2019/20 Season

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The Great Leap

By Lauren Yee
Directed by Jesca Prudencio

September 5 – October 20, 2019
in the Upstairs Theatre

When an American basketball team travels to Beijing amidst tensions in the late 80s, past relationships collide with present day revelations. Witty and weighty, this Chicago premiere explores cultural barriers, political risks and personal sacrifice. Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap is sure to be compelling to basketball fans, history buffs and everyone who has ever had a dream.


By ensemble member Eric Simonson
Music by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Directed by ensemble member Eric Simonson and Jonathan Berry
Featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo

November 7 – December 29, 2019
in the Downstairs Theatre

The evocative live music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo forms the foundation of this Steppenwolf world premiere production written and co-directed by ensemble member Eric Simonson. As the story travels from Chicago’s Kingston Mines to South Africa and beyond, Lindiwe’s love story challenges us to define the boundaries between this world and the next, all the while exploring the sacrifices we make for love

Dance Nation

By Clare Barron
Directed and choregraphed by Lee Sunday Evans
Featuring ensemble members Audrey Francis, Caroline NeffTim Hopper and Karen Rodriguez

December 12, 2019 – January 26, 2020
in the Upstairs Theatre

A pre-teen dance troupe navigates ambition, friendship and desire as they claw their way to Nationals in Tampa Bay. Featuring a multigenerational cast of women playing our pre-teen heroines, this Chicago premiere is fiercely funny, theatrically inventive and full of heart.


By ensemble member Tracy Letts
Directed by David Cromer
Featuring ensemble members Carrie Coon and Namir Smallwood

January 23 – March 8, 2020
in the Downstairs Theatre

In a seedy Oklahoma motel room, a lonely waitress begins an unexpected love affair with a young drifter.  And then they see the first bugs... Tracy Letts’s mind-bending cult classic — a luridly funny tale of love, paranoia, and government conspiracy — roars back to Chicago for its Steppenwolf debut.

The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington

By James Ijames
Directed by Whitney White
Featuring ensemble members Celeste M. Cooper and Ora Jones

April 2 – May 17, 2020
in the Downstairs Theatre

The recently widowed “Mother of America” lies helpless in her Mount Vernon bed, ravaged by illness and attended to by the very enslaved people who are free the moment she dies. The form-shifting fever dream that follows takes us deep into the ugly, uncomfortable and thorny ramifications of America’s original sin. Both fantastical and fraught with cruel reality, this Chicago premiere from a daring new voice pulls no punches as it puts our idols, and ourselves, on trial.

King James

By ensemble member Rajiv Joseph
Directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro
Featuring ensemble member Glenn Davis

May 7 – June 21, 2020
in the Upstairs Theatre

“King” LeBron James’s reign in Cleveland brings promise, prosperity and renewal to a city in desperate need of all three.  As the city celebrates a championship, two estranged friends spar in a verbal game of 1 on 1, revealing past secrets, present truths, and a possible future after “The King” has left the building. Steppenwolf in association with Center Theatre Group co-present this world premiere by ensemble member Rajiv Joseph, and directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro. King James will also be produced in LA as part of Center Theatre Group’s 2020/21 season.

Catch as Catch Can

By Mia Chung
Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll
Featuring ensemble member Audrey Francis

June 4 – July 26, 2020
in the Downstairs Theatre

Two blue collar New England families grapple with a spiraling crisis that threatens not just their relationships, but their very identities. Three actors take on the six roles, crossing both generation and gender, upending the kitchen sink drama in what will surely be a theatrical tour-de-force. A distinctive Chicago premiere by the gifted writer Mia Chung.


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