Charles L. Mee's The Berlin Circle, which opened Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company 1998-99 mainstage season Oct. 4, will end its run Nov. 15. The production, directed by ensemble member Tina Landau (Floyd Collins), started previews Sept. 24 .
The Berlin Circle is based on a Chinese fable and set in 1989 East Germany after the fall of Communism, where, in the chaos of crashing economies, a young woman takes care of an abandoned baby. Lee's other works include Trojan Women: A Love Story and Orestes, also directed by Landau. Landau last staged Space at Steppenwolf. In New York, she is best known for Floyd Collins, Stonewall Night Variations and 1969, all of which she co-wrote.
Berlin will star Steppenwolfers Mariann Mayberry and Amy Morton. Also in the cast are Ian Barford, Alexandra Billings, Tim Grimm, Voki Kalfayan, Elizabeth Laidlaw, Yasen Peyankov, Daniel Rubin, Matthew Sussman and Troy West. The cast also includes a number of University of Chicago students.
For information, call (312) 335-1888.
* As for the rest of the Steppenwolf schedule, following a Mark Brokaw directed mounting of The Glass Menagerie (Dec. 3, 1998-Jan. 20, 1999), will be Three Days of Rain (Feb. 11 Apr. 4, 1999) by Richard Greenberg, the story of a famous architect whose will forces his children to probe their family's dark history. Next will be Morning Star (Apr. 22-June 20, 1999), Sylvia Regan's 1940 drama about a widow and her extended family who find themselves caught up in the horror of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, World War I and the Great Depression; Steppenwolf ensemble member Frank Galati (who staged Livent's Ragtime ) directs the piece (which is not to be confused with the Broadway-targeted musical of the same name).
Lastly, Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane will begin previews beginning July 8, 1999, for a run through Aug. 29, 1999. Queen received a Best Play Tony nomination for its current Broadway run at the Walter Kerr Theatre.
-- By Robert Simonson