At Steppenwolf, Things Are Looking Up for Osage County's Ian Barford | Playbill

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News At Steppenwolf, Things Are Looking Up for Osage County's Ian Barford Ian Barford, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company member who originated the role of Little Charles in August: Osage County, will play the lead dreamer in Steppenwolf's Chicago premiere of Bridget Carpenter's Up, about a man who creates a flying machine.

Tony Award winner Anna D. Shapiro (August: Osage County) directs the play, to run June 18-Aug. 23 in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre. Opening is June 28.

The cast also features ensemble member Martha Lavey with Rachel Brosnahan, Jake Cohen, Tony Hernandez and Lauren Katz.

According to Steppenwolf, "On the best day of his life, Walter [Barford] built a flying machine that reached the clouds. Ever since, he's tried to invent new ways to fly while his wife keeps the family afloat. Up is a quirky, bittersweet tale about escaping the boundaries of the everyday and how we dream ourselves into a future."

Carpenter is an award-winning playwright whose works have been produced at theaters across the country including Arena Stage, Lincoln Center and the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

The design team for Up includes Dan Ostling (sets), Mara Blumenfeld (costumes), Ann G. Wrightson (lights) Richard Woodbury (sound) and David Singer (composition). Laura D. Glenn is the stage manager and Deb Styer is the assistant stage manager. Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre is 1650 N. Halsted St. in Chicago. For more information call (312) 335-1650 or visit


The musical The Flight of the Lawnchair Man tells a similar tale of a man who left earth via balloons. The show is inspired by true events.

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