The ensemble of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company certainly isn't camera-shy. Earlier this fall, the mugs of all 33 members were seen in "Steppenwolf at 25," a photographic coffee table book by Victor Skrebneski (Sourcebooks, Inc.). Now, not even a month later, the same 33 actors and directors will grace the glossy pages of the January issue of Vanity Fair.
Renowned celebrity shutterbug Annie Leibowitz captured the images of the Steppenwolf troupe. Leibowitz's books include "Women" and "Olympic Portrait," but she is best known for her colorful, inventive and always adoring shots of celebrities. Once Rolling's Stone's chief photographer, her work is now most frequently seen in Vanity Fair.
Steppenwolf's ensemble members include: Joan Allen (Burn This), Kevin Anderson (Orphans), Randall Arney (Fool for Love), Robert Breuler (The Grapes of Wrath), Gary Cole (Bang!), Kathryn Erbe (The Grapes of Wrath), K. Todd Freeman (The Song of Jacob Zulu), Frank Galati (The Grapes of Wrath), Francis Guinan (The Weir), Moira Harris (Curse of the Starving Class), Glenne Headley (Balm in Gilead), Tim Hopper (Picasso at the Lapine Agile), Terry Kinney (Buried Child), Tina Landau (The Ballad of Little Jo), Martha Lavey (A Clockwork Orange), John Mahoney (You Can't Take It With You), John Malkovich (True West), Mariann Mayberry (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), Laurie Metcalf (Coyote Ugly), Amy Morton (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), Sally Murphy (The Grapes of Wrath), Austin Pendleton (Orson's Shadow), Jeff Perry (The Caretaker), Martha Plimpton (The Playboy of the Western World), Rondi Reed (The Rise and Fall of Little Voice), Molly Regan (The Glass Menagerie), Eric Simonson (Nomathemba), Gary Sinise (True West), Lois Smith (Buried Child), Rick Snyder (Side Man), Jim True-Frost (The Grapes of Wrath) and Alan Wilder (The Weir).
"Steppenwolf at 25"—which bears a bright red cover with only three words "Steppenwolf/25/Skrebneski" — comes out in the middle of Steppenwolf 25th season and focuses Skrebneski's lens on each of its actors and directors. Accompanying the photos are shots of specific productions, as well as essays by authors and playwrights whose work has appeared on the Steppenwolf stage, including Sam Shepard (True West, A Lie of the Mind, Buried Child), Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse 5), and Don DeLillo (Valparaiso). Fittingly, Victor Skrebneski is a Chicago-based photographer. His work includes the book "Bravi: Lyric Opera of Chicago." He also launched the career of Illinois-born model Cindy Crawford.
—By Robert Simonson