Steppenwolf Theatre will cease to use real babies in the world premiere of Tracy Letts’ Mary Page Marlowe, according to the Chicago Tribune. Real babies were used during preview performances, but director Anna D. Shapiro told the publication that their presence “pulled people out of the scene.”
Shapiro said that audience members were worrying about the real baby rather than paying attention to the show, prompting her decision. The baby was onstage during a scene where the actors were shouting at one another, which was causing the audience distress; a doll is now being used.
Mary Page Marlowe began previews March 31 and officially opened April 10 in Chicago. Letts and Shapiro reunite following their collaboration on the internationally acclaimed August: Osage County. The world-premiere production features a 21-member cast including seven actors who share the title role. The story follows the life of one woman as she navigates different phases of her life.
“For me, this play does what Steppenwolf Theatre does best: finding the spectacular in the mundane and turning the every-day into the most-important-day, and all the while reflecting our common humanity,” commented Shapiro in a recent press release.
For more information on Mary Page Marlow and to purchase tickets, visit steppenwolf.org.