The piece, running Sept. 18-Nov. 16 in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre in Chicago, is based on the novel by Haruki Murakami and will feature ensemble members Francis Guinan (August: Osage County) and Jon Michael Hill (Superior Donuts) with Christine Bunuan, Gerson Dacanay, Mary Ann de la Cruz, Christopher Larkin, Aiko Nakasone, Andrew Pang, David Rhee and Lisa Tejero. Opening is Sept. 28.
According to Steppenwolf, "A young boy's coming of age parallels an old man's search for destiny in modern day Japan where the borders between everyday reality, dreams and imagination are constantly crossed. In this world premiere adaptation of the popular novel, encounter talking cats on the streets of Tokyo, World War II soldiers trapped in time, Colonel Sanders and Johnnie Walker. Experience the unexpected in this fantastical tale about waking up to your own life."
Tony Award winner Galati (The Grapes of Wrath) adapted and directed Murakami's after the quake during Steppenwolf's 2005-2006 season. The critically acclaimed production went on to successful runs at Long Wharf Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Rep. Murakami is the author of "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles" and other novels.
Kafka on the Shore's design team includes James Schuette (sets), Mara Blumenfeld (costumes), James F. Ingalls (lights) and Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman (original music and sound). Alec Duffy is the assistant director. Malcolm Ewen is the stage manager, and Lauren V. Hickman is the assistant stage manager.
Kafka on the Shore — launching the 33rd season of the Tony Award-honored theatre — was developed as part of Steppenwolf's New Plays Initiative. Through this initiative, "the company maintains ongoing relationships with writers of international prominence and rigorously discovers and supports the work of early and mid-career playwrights." Steppenwolf is located at 1650 N. Halsted, in Chicago. For more information call (312) 335-1650 or visit www.steppenwolf.org.
Steppenwolf is currently represented on Broadway with the Tony Award-winning, Pulitzer Prize-honored August: Osage County.