In Artistic Switch, Steppenwolf Theatre Company Books New Plays for 30th Season

News   In Artistic Switch, Steppenwolf Theatre Company Books New Plays for 30th Season
In a striking break with its past record, Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company has decided to fill its 30th season entirely with new works, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

New plays by Steven Dietz, Frank Galati, Richard Greenberg and John Kolvenback have been announced, with a fifth premiere to be revealed at a later date.

According to the Sun-Times, the season will open with Last of the Boys, running Sept. 15-Nov. 13. Rick Snyder will direct Jeff Perry and Rondi Reed in the Steven Dietz play "set in the California trailer home of a Vietnam vet, where the past makes a return visit."

Next up, running Oct. 20-Feb. 19 in the Upstairs theater, is After the Quake, director Frank Galati's stage adaptation of a book of interconnected short stories by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, followed by The Well-Appointed Room, a new work by Richard Greenberg "of three couples in three different eras whose lives play out in the same New York apartment." The Jan. 12-March 12, 2006, engagement sees Terry Kinney direct Tracy Letts, Amy Morton and Molly Regan.

Finally, Love Song, running March 30-June 4, 2006, is a romantic comedy by John Kolvenback, directed by Austin Pendleton and featuring Tim Hopper and Laurie Metcalf.

The fifth play may come from Bruce Norris or Tracy Letts. Steppenwolf had a critical success with Letts' Man From Nebraska in late 2003. The all-new-plays roster may prove a welcome breath of fresh air at the venerable nonprofit. In recent seasons, Steppenwolf's once hot reputation has cooled a bit due to seasonal line-ups filled with the Chicago premieres of plays already proven hits in New York, and revivals of old American plays of debated worth. The 2003-04 season, for instance, included Suzan-Lori Parks' Topdog/Underdog, which had previously been seen on Broadway, winning a Pulitzer Prize, a revival of Terrence McNally's Frankie and Johnny, a play which had been revived on Broadway the previous seasson; the Chicago debut of the Off-Broadway critical success Stephen Adly Guirgis' drama Our Lady of 121st Street and Robert Anderson's chestnut I Never Sang for My Father.

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