Theatre is For Everyone

Services for people with mobility disabilities

  • Wheelchair accessible seats in our Downstairs, Upstairs and 1700 Theaters
  • A courtesy wheelchair, available on a first-come/first-serve basis through our Front of House office (312) 932-2445
  • Accessible parking spaces in our valet parking lot at 1700 N Halsted, just north of the theater
  • Wheelchair accessible restrooms in all of our lobbies
  • In our Downstairs Theater, wheelchair accessible seats and seats without stairs are available in the back rows of both the Main and Balcony levels
  • In our Upstairs and 1700 Theaters, wheelchair accessible seats and seats without stairs are available in the first row

Services for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing

  • Induction loop on both the main and balcony levels of the Downstairs Theater
  • Complimentary assistive hearing devices in our Downstairs and Upstairs Theaters.
  • Open-captioned performances of our subscription and Steppenwolf for Young Adults plays
  • American Sign Language-interpreted performances of our subscription and Steppenwolf for Young Adults plays
  • ASL students from local universities who volunteer as usher for ASL-interpreted performances

Assistive hearing devices for the Downstairs Theater are available at the book shop and information desk, located across from the box office in the main floor lobby

Induction Loop in the Downstairs Theater
In May of 2015, and with the help and expertise of Assistive Hearing Systems Ltd., we completed installation of an induction loop on both the main and balcony levels of our Downstairs Theater. If you use a hearing aid or cochlear implant that has a T-Coil, feel free to turn it on for any performance!

If you use the loop, we would love to hear about your experience—we’re always fine-tuning the system, and all feedback is helpful. Please ask any member of our customer service staff for a survey to complete, or email access@steppenwolf.org.

Assistive Listening Devices
Separate from our induction loop, our assistive listening system – available in both our Downstairs and Upstairs Theaters -- features FM headsets and over-the-head headphones.

In the Downstairs Theater, headsets are available for complimentary loan at the book shop and information desk, located across from the box office in the main floor lobby.

In the Upstairs Theater, headsets are available for complimentary loan at the main floor book shop, as well as at the Upstairs Theater box office on the third floor.

Open caption performances in the 2021/22 season:
BUG: Thursday, November 18 at 8pm and Saturday, December 11 at 3pm
1919: Saturday, February 12 at 2:30pm
King James: Thursday, March 24 at 8pm and Saturday, April 2 at 3pm
Seagull: Thursday, May 19 at 7:30pm and Saturday, June 11 at 2:30pm
Choir Boy: Thursday, July 7 at 8pm and Saturday, July 16 at 3pm

ASL performances in the 2021/22 season:
BUG: Sunday, November 28 at 8pm
1919: Saturday, February 12 at 2:30pm
King James: Sunday, March 27 at 8pm
Seagull: Sunday, May 22 at 7:30pm
Choir Boy: Sunday, July 10 at 8pm

Services for people who are blind or have low-vision

  • Audio-described performances of our subscription and Steppenwolf for Young Adults plays
  • Touch tours and artistic conversations before selected audio-described performances of our subscription and Steppenwolf for Young Adults plays
  • Playbills in Braille, large print and audio formats
  • Dedicated curb-to-seat assistance on request
  • A relief area for service animals in front of the theater

Audio-Described Performances and Pre-Performance Touch Tours
Audio-described performances and pre-performance touch tours and artistic conversations are presented on the dates below. For these specific performances, the touch tour begins at 1:30pm, and the curtain is at 3pm. To find out when a particular show will be offering an Audio-Described performance or pre-performance Touch Tour, please check the respective shows production page in the Tickets & Events section.

Audio-described performances and pre-performance touch tours in the 2021/22 season:
BUG: Sunday, December 5 at 3pm (1:30pm touch tour, 3pm curtain)
1919: Saturday, February 19 at 2:30pm (1pm touch tour, 2:30pm curtain)
King James: Sunday, April 3 at 3pm (1:30pm touch tour, 3pm curtain)
Seagull: Sunday, June 5 at 2:30pm (1pm touch tour, 2:30pm curtain)
Choir Boy: Sunday, July 17 at 3pm (1:30pm touch tour, 3pm curtain)

Relaxed/sensory-friendly performance

Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly performances are designed to create a safe and welcoming experience for guests who may include (but are not limited to) individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as people with sensory sensitivities. Family members and companions are welcome, as is anyone who might enjoy this relaxed environment.

A WELCOMING SPACE

While there are some simple sensory adjustments that are made to make a Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly performance (see below), the most significant modifications are philosophical and attitudinal.

For this performance, we acknowledge that some guests will respond differently to the environment and stimuli by making noise, moving and leaving their seats… and that's okay. Everyone in the theater for this show—from the performers to the ushers to all of the audience members—are excited to be helping make this experience possible.

SOCIAL SUPPORT

In advance of everyone's visit, we'll share a detailed narrative about what it's like to visit Steppenwolf—from arrival in the parking garage to the role of the ushers to what it means when the lights in the lobby flash. We'll also share an overview of the play that includes a plot outline and an introduction to the characters.

We've enlisted a great team of volunteers who will be placed throughout the lobbies and theater to help with wayfinding and offer warm support.

In the lobby, we'll have a quiet area set up where guests can go if they want to take a break and relax.

PRODUCTION ADJUSTMENT

A Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly performance takes into consideration those aspects of a production that can be challenging or triggering for guests and seeks to adjust them accordingly. While we will make some sensory adjustments, we will not change the essential artistry of the play.

Working with a team of experts who are experienced with sensory sensitivities, we will make adjustments that may include:

  • Lowering light and sound cues
  • Eliminating loud or jarring effects
  • Leaving some of the house lights on so the theater won't be completely dark
  • Leaving some seats empty so that guests can move about during the performance
  • Keeping a theater door open for easy exiting and reentry during the performance

Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly performances in the 2021/22 season:
1919: Saturday, February 26 at 2:30pm

Buying Tickets and Requesting Services

When purchasing tickets for an accessible performance, please indicate that you are interested in the service that's being offered -- that will allow us to give you the best possible seats and assistance.

In person: 1650 N Halsted
Phone: (312) 335-1650
E-mail: access@steppenwolf.org

Box Office Hours

Tuesday – Saturday: 12–5pm CT*
Closed Sunday and Monday+

*Open until 6:30pm on days with evening shows
+Open 12–1:30pm on Sundays with matinees, open 12–6:30pm on Sundays with evening shows
Please note that there is no walk-up window in the remodeled Downstairs Theater lobby. Box Office staff will only be available in person during the hour before a show.

NPR Illinois: Community Voices: Growing Accessibility and Compassion in the Chicago Theater Community 

Listen to an interview with Evan Hatfield, former Director of Audience Experience, on NPR Illinois talk about accessibility at Steppenwolf and in the Chicago Theater Community. 
To read a transcript of the interview click here
 

 

Special Thanks

John Hart and Carol Prins are Steppenwolf’s Lead Underwriters for Accessibility Programs.