Rick Snyder, an acting vet with Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, will make his directorial debut there with Tavern Story, beginning previews Oct. 22-23, opening Oct. 24 and running to Nov. 15 at the theatre's "third space," known as the Garage at Steppenwolf.
The three-character play, by David VanMatre (pronounced "vanmeter"), is set in a watering hole called the Drinkin' Lincoln on Chicago's far west side, where pals Richie, J.J. and Connor are confronted by ghosts, the Asian mafia, inland tidal waves and more. The play is described as a "sinister comedy."
Ron Dean plays Richie, Kenn E. Head is J.J. and Keith Kupferer is Connor.
Playwright VanMatre is a Steppenwolf New Plays Lab writer whose Harumscarum was commissioned by Steppenwolf in the 1996-97 season. He is currently in the MFA playwriting program at Indiana University. His play, 5 Very Live, was staged by the Atlantic Theatre Company in New York in 1992.
Tavern Story's designers are Lori Fong (sets), Jennifer Keller (costumes) and J.R. Lederle (lights). The 60-seat, flexible Garage at Steppenwolf, which opened last May, is at 1626 N. Halstead St., just south of the Mainstage theatre. It is located in the first floor of the theatre's parking garage but is insulated from fumes. The space is also used as a rehearsal studio.
General admission tickets are $10. Call (312) 335-1650.
-- By Kenneth Jones