Phylicia Rashad to Direct The Roommate at Steppenwolf

Regional News   Phylicia Rashad to Direct The Roommate at Steppenwolf
Jen Silverman’s comedy joins the Chicago theatre’s 2017–18 season.
Phylicia Rashad Monica Simoes

Steppenwolf Theatre Company has announced that Jen Silverman’s comedy The Roommate has joined the 2017–18 season and will be directed by Tony winner Phylicia Rashad. The announcement arrives after the Chicago theatre recently named Rashad 2017 Steppenwolf Women in the Arts honoree.

The Roommate is scheduled to play June 21–August 21, 2018, in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre. The new play will be the last production of the season, and will star Ora Jones and Sandra Marquez.


“We are thrilled to have the phenomenal Phylicia Rashad join us next season,” commented artistic director Anna D. Shapiro in a press statement. “Her captivating artistry spans theatre, television and film, and her work continues to break boundaries. Steppenwolf’s relationship with Phylicia began when she portrayed Viola Westin in August: Osage County on Broadway and has deepened through her work in ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Head of Passes. It was a true joy to pay honor to her at this year’s Women in the Arts luncheon, and we look forward to welcoming her back to direct this beautiful play.”

Rashad, who won a 2004 Tony Award for her performance as Lena Younger in A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway, is also a director. Her directing credits include August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean at the Seattle Repertory Theatre, August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and Fences at the Long Wharf Theatre and the McCarter Theatre.

The Roommate tells the story of two mismatched American women living together—Sharon from the Midwest, and Robyn from the Bronx. Despite their differences, an unexpected friendship occurs.

Subscriptions and memberships for the 2017–18 season are currently available by calling Audience Services at (312) 335-1650 or visiting


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