill its mission. The Downstairs Theatre is the largest space, with a producing capacity that attracts theater's finest directors, playwrights, actors and designers. The Upstairs Theatre's flexibility directly reflects Steppenwolf's commitment to the intimacy of the actor-audience relationship. The Merle Reskin Garage Theatre has become a setting for the most intimate and surprising work onstage, nurturing the very best new voices in American theater. The Traffic series unites artists of varying disciplines to ignite their storytelling talents in exclusive engagements. Arts Exchange productions and programs are specifically geared to teachers, young adults and families. No matter the event, the Steppenwolf experience is marked by the principles of ensemble collaboration, superior acting and the creation of new work reflecting the Steppenwolf vision. Committed to the principle of ensemble performance through the collaboration of a company of actors, directors and playwrights, Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s mission is to advance the vitality and diversity of American theater by nurturing artists, encouraging repeatable creative relationships and contributing new works to the national canon. The company, formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, is dedicated to perpetuating an ethic of mutual respect and the development of artists through ongoing group work. Steppenwolf has grown into an internationally renowned company of thirty-five artists whose talents include acting, directing, playwriting, filmmaking and textual adaptation.