True West Through the Decades: A Multigenerational Reflection on Launching and Revisiting a Legendary Work takes place Monday, August 5, 2019 at 7pm in the Downstairs Theatre (1650 N. Halsted). Tickets ($40) are on sale through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted), 312-335-1650 and www.steppenwolf.org.
In 1982, Steppenwolf exploded onto the American Theatre scene with its now legendary production of Sam Shepard's True West. Decades later Steppenwolf is revisiting the play, with a production helmed by longtime ensemble member and former Artistic Director Randall Arney, featuring ensemble member Francis Guinan revisiting the role he played in 1982, and starring ensemble members Jon Michael Hill and Namir Smallwood playing brothers Austin and Lee. On this momentous occasion, a multigenerational group of ensemble members gather for a one night live event, an intimate and frank reflection on legacy and ensemble, as they retrace the history which brought True West to Steppenwolf audiences in 1982, and again now in 2019.
Previews for True West begin July 5, 2019 and the production runs through August 25, 2019 in the Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St. Opening night is Sunday, July 14 at 6:00pm. Press Performances are Sunday, July 14 at 6pm and Tuesday, July 16 at 7:30pm. Single tickets ($20-$96) available through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or www.steppenwolf.org.
Randall Arney has been a theater professional for over thirty years and ensemble member and former artistic director of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre where his directing credits include Slowgirl, The Seafarer, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Death and the Maiden, Curse of the Starving Class, Killers, and The Geography of Luck, among others. Arney also directed Steppenwolf’s world premiere of Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile, as well as the subsequent national and internationally acclaimed productions. Mr. Arney’s acting credits with Steppenwolf include Born Yesterday, Ghost in the Machine, The Homecoming, Frank’s Wild Years, You Can’t Take It with You, Fool for Love, True West, Balm in Gilead, and Coyote Ugly. As the artistic director for Steppenwolf from 1987 to 1995, Arney oversaw the creation of a new state-of-the-art theater which is Steppenwolf’s current home. Broadway transfers under his leadership include The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Song of Jacob Zulu (six Tony Award nominations) and The Grapes of Wrath (1990 Tony Award, Best Play). Arney recently served as the artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles (1999 to 2017). In addition to his artistic programming and oversight at the Geffen, Arney has directed many productions for the theater, including Icebergs, Outside Mullingar, The Night Alive, Reasons to Be Pretty, Slowgirl, American Buffalo, Superior Donuts, The Female of the Species, Speed-the-Plow, and All My Sons. Arney has an M.F.A. degree in Acting from Illinois State University and has taught master classes and workshops at the University of California, Los Angeles; Steppenwolf, around the U.S., and in Tokyo. Member of SAG-AFTRA, SDC, and Equity.
Glenn Davis joined the Steppenwolf Theatre Company Ensemble in 2017. He was last seen in Downstate (also at the National Theatre). Previously he appeared in You Got Older, The Christians, The Brother/Sister Plays, and Head of Passes. Broadway credits include Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (also at Kirk Douglas Theatre and Mark Taper Forum). Off-Broadway credits include Transfers (MCC Theatre) and Wig Out! (Vineyard Theatre). Other regional credits include Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow, Caligula, Polaroid Stories, Vassa Zheleznova (Williamstown Theatre Festival); International credits include Edward II, The Winter’s Tale and As You Like It (Stratford Festival) as well as Othello at The Shakespeare Company. Television credits include Billions (Showtime), 24 (Fox), The Unit, Jericho and The Good Wife (CBS).
Francis Guinan is a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble. He has appeared in more than 30 Steppenwolf productions including Downstate, You Got Older, The Minutes, The Rembrandt, Hir, The Herd, The Night Alive, Tribes, The Birthday Party, The Book Thief, Time Stands Still, Endgame, American Buffalo, Fake, The Seafarer, August: Osage County and The Real Inspector Hound.
Jon Michael Hill has been a Steppenwolf ensemble member since 2007 and was last seen on Steppenwolf’s stage as Moses in Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over, which was filmed by Spike Lee and released by Amazon Studios. Hill reprised the role of Moses in the Lincoln Center Theater production the following year. Hill currently appears as ‘Detective Marcus Bell’ in the CBS-TV series Elementary. He was nominated for a Tony Award and won an Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Award for his role as ‘Franco Wicks’ in the Broadway production of Superior Donuts by ensemble member Tracy Letts, a role which he originated at Steppenwolf. Hill has also performed at Steppenwolf in The Hot L Baltimore, The Tempest, Kafka on the Shore, The Unmentionables and others. Additional television and film credits include Detroit 18-7, Eastbound and Down, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Person of Interest.
Caroline Neff joined the Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble in Spring 2016. At Steppenwolf, she was last seen in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, You Got OIder, Linda Vista (also at the Taper Forum and Second Stage Broadway), The Fundamentals, The Flick, Airline Highway (also the Broadway production at Manhattan Theatre Club), The Way West, Three Sisters, Annie Bosh is Missing and Where We’re Born. Select theatre credits include Lettie (Jeff Award Best Actor) at Victory Gardens; Uncle Vanya (Goodman Theatre); A Brief History of Helen of Troy (Jeff Award for Best Actress), The Knowledge, Harper Regan, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings (Steep Theatre); The Downpour (Route 66 Theatre); Port (Griffin Theatre); 4000 Miles (Northlight Theatre); and Moonshiner (Jackalope Theatre). Regional credits include Peerless (Yale Repertory Theatre). Film and television credits include The Red Line, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Open Tables and Older Children. She is a proud company member of Steep Theatre and holds her BA from Columbia College Chicago.
Jeff Perry is a co-founder of Steppenwolf Theatre Company. He served as Steppenwolf Artistic Director from 1982 to 1985 and 1986 to 1987 and was integral to the founding of The School at Steppenwolf, where he continues to teach and direct. Jeff's many acting credits at Steppenwolf include August: Osage County (also Broadway and London), Balm in Gilead (also Off-Broadway), The Time of Your Life (also Seattle, San Francisco), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (World Premiere), The Grapes of Wrath (also Broadway and London), The Caretaker (also Broadway) and Streamers (also Kennedy Center). Jeff portrayed Cyrus Beene on ABC’s Scandaland also appeared in Nash Bridges, Thirtysomething and My So-Called Life.
Namir Smallwood joined the Steppenwolf ensemble in March 2017, where he has been seen in Aziza Barnes’ BLKS, Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ Monster, Christina Anderson’s Man In Love and The Hot L Baltimore. Other Chicago credits include The Lost Boys of Sudan (Victory Gardens Theater); the world premiere of Philip Dawkins’ Charm (Northlight Theatre); The Grapes of Wrath (Gift Theatre) and East Texas Hot Links (Writers’ Theatre). Regional credits include Marin Theatre Company, Pillsbury House Theatre, Ten Thousand Things and Guthrie Theater. New York credits include Lincoln Center Theater’s productions of Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau and Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu. Television credits include Chicago Fire and Betrayal.
Steppenwolf is located at 1650 N Halsted St near all forms of public transportation, bike racks and Divvy bike stands. The parking facility ($13 or $15, cash or card) is located just south of our theater at 1624 N Halsted. Valet parking service ($14 cash) is available directly in front of the main entrance starting at 5pm on weeknights, 1pm on weekends and at 12 noon before Wednesday matinees. Limited street and lot parking are also available. For last minute questions and concerns, patrons can call the Steppenwolf Parking Hotline at 312.335.1774.
Committed to making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to everyone, performances featuring American Sign Language Interpretation, Open Captioning and Audio Description are offered during the run of each play. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance and the Downstairs and 1700 Theatres are each equipped with an induction hearing loop. All theaters feature wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms, and Front Bar features a push-button entrance, all-gender restrooms and accessible counter and table spaces.
Lead support for this production of True West is provided by Helen Zell and Northern Trust. ComEd is the 2018/19 Season Lighting Sponsor. United Airlines is the Official and Exclusive Airline of Steppenwolf.
Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks
Connected to the main lobby is Steppenwolf’s own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks, offering a warm, creative space to grab a drink, have a bite, or meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night. Open Tuesdays – Sundays, Front Bar serves locally roasted coffee and espresso by Passion House Coffee Roasters and features food by The Goddess and Grocer. The menu focuses on fresh, accessible fare, featuring grab-and-go salads and sandwiches for lunch and adding shareable small plates and desserts for evening and post show service. www.front-bar.com.
Year of Chicago Theatre
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is proud to be part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, presented by the City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. Home to a community of creators, risk-takers, and big hearts, Chicago theatre is a hotbed for exciting new work and hundreds of world premieres every year. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there’s always a seat waiting for you at one of our 200+ theatres. Book your next show today at ChicagoPlays.com.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble members represent a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead and August: Osage County to Pass Over and Downstate—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony Awards—have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programing includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multi-genre performances series. Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities; the esteemed School at Steppenwolf; and Professional Leadership Programs for arts administration training. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees.