"Due to an unexpected death in his family, John is traveling back to his home of Manchester, England, immediately," said Steppenwolf artistic director Martha Lavey in a statement. "Our hearts and prayers go out to John during this difficult time… and we hope to announce a replacement shortly."
Written by Enda Walsh and directed by ensemble member Amy Morton, the production also features Ian Barford, Yasen Peyankov, Scott Jaeck and Logan Vaughn. Penelope will officially open Dec. 11.
Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre is at 1650 N. Halsted St. For tickets and information, call (312) 335-1650 or visit www.steppenwolf.org.