Plays by McCraney, Simonson, Beckett, Norris, Mamet Get Steppenwolf Home in 2009-10

News   Plays by McCraney, Simonson, Beckett, Norris, Mamet Get Steppenwolf Home in 2009-10
Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago has announced its 2009-10 subscription season, to include new plays written by Eric Simonson and Bruce Norris, a classic by Samuel Beckett, Tarell Alvin McCraney's trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays and David Mamet's American Buffalo.
William L. Petersen
William L. Petersen

The season is billed as "exploring the theme of belief." Season subscriptions go on sale Feb. 3 at 11 AM.

Steppenwolf ensemble members currently confirmed for the 2009-10 season include Alana Arenas, Kate Arrington, Ian Barford, Frank Galati, Jon Michael Hill, Francis Guinan, Tina Landau, Tracy Letts, Amy Morton, William Petersen, Rondi Reed, Anna D. Shapiro, Eric Simonson and Alan Wilder. Additional casting will be announced.

"Steppenwolf dedicates its 2009-2010 season to the power of belief and how it illuminates what's authentic in our lives," stated artistic director Martha Lavey. "We present three new plays and two classic plays from the canon of American and world drama that look at how the power of belief can corrupt, delude, nourish or empower us. They examine domestic intimacy, they question historical accuracy, they puzzle existential reach. They ask us to look at what happens when we take a leap of faith and choose to believe."

The Steppenwolf Theatre Company 2009-10 Subscription Season includes:

  • Sept.10-Nov. 8, 2009: Fake, a new play written and directed by ensemble member Eric Simonson, featuring ensemble members Kate Arrington, Francis Guinan and Alan Wilder, in the Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre. "In 1914, renowned mystery writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle invites four guests to his English country home. Each visitor has a connection to the infamous 'Piltdown Man,' purported to be the missing link between ape and man — later exposed as a hoax. Swinging back and forth through time, Fake investigates how 'Piltdown' rattled assumptions about evolution, faith and science-and how we are transformed by our quest for the truth."
  • Dec. 3, 2009-Feb. 7, 2010: American Buffalo by David Mamet, directed by ensemble member Amy Morton, featuring ensemble members Francis Guinan and Tracy Letts in the Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre. "In a cluttered, run-down Chicago junk shop, three small-time crooks plot to steal a valuable buffalo nickel. As the heist unravels, the men's frustration and paranoia intensify. Ensemble member Amy Morton directs this groundbreaking American play that weaves humor and menace throughout an emotionally charged struggle for identity and dominance."
  • Jan. 21-May 23, 2010: The Brother/Sister Plays: In the Red and Brown Water, The Brothers Size and Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by ensemble member Tina Landau, featuring ensemble members Alana Arenas and Jon Michael Hill, in the Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre. "A breakthrough theatrical event: three interconnected plays by a brilliant new American voice. Grand in scope, yet intimate and heartfelt, Tarell McCraney's plays are daring, funny and genuine. On the banks of a steamy bayou, the tiny community of San Pere, Louisiana springs to life with stories of love, sexuality and coming-of-age. Influenced by lively Afro-Caribbean folklore, The Brother/Sister Plays explore the struggles that arise when the quest for self identity is at odds with community values. Presented in two separate programs, these three plays can easily be enjoyed independently, but gain a special resonance when experienced in collection." (Between April 24 and June 21, 2009, McCarter Theatre, in a co-production with The Public Theater, will be presenting the world premiere of The Brother/Sister Plays. This will mark the first time all three plays will be presented as a trilogy.)

  • April 1-June 6, 2010: Endgame by Samuel Beckett, directed by ensemble member Frank Galati, featuring ensemble members Ian Barford, Francis Guinan, William Petersen and Rondi Reed, in the Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre. "Beckett's absurd comic masterpiece follows Hamm, a blind man unable to stand, and his servant Clov, who is unable to sit, as they pass their days in a tiny house by the sea — if the sea still exists. Pestered by Hamm's parents, they move through their daily rituals, awaiting the end of everything. A powerful all-ensemble cast anchors this profound exploration of the stories we construct to make sense of our lives."
  • July 1-Aug. 29, 2010: A Parallelogram, a new play by Bruce Norris, directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro, featuring ensemble member Kate Arrington, in the Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre. "If you knew your fate — would you accept it? Or try to change it? Bee is a young woman who believes she has an uncanny ability to see the future, and maybe even alter it. From the playwright and Tony Award-winning director who brought you The Unmentionables and The Pain and the Itch comes this dark, funny world premiere about a woman bent on reinventing her own destiny-and possibly the world." Steppenwolf 2009-10 subscribers will receive a pre-sale ticket offer for the national touring company of August: Osage County, playing a limited two week engagement Feb. 2-14, 2010, at Chicago's Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre. The darkly comic drama by ensemble member Tracy Letts, directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro, premiered at Steppenwolf in 2007 and received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and five 2008 Tony Awards including Best Play.

    To purchase a 2009-10 subscription, contact Audience Services at 1650 N. Halsted, call (312) 335-1650 or visit

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