LookOut is Steppenwolf’s performance series that presents the work of artists and companies across genre and form. Emerging artists and performance legends, quintessential Chicago companies and young aspiring ensembles, familiar Steppenwolf faces and new friends.
Beauty School: Pushover Album Release Party
With Special Guest: She Speaks in Tongues
Tuesday, June 12
Chicago pop-rock band Beauty School returns to Steppenwolf to celebrate the release of their debut LP Pushover. A culmination of material the group has crafted over the past three years, Pushover pays tribute to the bittersweet love song, charting the highs and lows of love amid life's complexities. The album arrives at the threshold of summer, inviting you to submerge yourself in the sounds of the season.
A reading of excerpts of the work of the playwrights of the Artist Development Workshop
Sunday, June 17
Every year for the last 25 years, writers with and without disabilities have gotten together in the fall, winter and spring to develop their craft in the Artistic Development Workshop. Each summer, they showcase their work in an eclectic and often irreverent staged reading called Sketchtopia.
Erik and Jessie and Everyone You Know Variety Show: THE RETURN
Hosted by Erik Hellman and Jessie Fisher
Monday, June 18
Local actor/musicians Erik Hellman and Jessie Fisher present an updated variant of the classic variety hour: Original music, special guests, comedy, magic, improv, and ephemera along with the tightest country/soul band in the land. Fast-paced, fun, funky and fresh.
You're Being Ridiculous: PRIDE
Friday, June 22; Saturday, June 23; Friday, June 29 & Saturday, June 30 8pm
At You're Being Ridiculous, real people tell true stories about their lives. Each performer is linked by our rotating themes, and by the desire to make you laugh–and, once in a while, cry. Our motto: Good stories are better than good times. We laugh at ourselves, and laugh with each other. Everyone has a story to tell. What's yours?
Yes to NO: An Evening of Rock + Resistance
A rock benefit for Chicago youth empowerment charities
Featuring: The Cell Phones, no.no.no.NO and No Men
Friday, July 6
$12 advance, $15 at the door
What would it sound like if three, femme-fronted rock bands came together one evening to say "NO" to its genre's nihilistic, 'no future', boys-only legacy and instead, made real, positive, and inclusive change with its music? Powerful and empowering for new artists of the future to generate positive change in our city, our country, and our world.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Michelle J. Rodriguez
Directed by Sivan Battat
Sunday, July 8 at 8pm & Monday, July 9 at 7pm
Writer-director team Michelle J. Rodriguez and Sivan Battat set a classic folktale in a mythic America with the musical East'o West'o! Told with big, rollicking bluegrass numbers, haunting folk melodies, with lullaby, with work song and violin howl, East'o, West'o! takes us farther than any woman has ever gone in a quest for home and belonging.
A Cabaret Performed by Anna Palermo
Friday, July 13
What makes a women feel powerful? Do we find power through adversity and vulnerability? Find out through stories and songs touching on Tina Turner and Barbra Streisand (just to name a few).
Dark Café Days: Foiled Again Sings Joni Mitchell
Allison Bazarko Kirk, Rob Lindley, and Anne Sheridan Smith with Doug Peck & Gavin Kirk
Saturday, July 14 & Sunday, July 15
Vocal trio Foiled Again brings their trademark close-knit harmonies to the music of Joni Mitchell, with classics like "A Case of You," "Woodstock," and "The Circle Game" as well as some deep cuts from Mitchell's extensive and eclectic catalogue.
Race Bait: LIVE
With Tania Richard and Paul Traynor
Monday, July 16
A black woman. A white man. They talk about racism... so YOU can too! Raw, awkward, crucial conversations approached with humor and generosity of spirit. LookOut presents a special live recording of this podcast now in its second season. Special guests, music, audience interaction and more!
Created and encouraged by Steppenwolf ensemble member Cliff Chamberlain
Wednesday, July 18
The Jump is a theatrical event that encourages being brave and taking risks in an environment that promises a soft landing. Songs you've never sung, stories you've never told, things you've never done, with people you've never met. We jump, you jump; we all make The Jump together.
Stir Friday Night Presents: We Are Asian. We Do Comedy.
Thursday, July 19 & Friday, July 20
The 23-year old Asian American comedy troupe presents this show, an amalgamation of music, sketch, and improv, telling the theatrical tale of what it is to be a "model" minority.
Christine Ebersole in concert with Seth Rudetsky
Monday, July 30
Two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole performs at Steppenwolf for one night only alongside Sirius XM host and creator/star of Disaster! Seth Rudetsky as pianist and host. This unscripted evening will be a seamless mix of intimate, behind-the-scenes stories of her career through insightful, funny and revealing questions posed by Rudetsky.
The Neo-Futurists present
A Physically Accessible Performance of The Infinite Wrench
Created, written, and performed by The Neo-Futurists
Saturday, August 4
The Infinite Wrench is a mechanism that unleashes a barrage of two-minute plays for a live audience. All of the plays are truthful and tackle the here-and-now, inspired by the lived experiences of the performers. This wheelchair accessible performance will include Open Captioning, a Touch Tour, Audio Description, American Sign Language Interpretation, and programs in Braille and large print formats.
A Reading of
With or Without Wings
Written and Performed by A Red Orchid Theatre ensemble member Mierka Girten
Adapted by Michael Thomas
Tuesday, August 7
A one-woman tour-de-force of a young performer's humbling first encounters and shocking diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. A hilarious and heartbreaking personal account that explores the myths of MS while providing a message of enduring hope.
nature | human: Reflections
Matthew Duvall & beyond this point, with featured composer Matthew Burtner
Friday, August 10 & Saturday, August 11
An interaction (performance, if you insist) featuring six reflections on our relationship with the natural world. Water, wood, sand, air, metal and skin. Percussion as poetry. Exploring the environment we inhabit. For your consideration.
Big Dipper: Live in Concert!
Thursday, August 16
Plus-size gay rapper Big Dipper defies homophobes and celebrates sexuality with his unapologetically graphic lyrics, infectious beats and a body-positive image. You'll find the hirsute emcee busting moves on stage in skin-tight outfits at this live show; a mix of original viral hits, stupid parodies, and tons of sweaty jiggling. Leave your inhibitions at home tonight.
Walkabout Theatre Presents
The Brink! Or Nobody's Ever Kissed Me Like That...
Directed by Thom Pasculli
Co-created by the Walkabout Ensemble in Collaboration with Fides Krucker
Preview: Thursday August 23
Regular Run: Friday, August 24 & Saturday, August 25
$15 Preview, $25 General Admission Regular Run, $15 Student/Industry
In a cafe at the edge of the world, a group of wayward performers present The Brink! an avant garde cabaret about longing and music, growing up and falling apart; about the ground beneath us shifting too quickly, and the world becoming unrecognizable. Drawing from American pop songs and jazz standards, the poetry of Gertrude Stein, and Ann Carson's "The Gender of Sound," the ensemble slides past the edge of reason in the unfettered encounter with the stranger inside.
The LookOut team is always interested in seeing new work and meeting artists; inquiries and invitations to see work are welcome and can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. As a multidisciplinary performance series, we are primarily interested in extant work. Please note that we do not accept unsolicited full-length scripts.