Celebrating over 30 years of Arts Education

For over 30 years, Steppenwolf’s education department, Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) has created world class programming that speaks to the teen identity. As artists, we tell stories that bring attention to an immediate need for youth in our community. Our responsibility as storytellers is to connect youth with the resources and information necessary to affect change in their own lives. Through the dedication of our artists, educators, young adult council members, and community partners, youth find voice to tell their own stories and strengthen their communities in indelible ways. Our productions and programs are specifically geared to teachers, young adults and families. We present professional productions of established plays, original adaptations of novels and new works for audiences of all ages.

2016/17 Season

When we stick to our guns, who pays the price?

Steppenwolf for Young Adults 2016/17 season features two plays in conversation with one another exploring how we participate in the culture of violence that surrounds us through our beliefs and convictions. The season opens with the world premiere of The Burials, by Caitlin Parrish and directed by Erica Weiss and is followed by the world premiere adaptation of Walter Dean Myers's critically acclaimed novel, Monster, adapted by Steppenwolf Artistic Producer Aaron Carter and directed by Hallie Gordon.

Through these two stories, we will investigate the aftermath of tragedy – through a community’s response to a mass shooting and one teen’s journey to understand himself in the face of a culture of violence.

The Burials

By Caitlin Parrish
Directed by Erica Weiss
October 5 – October 22, 2016 in the Upstairs Theatre
World Premiere

Sophie is everything an upstanding young millennial should be: engaged, devoted to her family, and a likely valedictorian. But her life is shattered when her brother goes on a high school shooting rampage. Thrust into the national spotlight, Sophie finds herself torn between defying the narrative being woven about her brother in the media, and stopping the father she loves from using the rampage for his own political ends. Inspired by Antigone, The Burials is a modern tale of civic responsibility and the gun epidemic in America.

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Based on the novel by Walter Dean Myers
Adapted by Aaron Carter
Directed by Hallie Gordon
February 15 – March 9, 2017 in the Downstairs Theatre
World Premiere

This New York Times bestselling novel and National Book Award nominee tells the story of Steve Harmon, a 16-year-old boy in juvenile detention and an aspiring film-maker. His life has been turned upside down by his alleged participation in a robbery gone awry and now he might spend the rest of his life behind bars. As the prosecution makes its case, Steve writes his story as a screenplay, trying to understand if he’s really the monster they say he is.

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Group tickets for Public Performances and Student Matinees

Group tickets for public performances and student matinees are now on sale. 

To book a group of 10 or more, email groups@steppenwolf.org or call 312–392–2422.

To book tickets for student matinee groups, follow these 5 quick steps!

  1. CHECK OUT the production calendars for the show or shows you are interested in! 
  2. CROSS REFERENCE your school's calendar for any dates that may conflict with a field trip to Steppenwolf (special schedules, holidays, testing days, report card pick up, etc.). 
  3. CLICK to complete the quick Season Registration survey. making sure to let us know which shows you want to attend, any days you CANNOT attend, and how many students you are interested in bringing!
  4. CONFIRM Once we receive your Pre Registration Survey, Education Assistant Jared Bellot will follow up to confirm a date that works for you.