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.
Erik and Jessie and Everyone You Know Variety Show
Monday, June 17 at 8pm and Tuesday, June 18 at 8pm
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
Thursday, June 20 at 8pm; Friday, June 21 at 8pm; Saturday, June 22 at 8pm
You're Being Ridiculous: PRIDE is a collection of true stories celebrating a diverse set of voices all along the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. This PRIDE show is sure to make you laugh—and, once in a while, cry. Our motto: Good stories are better than good times.
Trans Voices Cabaret CHI
Monday, June 24 at 7pm
Trans Voices Cabaret CHI is the Chicago extension of the hit NYC show, Trans Voices Cabaret. TVCChi is the first home for transgender/gender nonconforming individuals in the Chicago Musical Theatre World, giving performers a space to perform whatever musical theatre song they wish (regardless of the initial gender of the character), and in turn showing the marketability of hiring a trans actor in roles of their true gender.
prom is gay
Performed, written & produced by SADHAUS: Wanda Screw, Yolo Ono & Quinn
Wednesday, June 26 at 8pm
This pride month, you’re invited to a prom that’s unlike any you’ve been to before... but also eerily familiar. Rent your tux, hop in your limo, and let three drag queens take you on a wild ride through the slow dances, weird chaperones and hormonal public meltdowns that make prom the beautiful monster of your high school memories. Audience interaction, live music and tasteless tales of adolescence come together in this combination of drag show, mockumentary and concert.
A Reading of Hit the Wall by Ike Holter
In celebration of 50 years of Pride, Produced by Missi Davis and Ike Holter
Friday, June 28 at 8pm; Saturday, June 29 at 8pm
Hit the Wall commemorates the famed and often forgotten Stonewall Riots on the 50th anniversary of the night where a routine police raid on an underground Greenwich Village hotspot erupted into a full-scale riot that became the impetus for the modern gay rights movement. Playwright Ike Holter and Producer Missi Davis team up once again to present a staged reading of this smash hit from Steppenwolf's Garage Rep days, revealing the stories of ten unlikely revolutionaries caught in the turmoil and fighting to claim, "I was there."
by John Michael Colgin, directed by Sammy Zeisel
Tuesday, July 2 at 8pm and Wednesday, July 3 at 8pm
In this interactive comedy, John Michael needs your help cooking his mom’s meatballs onstage to summon her from the dead to meet his boyfriend. "If the mention of ‘audience participation’ makes you clench up, Meatball Séance is going to change your whole theater-going world… raucous... silly, subversive and powerful.”-The Dallas Observer
Saturday, July 6 at 8pm; and Sunday, July 7 at 6pm
Chicago rapper / librarian, Roy Kinsey returns to the Steppenwolf stage! In this show, Roy Kinsey presents work from his critically acclaimed album Blackie, while also premiering new work from his upcoming album KINSEY. KINSEY covers topics of sex and sexuality, marriage and self-worth.
Cleo Pockalipps Presents
Monday, July 8 at 7pm
Drama Queenz is a show filled with some of Chicago's hottest drag queens performing their favorite monologues, songs and scenes from plays, movies and TV shows! A night showcasing theatre-geeks turned drag-queens turned leading-ladies.
The Sound Presents
by Beth Hyland, Directed by Rebecca Willingham
Thursday, July 11 at 8pm; Friday, July 12 at 8pm; Saturday, July 13 at 8pm
Seagulls is an indie-rock musical loosely based on Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. This contemporary retelling of the classic tragicomedy follows four friends and bandmates at a small college as they struggle to achieve artistic greatness without losing themselves – or each other.
Outcasted Comedy Tour
With AK Agunbiade, Sabeen Sadiq, & Sharup Karim
Friday, July 19 at 8pm; Saturday, July 20 at 8pm
"Where are you from?" A question that equally annoys all three comedians in this comedy trio. AK, Sabeen, and Sharup are Muslim-American comedians from three different immigrant family backgrounds who, like most first or second-generation Americans, will forever struggle with identity issues. Their comedy focuses on their journey to define their own unique American identity, meanwhile feeling outcasted at times by the communities they belong to.
Rough House and Sweven Theatre Present
Invitation to a Beheading
Adapted from the novel by Vladimir Nabokov
Thursday, July 25; Friday, July 26; Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28 – all shows at 8pm
In a bizarre and irrational world, a man is condemned to death for an absurd crime and sent to a surreal prison to await his execution. But the prison may not be what it seems... Alternately disorienting, absurd, hysterical, and hopeful, this great novel by one of the 20th century’s masters is brought to the stage by Rough House and Sweven Theatre with their signature combination of playfulness and strangeness, full of surprising twists and turns, and told through a combination of puppetry, masks and imaginative storytelling.
Siblings with special guest Modaff
Wednesday, July 31 at 8pm
Siblings is Sarah Giovannetti, Kevin Greene and Max McKenna: three musicians and songwriters who make music with sincerity and punchiness. For the past year Siblings has been generating new music that speaks to all the things one should do and all the things one should reconsider, always working from a place of honesty with an appreciation for irony.
One Year Chekhov Presents
Thursday, August 1 at 8pm
Join One Year Chekhov for a radical new take on Uncle Vanya, led by actors and fueled by live music. Expect the unexpected with gender fluid casting, spontaneous moments of theatricality, and a story that feels right at home in contemporary Chicago. Come laugh, cry, and toast with us to a play that gets inside you and doesn't let go.
Silent Theatre Presents
The Wild Party Variety Hour
The Strange Case of Dr. Marvin and Mr. Shhhhh!
Saturday, August 3 at 8pm
As the final leg of the Wild Party Variety Hour's 10th Anniversary Tour, Silent Theatre proudly presents an all new horror story. Join an all-star cast of Wild Party alumni as they throw the best party of the year (Halloween) two months early!
Nestor "The Boss" Gomez Presents
80 Minutes Around the World: An Immigration Storytelling Show
Wednesday, August 7 at 8pm; Thursday, August 8 at 8pm
Nestor Gomez is the creator, curator, producer and host of this two-hour evening: a storytelling show which features eight ten-minute stories from immigrants and allies from around the world. The show has featured storytellers from China, Nigeria, Ukraine, Poland, Mexico, USA, and more.
A Night with EbonyEssenceJet
Friday, August 9 at 8pm; Saturday, August 10 at 8pm
EbonyEssenceJet brings its signature mix of improv, stand-up, solo characters, and topical pop-culture references laced with audience participation to Steppenwolf's 1700 Theatre. Come witness these four African-American comediennes skewer the status quo with their brand of over-the-top (but always back-to-the-neighborhood) comedy.
Trickshooter Social Club Presents
A night of original music and words
Thursday, August 15 at 8pm
Trickshooter Social Club brings their critically acclaimed new album, American Experiment, to life with an unapologetic look at the beauty, volatility, possibility and absurdity of the American Experiment we are all living. Equal parts rock concert and old-fashioned hootenanny, this is a night of storytelling through roots-rock, alt-country and dirty blues—an unironic attempt to get at something like truth and to build an evening of genuine community through words and music.
Show Your Flames
Written & Performed by Devin Sanclemente, Directed by Jonald Reyes
Friday, August 16 at 8pm; Saturday, August 17 at 8pm
Show Your Flames is a hilarious, non-stop acid trip performance of physical theater that takes place within a neurodivergent imagination. With an honest mind that works so drastically differently from the societal norm of limiting authentic interactions, Devin Sanclemente has decided to finally try on the "mask" himself… but at what cost? Find out in this 45-minute physical theater performance guided by a continuous, immersive soundscore of recognizable pop cultural sound ideas, song samples, and ambience.
Pop Magic Productions and En Las Tablas Performing Arts Present
In Partnership with Fusion Theatre Company, La Compagnie Certes, Chez Arts, and Global Hive Laboratories
Sunday, August 18 at 4pm
Medusa is a multidisciplinary performance devised by an international ensemble of artists over one year, in four countries. Medusa celebrates the intersectional feminist revitalization of western mythology, the integration of accessibility design into the generative process, and the way social location affects participation in and interpretation of artistic experiences.
Wednesday, August 21 at 8pm
Standup comedy at a sit-down theatre. Hosted by Ed Flynn and Sadieh Rifai, Standupenwolf! features an all-star lineup of local comedians and special guests as diverse as Chicago itself. Standupenwolf! is a curated cocktail of funny featuring music, stand-up and top-flight weirdos of every stripe.
Broken Nose Theatre Presents
Bechdel Fest 7: Momentum
Sunday, August 25 at 7pm; Monday, August 26 at 7pm; Tuesday, August 27 at 8pm and Wednesday, August 28 at 8pm
Pay What you Can: $5 to $40
Returning to Steppenwolf for the second year in a row, Bechdel Fest is an evening of new short plays featuring female-identifying and nonbinary characters talking about things other than men. Since its first iteration in 2013, Bechdel Fest has allowed Broken Nose Theatre to partner with some of the city's most outstanding artists to tell new and relevant nonbinary and women-centric stories that pass the Bechdel Test with flying colors.
Muslim Writers Collective Presents
A Variety Showcase
Friday, August 30 at 8pm and Saturday, August 31 at 8pm
Falafel for your thoughts? From the stranger who came thru in your time of need to the pal who unexpectedly saved the day - or even that annoying family member who you might not always agree with, we’ve all been surprised by a random act of compassion. In an era of individualism, how do you step outside your own perspectives to create a culture of empathy?
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 email@example.com. As a multidisciplinary performance series, we are primarily interested in connecting with Chicago-based artists who have an existing body of presentable work. We are particularly interested in offering a platform to artists representing historically marginalized communities and programming work that incorporates diversity across genre, form, and perspective. Please note that we do not accept unsolicited full-length scripts.