2018/19 Season

Read a letter from Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro about season highlights.

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By ensemble member Bruce Norris
Directed by Pam MacKinnon
Featuring ensemble members Glenn DavisK. Todd FreemanFrancis Guinan and Tim Hopper
September 20 – November 18, 2018
in the Upstairs Theatre

In downstate Illinois, four sex offenders sharing a group home negotiate their place in a neighborhood that doesn’t want them and a society that doesn’t want to forgive them.

Downstate is a co-commission and co-production with the National Theatre of Great Britain.


By Danai Gurira
Directed by Danya Taymor
Featuring ensemble members Celeste M. Cooper and Ora Jones

November 15, 2018 – January 13, 2019
in the Downstairs Theatre

The daughter in a tight-knit Zimbabwean-American family prepares for marriage and the future… until pre-wedding stress explodes into a fiercely funny, full-on family feud.

La Ruta

By Isaac Gomez
Directed by ensemble member Sandra Marquez
Featuring ensemble member Karen Rodriguez
December 13, 2018 – January 27, 2019
in the Upstairs Theatre

Inspired by the lives of Mexican women who live, work—and disappear—along a Ciudad Juárez bus route, La Ruta weaves live music through a story of resilience in the wake of loss.

A Doll's House, Part 2

By Lucas Hnath
Directed by Robin Witt
Featuring ensemble members Celeste M. Cooper, Sandra Marquez and Yasen Peyankov

January 31 – March 17, 2019
in the Downstairs Theatre

A young 19th-century wife and mother reappears after a fifteen year escape from traditional society’s constraints…with an incredibly awkward favor to ask the same family that she abandoned.

The Children

By Lucy Kirkwood
Directed by Jonathan Berry
Featuring ensemble members Ora Jones and Yasen Peyankov 
April 18 – June 9, 2019
in the Downstairs Theatre

In an isolated seaside cottage in the East of England, a pair of retired nuclear scientists are startled by a visit from a former colleague, who proposes a chilling and dangerous plan.

Ms. Blakk For President

By ensemble members Tina Landau and Tarell Alvin McCraney
Conceived and directed by ensemble member Tina Landau
Featuring ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney
May 23 – July 14, 2019
in the Upstairs Theatre

Don't miss ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney's return to the stage as Joan Jett Blakk, America's first black drag queen presidential candidate. Joan's story begins in Chicago; it's 1992 and, with the AIDS crisis at its height, Joan and the newly formed Queer Nation Chicago have big goals in mind. Joan sets off on an exhilarating and dangerous journey to drag queer politics out of the closet and into a future where everyone has a place at the table. Part campaign rally, part nightclub performance, part confessional, and all party, MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT takes us into the heart and mind of one of Chicago's most radical and influential trailblazers.

True West

By Sam Shepard
Featuring ensemble members Jon Michael Hill and Namir Smallwood
July 5 – August 25, 2019
in the Downstairs Theatre

The Steppenwolf revival of Shepard’s masterpiece, crafted with a new generation of artists.