Letts is the author of Killer Joe and Bug, which have been produced Off-Broadway, across the U.S. and overseas. His new work, August: Osage County, will play June 28-Aug. 26, 2007, star Amy Morton and be directed by Anna D. Shapiro in the Downstairs Theatre. Like his past plays, the action is set in the heartland of America. The multi-generational drama "paints a stunning portrait of the Westons, a rural Kansas family left in crisis after the patriarch vanishes."
Steppenwolf presented Letts' last play Man From Nebraska in 2003. It was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Letts, who is also a busy actor, will also take part in another production, the Upstairs Theatre revival of Harold Pinter's reverse-running adultery drama Betrayal, January-May 2007. He will star alongside Morton under Rick Snyder's direction.
Morton may be Steppenwolf's most busy ensemble member next season. In addition to her work on Betrayal and August, she directs the season opener, The Pillowman, Martin McDonagh's very grim Grimm-style fairy tale about art, loyalty, totalitarianism and storytelling. The production, which was a critical and popular success on Broadway, will run Sept. 14-Nov. 12 at the Downstairs Theatre.
The action opens on a spare interrogation room, where writer Katurian Katurian is sitting blindfolded. Soon, Katurian is being interrogated by two corrupt and comically cruel detectives, Tupolski and Ariel, about a series of child murders which resemble episodes in the author's numerous, unpublished, and disturbing fairy tale-like short stories. Also under arrest is Katurian's half-witted brother Michel, who grew up on his sibling's stories and, it emerges, indirectly inspired them. No casting has been announced.
Between The Pillowman and Betrayal will come Sonia Flew a new play by Melinda Lopez, starring Alan Wilder and Sandra Marquez under Jessica Thebus' direction. In the play, "when war intrudes on Sonia’s family’s Christmas and Hanukah, she must struggle with her own childhood memory of escaping the Cuban revolution," according to press materials.
An additional Downstairs Theatre attraction will be Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett's The Dairy of Anne Frank, adapted by Wendy Kesselman and directed by Tina Landau. Yasen Peyankov stars. Dates are April 5-June 10, 2007.
Steppenwolf will also produce two plays for its Young Adults series: Lydia Diamond's adaptation of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, directed by Hallie Gordon, Oct. 3-28; and Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, adapted by Laura Eason, directed by Edward Sobel.