Steppenwolf Theatre Company has revealed the seven mainstage productions and two Young Adults titles comprising its 2019–2020 season. Among the lineup is Carrie Coon in Bug (by fellow ensemble member and Coon’s husband Tracy Letts) and the world premieres of works by Rajiv Joseph, Eric Simonson, and Isaac Gomez.
The season begins September 5 with the Chicago premiere of Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap, directed by Jesca Prudencio. The play, seen Off-Broadway last year, follows an American basketball team traveling to Beijing amidst the throes of China’s post-Cultural Revolution. Performances will run through October 20.
Simonson will premiere his play-with-music Lindiwe November 7 through December 29; he will also direct alongside Jonathan Berrry. The love story that crosses borders and oceans will be told using music by famed South Africna choir Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who will also perform in the piece.
Dance Nation, from Clare Barron, will follow. Lee Sunday Evans reprises her work as director and choreographer following the pre-teen dance troupe-focused play’s world premiere Off-Broadway. Ensemble members Audrey Francis, Caroline Neff, and Karen Rodriguez will appear in the staging, running December 12 through January 26, 2020.
Opening in the new year will be Steppenwolf’s first production of Letts’ Bug. Joining the aforementioned Coon (Fargo, The Leftovers, Off-Broadway’s Mary Jane) is fellow ensemble member Namir Smallwood. Performances will run January 23 through March 8.
Celeste M. Cooper and Ora Jones will appear in the Chicago premiere of The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington, by James Ijames. Whitney White directs the April 2–May 17 play, presented as a fever dream exploring the thorny ramifications of slavery.
Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro will helm Joseph’s King James May 7 through June 21. Inspired by LeBron James’ impact on the city of Cleveland, the play will feature ensemble member Glenn Davis (not to be confused with another basketball star, Glen Davis).
The mainstage season concludes with the Chicago premiere of Mia Chung’s Catch as Catch Can, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll and featuring Audrey Francis. The play, centered on two blue-collar New Engladn families in a spiraling crisis, runs June 4 through July 26.
The season also includes two productions through the Steppenwolf for Young Adults series: Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brothers Size (Directed by Monty Cole, October 2–19) and the world premiere of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, based on the book by Erika L. Sánchez as adapted by Isaac Gomez (directed by Sandra Maequez and featuring Karen Rodriguez, February 26–March 21).
For more information, visit Steppenwolf.org.