Yasen Peyankov will direct Menagerie, playing Oct. 21–Nov. 9. Of Mice and Men, directed by Michael Patrick Thornton, will play April 21-May 10, 2009.
Both productions will be presented in the Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. in Chicago. Tickets are currently on sale for school groups only. Individual tickets will go on sale to the public at a later date.
The "unique production of Tennessee Williams' classic memory play" will featuring an all African-American cast, including ensemble member Alana Arenas. "Delicately weaving truth and illusion, The Glass Menagerie evokes the drab realities of aspiring poet Tom, who spends his days in a warehouse, his overbearing mother, Amanda and his 'crippled' sister, Laura," according to Steppenwolf. "Tom struggles to balance his dreams of a brighter future with his devotion to his family."
Steinbeck's "classic tale of friendship follows two migrant workers in California during the Great Depression. George Milton looks after his mentally-disabled friend, Lennie Small, as they travel looking for work. The two men hope to one day settle down on their own piece of land, but their plans of living the American Dream prove difficult to achieve."
As an actor, ensemble member Peyankov (who will stage Menagerie) will appear in Steppenwolf's upcoming world premiere, Superior Donuts by Pulitzer Prize-winning ensemble member Tracy Letts. Director Thornton starred as John Merrick last season in Steppenwolf for Young Adults' production of The Elephant Man. As a director, he has staged productions at The Gift Theatre Company, where he is co-founder and artistic director. He received a Joseph Jefferson Award for his performance in Gift's production of The Good Thief.
For information on Steppenwolf for Young Adults weekday school performances, contact SYA Education Coordinator Elizabeth Levy at (312) 654-5639.
The Steppenwolf for Young Adults program presents professional productions of established plays, original adaptations of novels and new works are presented for young adults through weekday student matinees and weekend family performances.
The Subscriber School Program provides in-school residencies for each production, including scripts, study guides and tours of the theatre.
The Young Adult Council is a new initiative at Steppenwolf to create a small group of high school students from across Chicago devoted to exploring the collaborative possibilities between the theatre and young adults in order to create programs that speak to their interests, ideas and creative goals.
For more information, visit www.steppenwolf.org.