The Young Adult Council at Steppenwolf is made up of 30 high school students from all over the Chicagoland area that come together weekly to learn the inner-workings of how a professional arts organization operates.
About the Professional Leadership Program
This season, Steppenwolf selected 19 Apprentices who were chosen from a pool of over 700 applications. These Apprentices will dive deep into the work in their chosen departments while receiving monthly daylong seminars focusing on navigating the industry; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Career Advancement, and more. Of the 19 Apprentices, six have also been selected to participate in the Fellowship program.
Steppenwolf Theatre has been offering Internships for early career professionals since 1984. Since the official establishment of the Professional Leadership Programs in 2006, there have been over 450 alumni. This year’s cohort marks the 16th Apprentice Cohort and the 13th Fellows Cohort. Thirty alumni are currently working on staff at Steppenwolf Theatre across almost every department.
The Fellowship Program is a professional development program for early-career people of color interested in working in theatre. Fellows will hold an apprenticeship in their department of interest while being given additional paid professional development opportunities both in and out of Steppenwolf Theatre. The Apprenticeship Program is a paid professional training program for early-career arts administrators and theatre production practitioners. Participants are given practical learning experiences and independent and collective projects, all while working as a part of a team with Steppenwolf's staff. The Internship Program is for current students or early-career professionals looking for an introduction to arts administration or production. This program provides direct interaction with and access to Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
The 2019/2020 Apprentice Cohort:
Nina Attinello – Electrics Apprentice – New York University
Anisha Banerjee – Stage Management Apprentice and Fellow – Occidental College Brenna Barborka – Artistic Apprentice and Fellow – DePaul University
Amanda Barth – Properties Apprentice – Millikin University
Sarah Beck – Wardrobe Apprentice – SUNY Purchase
Grace Burns – Marketing Apprentice – Emerson College
Sophia Deck – Scenic Carpentry Apprentice – Rhodes College
Daniel Etti-Williams – Sound Apprentice – Oklahoma City University
Johan H. Gallardo – Costume Shop Apprentice and Fellow – University of Central Florida
Ada Göktepe – Production Management Apprentice and Fellow – Loyola University Chicago Maranda Jenkins – Theatre Management Apprentice – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Kevin Karn – Development Apprentice – University of San Diego
Nikki Konomos – Stage Management Apprentice – Columbia College Chicago
Zoe Lesser – LookOut Producing Apprentice – Skidmore College
Nadya Naumaan – Literary Apprentice and Fellow – Purdue University
Elon Sloan – Education Apprentice and Fellow – DePaul University
Jessica Van Winkle – Publicity Apprentice – Indiana University
Courtney Winkelman – Scenic Art Apprentice – Auburn University
Rafael Zhang – Stage Management Apprentice – Northwestern University
About the Young Adult Council
Steppenwolf Education welcomes the Young Adult Council Class of 2019-20. Now in its thirteenth year, the Young Adult Council was started out of a need for a professional training program for young people in all aspects of theater, beyond just acting on stage. Each year, a Council made up of 30 high school students from across the Chicagoland area come together weekly to learn how a professional arts organization operates. No prior theater knowledge is required to join, simply a willingness and desire to learn and meet peers who share an interest in the arts. The Young Adult Council is dedicated to the mission of inspiring and investing in the next generation of artists, arts appreciators and arts advocates in Chicago and across the globe. For details about the Young Adult Council program and to watch videos of the Yong Adult Council Members speak about the program visit our website at https://www.steppenwolf.org/education/steppenwolf-for-young-adults/for-teens/young-adult-council/.
The Young Adult Council invites all teens in the Chicagoland area to their upcoming Step In, Step Out and The Scene events.
Meet the 2019-20 Young Adult Council
Young Adult Council members come to Steppenwolf each week from across the Chicagoland area. The Young Adult Council is purposefully curated to include a diversity of voices to include high school and neighborhood representation the city and surrounding communities.
This year, the Young Adult Council is made up of teens from CPS High Schools such as Oak Park River Forest High School, Lincoln Park High School, Jones College Prep, Elgin Academy, Naperville North, Francis W. Parker, Lincoln Park High School, Nicholas Senn High School, Northside College Prep, William Howard Taft High School, Lane Tech, Walter Payton College Prep, Whitney Young Magnet High School, U Chicago Laboratory School, Whitney Young, Morton East High School, and Joliet West High School.
Members include: Lily A., Amara A., Courtland A., Ginelle B., Tatiana B., Victoria C., Maral C., Kristen D., Dream D., Isabella G., Grace H., Erol I., Audrey J., London J. Eileen K. Cayleigh K., Gwyneth L., Naima M., Spencer O., Nikhil P., Alexander R., Joelle R., Jario S., Omari S., William S., and Ramman T.
Curated by Steppenwolf’s own Young Adult Council, this is an exclusive opportunity for teens to score a cheap ticket to a Steppenwolf production, meet the artists involved with the play and connect with like-minded teens. The Council’s fall scene event around The Brothers Size is upcoming on Saturday, October 12 at 3pm. Teens can purchase a $5 ticket by calling (312) 335-1650 and using code YACSCENE.
Step In and Step Out
A free series that offers teens the chance to participate in hands-on theatre workshops led by some of the industry’s top artists. Workshops take place at Steppenwolf and community partner sites throughout the city. Steppenwolf’s Young Adult Council members serve as ambassadors at these events, helping to welcome in young folks from all over the city. Teens can learn more and RSVP for our upcoming event on Wednesday, October 30 at 4:30pm focused on storytelling through design. Visit https://www.steppenwolf.org/education/steppenwolf-for-young-adults/for-teens/
Through the Young Adult Council program, teens get an all-access pass to Steppenwolf while at the same time building leadership and public speaking skills, growing confidence and getting the chance to share their interest in theatre with like-minded teens from neighborhoods and schools they might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet. Council members annually attend over 30 plays throughout Chicago (all at no cost to them), participate in workshops with leading theater professionals, observe backstage during a live performance, volunteer at a special pre-show event for local veterans and collaborate as an ensemble to curate teen nights at Steppenwolf. Young Adult Council members receive a travel stipend for weekly travel to the theatre as well as a season subscription to all Steppenwolf main stage and Steppenwolf for Young Adults plays.
Young Adult Council member Ines G. comments, “For me, being on the YAC means having the opportunity to explore theater and my passion for working with others to be the voice that brings stories to light. It means being an ambassador in my community and welcoming everyone to my home at Steppenwolf with open arms. Being on the YAC means always having a home in Chicago, and all you have to do is bring yourself.”
The Young Adult Council has an alumni network of over 125 graduates, many of whom have continued to work in theater but also in career paths as diverse as teaching, engineering, law, social work, speech pathology, and the medical field. Graduates are currently studying at or have graduated from Stanford University, Yale University, Simon’s Rock College of Bard, Vassar, New York University, Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, Sarah Lawrence, University of Michigan, Kenyon College, Brown University and many others. Graduates remain lifelong arts appreciators, even if they are no longer focused on theater specifically. Alumni are invited back to Steppenwolf twice annually for a night of theater and comradery.
Steppenwolf Education’s unique approach combines play production with educational components to enhance arts education for young audiences, as well as their teachers and families, as well as a professional leadership program for early-career professionals. Every season Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) creates two full-scale professional productions specifically for teen audiences Working closely with the Chicago Public and metropolitan area schools and other community partners, Steppenwolf Education annually ensures access to the theater for more than 20,000 participants from Chicago’s diverse communities. The initiative also includes post-show discussions with artists; classroom residencies led by Steppenwolf-trained teaching artists in almost 100 classrooms in public high schools; professional development workshops for educators; and the Young Adult Council, an innovative year-round after-school initiative that uniquely engages high school students in all areas of the theater’s operations, as well as other teen and community based programs.
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 MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT—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 programming 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 20,000 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.
Steppenwolf’s Mission: Steppenwolf strives to create thrilling, courageous and provocative art in a thoughtful and inclusive environment. We succeed when we disrupt your routine with experiences that spark curiosity, empathy and joy. We invite you to join our ensemble as we navigate, together, our complex world.