Steven Dietz's Last of the Boys Kicks Off Steppenwolf Season Sept. 15

News   Steven Dietz's Last of the Boys Kicks Off Steppenwolf Season Sept. 15 Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company kicks off its 30th anniversary season with Steven Dietz's Last of the Boys, the first of five new plays to be seen from the troupe.

The show will feature ensemble members Tracy Letts, Mariann Mayberry and Amy Morton, along with John Judd and Christopher McLinden. Both Letts and Judd were recently seen Off-Broadway in Austin Pendleton's Orson's Shadow as Kenneth Tynan and Laurence Olivier, respectively.

Rick Snyder directs the production, which is "set in the California trailer home of a Vietnam vet, where the past makes a return visit." The work will play in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre through Nov. 13.

The opening stage directions of Last of the Boys read: "A man appears from the trailer. Moves into the yard, opening a bottle of beer. Not a good beer. This is a point of contention. These things matter. Name is Stephen Willoughy Stark. You'd know him as Jeeter. (And you wouldn't know why.) He’s a vet. Vietnam. Our man has lived hard in his fifty-plus years. Knocked about these amber waves for a good long time and left his name on an awful lot of lists, if you follow. And he always ends up here: at the home of his best pal, his "top hombre," his "comrade in armchairs": Benjamin Lee Holloway. You’d know him as Ben. (You WOULD NOT call him 'Benny' or 'Benjie' or any other moniker of jocular familiarity - even in jest.) And chances are you'd like him. He's a builder. Used to work for a contractor, but couldn't abide a lesser man looking over his shoulder. Too much like Nam. Yeah, he's a vet, too."

Regional favorite Dietz — who received his New York debut in 2004 with the Roundabout Theatre Company's Off-Broadway staging of Fiction — has also penned God's Country, Lonely Planet and Private Eyes. Other titles include Still Life with Iris, Trust, Handing Down the Names, Halcyon Days, Ten November, Boomtown, Foolin’ Around with Infinity, Painting It Red and More Fun Than Bowling.

* In a striking break with its past record, Steppenwolf has decided to fill its 2005-06 line up with new plays, including works by Dietz, Frank Galati, Richard Greenberg, John Kolvenback and Bruce Norris.

The lineup of new works will continue with the Frank Galati adaptation of Haruki Murakami's after the quake, also directed by the ensemble member (Oct. 20, 2005-Feb. 19, 2006) starring Tiffany Fujiwara, Aiko Nakasone, Andrew Pang, Keong Sim, Hanson Tse and Kayla Tucker. Terry Kinney next directs Richard Greenberg's The Well-Appointed Room featuring Tracy Letts, Amy Morton and Molly Regan (Jan. 12-March 12, 2006). Austin Pendleton then stages John Kolvenbach's Love Song with K. Todd Freeman, Tim Hopper and Martha Plimpton (March 30 June 4, 2006). And, Anna D. Shapiro will direct Bruce Norris' The Unmentionables featuring K. Todd Freeman, John Mahoney, Laurie Metcalf and Amy Morton (June 29-Aug. 27, 2006).

The Chicago stage will also present Athol Fugard's "MASTER HAROLD"...and the boys (Oct. 11-30), Sarah Kane's 4.48 Psychosis (Nov. 10-Dec. 18), Mickle Maher, Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman's Lady Madeline (Feb. 7-26, 2006), Don Delillo's Love-Lies-Bleeding (April 27-May 28, 2006), an untitled Tina Landau work (May 25-July 2, 2006), Mary Zimmerman's Monsieur Proust and The Second Annual First Look Repertory of New Work (July 20-Aug. 13, 2006).

For tickets to Last of the Boys at Steppenwolf, 1650 N. Halsted Street in Chicago, IL, call (312) 335-1650. For more information, visit www.steppenwolf.org.

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