News & Articles

2018/19 Season Letter

by Anna D. Shapiro

I am so excited to welcome you to Steppenwolf’s 2018/19 season! 

Last year was one of the most successful seasons we have ever had and we so look forward to sharing more vital, original and joyful experiences this year. In 2018/19, our work will continue to explore and celebrate the dynamic and ever-changing story of our world—both the literal and emotional—while also hopefully offering insights into experiences beyond our own. At Steppenwolf, we hope to give our audiences the opportunity to both see and be seen, as all of us try to extend ourselves in the worthy effort of understanding our fellow man. 

As a theatre maker and as an audience member, I have always been moved by the generosity of a night in the theater. Artists giving and sharing in a way never to be seen again join adventurous and open patrons in an exchange of ideas, emotions and experiences that leave all involved forever changed. At Steppenwolf, this is our nightly aspiration and the plays we have chosen for this season will not disappoint.

We open the season with ensemble member Bruce Norris’s world premiere dark comedy, Downstate, in a co-production with the National Theatre in London, where it will move after its Steppenwolf run. Downstate features ensemble members Francis Guinan, Tim Hopper and K. Todd Freeman and is being directed by Pam MacKinnon, who returns to Steppenwolf after having won the Tony Award for her direction of our revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 

Ensemble member Tarell McCraney will be reunited with ensemble member Tina Landau as they remount their acclaimed production of McCraney’s explosive and fabulous play, WIG OUT!, which will feature ensemble members Glenn Davis and, in a rare return to the stage, Tarell himself who will be playing Nina/Wilson. 

We are also thrilled to announce the first Steppenwolf revival of Sam Shepard’s True West, featuring ensemble members Jon Michael Hill and Namir Smallwood. First seen at Steppenwolf in 1982, this masterpiece of American realism explodes with the energy and vitality central to Shepard’s most important work and offers actors the exquisite opportunity to live fully in the Steppenwolf ethos.

The season also includes new productions of Danai Gurira’s Zimbabwean-American family comedy Familiar, featuring a cast led by both a veteran ensemble member and our newest: Ora Jones and Celeste M. Cooper;  Lucas Hnath’s award-winning exploration of feminism, A Doll’s House, Part 2, featuring ensemble members Sandra Marquez and Yasen Peyankov; Lucy Kirkwood’s acclaimed drama The Children, featuring Ora Jones and Yasen Peyankov and the world premiere of Isaac Gomez’s beautiful and haunting play with music, La Ruta, directed by ensemble member Sandra Marquez.

Once again, I am so honored to serve the great artists and audiences who make Steppenwolf such a celebrated and important part of the Chicago cultural landscape. Thank you for joining us, and supporting us, as we continue to do our best to earn the privilege.

Anna D. Shapiro
Artistic Director