Stage and screen star Martha Plimpton, who can currently be seen in the London production of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Sweat, has departed the ensemble of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Though no official reason was given, the regional theatre confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that Plimpton's decision to leave was amicable and due to other commitments limiting her ability to contribute to the company.
Plimpton, a Tony nominee for her performances in Pal Joey, Top Girls, and all three parts of The Coast of Utopia, joined the famed Chicago company in 1998 and was subsequently seen in productions of The Libertine (1996), The Playboy of the Western World (1998), The Glass Menagerie (1999), Hedda Gabler (2001), and Absolution (2001). In recent years the star of ABC’s The Real O'Neals occasionally helped to raise funds for the ensemble theatre.
Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre, and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Anna D. Shapiro is the artistic director, and David Schmitz is the executive director. Among the nearly 50 current ensemble members are Joan Allen, Kevin Anderson, Tracy Letts, John Malkovich, Rajiv Joseph, Laurie Metcalf, K. Todd Freeman, Amy Morton, Lois Smith, and Tarrell Alvin McCraney.