Celebrating over 30 years of Arts Education

The Steppenwolf for Young Adults performance series brings high-quality theater to artistically curious young adults across Chicago through two full-scale shows each year. These shows are performed during the week for students and opened up to the public during weekend matinees.

2017/18 Season

When does a lie become the truth?

Steppenwolf for Young Adults is thrilled to present a 2017/18 season that features two plays in conversation with one another exploring what happens when the line between fact and fiction is intentionally blurred and lies become reality.

Written in response to the spread of McCarthyism, Arthur Miller’s classic work, The Crucible explores a paranoid witch hunt and its very real consequences. Paired with this epic drama, we are proud to present an SYA commission, the world premiere of Philip Dawkins’ The Burn, a modern telling of the way social media blurs the lines of truth and fiction and paves the way for new kinds of witch hunts in 2018.

The Crucible

By Arthur Miller
Directed by Jonathan Berry

Student matinees performed at 10am on Wednesday, October 4; Thursday, October 5; Friday, October 6; Tuesday, October 10; Wednesday, October 11; Thursday, October 12; Friday, October 13; Tuesday, October 17; Wednesday, October 18; Thursday, October 19; Friday, October 20.

Run time approx. 2 hours 30 minutes plus a 10 minute intermission*

*Regarding the extended run time of The Crucible, accommodations are being considered. Please be in communication with us about what this run time may mean for you and your school group.

Appropriate for grades 8+

Since its premiere in 1953, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, a masterful and chilling portrayal of the historic Salem Witch Trials, has rightfully become an American classic, both because of its undeniable literary merit, but perhaps more enduringly because it serves as singularly flexible cautionary tale and provocation that compels each generation that watches it to reflect upon the harrowing world it portrays.

The people of Salem are whipped into a bloodthirsty frenzy by a series of escalating misinterpretations after a group of teenage girls are accused of dancing devilishly in the woods. Fearing retribution, the girls begin a chain of finger-pointing until neighbor turns against neighbor, whispers become testimony, fabrications become facts, and a once powerless teenage girl suddenly has the ability to decide the fate of all those around her. As the hearts of the townsfolk become poisoned, even John Proctor, a principled farmer and family man, must wrestle with a corrupt court and his own transgressions to protect his innocent wife and his family’s good name.

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The burn

by Philip Dawkins
Directed by Devon de Mayo

Student matinees performed at 10am on Wednesday, February 14; Thursday, February 15; Friday, February 16; Tuesday, February 20; Wednesday, February 21; Thursday, February 22; Friday, February 23; Tuesday, February 27; Wednesday, February 28; Thursday, March 1; Friday, March 2.

World Premiere
Run time approx. 90 minutes

Appropriate for grades 9+

Mercedes is an outsider. Tara makes sure she knows it. When a high school production of The Crucible forces them together, tensions escalate into acts of bullying –both online and IRL. This world premiere play explores what happens to a teacher and his students when a classroom conflict turns into an online witch-hunt.

The Burn was commissioned by Steppenwolf for Young Adults.

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

To book group tickets to a student matinee:
Tickets for student matinee performances (Tuesdays-Fridays at 10am) are on sale now for just $7.50. To book your tickets today, follow the steps below.

  1. Check out the performance calendar for The Crucible and The Burn above.
  2. Fill out the quick pre-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 (make sure to cross reference these dates against your school calendar)
  3. Confirm your field trip date—once we receive your pre registration survey, a staff member will follow up to confirm a date that works for you and provide you with a contract for your tickets.