The show will co-stars Martha Lavey and Yasen Peyankov and will run at Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre through June 5.
Malkovich will play a retired Hugarian politician living in a remote castle during the last days of World War I. His existence is disrupted when a man arrives to coax him back into national service. Peyankov plays the petitioning delegate and Lavey is Malkovich's sister.
Malkovich's last appearance at the Chicago company—where he gave star making performances in plays like True West and Burn This—was in Jeffreys' The Libertine in 1996. Since then, he was returned to direct Terry Johnson's Sigmund Freud comedy, Hysteria.
Malkovich was the first member of the Windy City troupe to break out into wider fame. Following a New York transfer in True West, Malkovich began winning praise for film performances in "The Killing Fields," "Places in the Heart," "Dangerous Liasons" and "In the Line of Fire." He played a version of himself in 1999's surreal "Being John Malkovich."
Lavey has been the artistic director of the nonprofit for nearly a decade—or one third of the company's 29-year existence—taking up the post in 1995. She has held down the office for a longer time than any other ensemble member, included the long-serving Randall Arney, who was a.d. From 1987 to 1995.