Starring Steppenwolf co-founder Jeff Perry alongside fellow
ensemble members Sandra Marquez, Caroline Neff,
Karen Rodriguez, Eric Simonson and Namir Smallwood
April 28 – June 12, 2022
CHICAGO (February 22, 2022)—Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the nation’s premier ensemble theater company, opens its stunning new in-the-round Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell—the centerpiece of its recently unveiled Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center—with ensemble member Yasen Peyankov’s extraordinarily funny and lyrical adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Seagull, April 28–June 12, 2022 (opening May 8).
Yasen Peyankov directs the production, featuring Steppenwolf co-founder Jeff Perry and fellow ensemble members Sandra Marquez,Caroline Neff, Karen Rodriguez, Eric Simonson and Namir Smallwood, alongside Keith Kupferer, Jon Hudson Odom, Elijah Newman, Joey Slotnick and Lusia Strus. Scott Jaeck will be stepping in for Jeff Perry for performances May 24–June 5. Three generations of Steppenwolf’s acclaimed ensemble collide in classic Chekhovian style in this play set over a long summer weekend in the Russian countryside, where guests wrestle with the eternal questions that haunt the intellectual artist class: What is Love? What is Art? When is Lunch? This historic moment in Steppenwolf history marks a new era of theater-making for the company in their new artistic home.
Single tickets to Seagull ($20- $88) are on sale now at steppenwolf.org and 312-335-1650. The production is part of Steppenwolf’s 4-Play Deal for $150 that also includes ensemble member Rajiv Joseph’s King James, Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man and the Pool and ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy. The 4-Play Deal is now available at steppenwolf.org/4for150 and 312-335-1650.
Seagull inaugurates the new Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell at the heart of Steppenwolf’s trailblazing new Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center, designed by world-renowned architect Gordon Gill FAIA of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. The state-of-the-art 400-seat theater in-the-round is one of its kind in Chicago, with theater design and acoustics by Charcoalblue. Only six rows deep—with audience members never more than 20 feet from the stage—and featuring a modular staging system to vary audience capacity and experience, Charcoalblue designed the incredibly intimate Ensemble Theater from the inside out to integrate the theater into the fabric of the surrounding building.
The opening of the Ensemble Theater with a multigenerational cast stacked with Steppenwolf ensemble members is the culmination of a season-long celebration of the new Arts and Education Center. Steppenwolf Theatre Company now has an intimate, highly experimental cultural campus that doubles down on education, enhances audience engagement, and invites all of Chicago to experience its cutting-edge theater.
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The new Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell. Photo by James Steinkamp Photography.
By Anton Chekhov
Adapted, translated and directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov
Featuring ensemble members Sandra Marquez, Caroline Neff, Jeff Perry, Karen Rodriguez, Eric Simonson and Namir Smallwood
With Scott Jaeck, Keith Kupferer, Jon Hudson Odom, Elijah Newman, Joey Slotnick and Lusia Strus
In the new Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell
April 28 – June 12, 2022
Press openings: Sunday, May 8 at 6 p.m.; Tuesday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m.
On a long summer weekend in the Russian countryside at an estate bursting at the seams with guests, three generations collide in ensemble member Yasen Peyankov’s extraordinarily funny and lyrical adaption of Anton Chekhov’s Seagull, the play that opens Steppenwolf’s new in-the-round Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell. In classic Chekhovian style, a sparkling cast featuring many Steppenwolf ensemble members wrestles with the eternal questions that haunt the intellectual artist class: What is Love? What is Art? When is Lunch? Join us for this historical moment in Steppenwolf’s journey as we explore the work that inspired us, laugh at the battles that consume us and celebrate, together, all that makes us grateful for each other.
Ticket information: Single tickets ($20-$88) are on sale now. Receive a great deal and get access to all four remaining shows of the season with the new 4-Play Deal for $150 that also includes ensemble member Rajiv Joseph’s King James (March 3–April10), Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man and the Pool (April 28–May 22) and ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy (June 16–July 24).
The 4-Play Deal for $150 and single tickets to Seagull and the remaining 21/22 shows are on sale now at steppenwolf.org and 312-335-1650.
The creative team includes Todd Rosenthal (Scenic Design); Ana Kuzmanic (Costume Design); Marcus Doshi (Lighting Design);Pornchanok (Nok) Kanchanabanca (Sound Designer and Composition); Dassia N. Posner (Dramaturg); Gigi Buffington (Company Voice & Text Coach); JC Clementz, CSA (Casting Director); Christine D. Freeburg (Production Stage Manager); and Kathleen Barrett (Assistant Stage Manager). For full cast and creative team bios, visit https://www.steppenwolf.org/tickets–events/seasons/2021-22/seagull/
The Expanded Steppenwolf Campus
Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s trailblazing new 50,000 square foot theater building and education center, the Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center, was designed by world-renowned architect Gordon Gill FAIA of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, with construction by Norcon. The centerpiece of the new Arts and Education Center is the new 400-seat in-the-round Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell—one of its kind in Chicago—with theater design and acoustics by Charcoalblue.
The expanded Steppenwolf campus is a cultural nexus for Chicago, offering bold and ambitious opportunities for creative expression, social exchange, unparalleled accessibility, and arts-driven learning for Chicago youth in The Loft, Steppenwolf’s first-ever dedicated education space. The campus expansion also features bright new lobbies and two new full-service bars for socializing designed by fc STUDIO, inc.The $54 million new building is part of Steppenwolf’s multi-phase $73 million Building on Excellence expansion campaign. Learn more about Steppenwolf’s campus expansion at steppenwolf.org/buildingonexcellence.
A Safe Return
Steppenwolf is part of the growing coalition of more than 70 Chicagoland performing arts venues and producers that have agreed upon COVID-19 vaccination and mask requirements for all audiences, artists and staff. Audience members must provide proof of vaccination in addition to wearing masks. Learn more about Steppenwolf’s guidelines at steppenwolf.org/welcomeback.
Steppenwolf has worked over the past year with our operations team, public health advisors and HVAC consultants to prepare its facility to safely welcome patrons back for performances. The addition of the new Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center has expanded the square footage of the lobbies to nearly twice the previous amount of space offered to guests. Two additional elevators and multiple stairways have also been added to Steppenwolf’s campus for ease of transition between seating levels. The HVAC systems have undergone upgrades to allow for increased filtration and a higher percentage of circulated fresh air across all three theaters.
Steppenwolf offers accessible services to ensure all audience members have access to our work, including American Sign Language interpretation (available for student matinees as scheduled with education staff or per public performances below), Spanish Language captions, wheelchair accessible seating and more. With questions, email [email protected].
Seagull is generously supported by premier production sponsor Northern Trust; grand production sponsors Julie and Roger Baskes, Amy and Cameron Findlay, and Shmaila Tahir and Asheesh Goel; and individual production sponsors Jeffrey Maling and Rebecca Johnston. Steppenwolf’s New Plays Initiative is supported by the Zell Family Foundation. Accessibility Services sponsored by John Hart and Carol Prins. United Airlines is the Official and Exclusive Airline of Steppenwolf. Steppenwolf is also grateful for the significant season support from the Ralla Klepak Foundation for Education in the Performing Arts, Northern Trust, Allstate Insurance Company, ComEd, JPMorgan Chase, PNC, and Vinci Restaurant.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is a Chicago theater that is home to America’s ensemble. The company began performing in the mid-1970s in the basement of a Highland Park, IL church—today Steppenwolf is the nation’s premier ensemble theater with 49 members who are among the top actors, playwrights and directors in the field. Deeply rooted in its ensemble ethos, the company is committed to equity, diversity, inclusion and making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to all. Groundbreaking productions from Balm in Gilead and August: Osage County to Downstate and Pass Over—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony® Awards—have made the theatre legendary. Artistic programming includes a main stage season; a Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; LookOut, a multi-genre performance series; and the Steppenwolf NOW virtual stage. The nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf Education engages more than 20,000 participants annually in Chicagoland communities promoting compassion, encouraging curiosity and inspiring action. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, more than 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. 2021 marks the opening of Steppenwolf’s landmark Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts & Education Center—deepening the company’s commitment to Chicagoland teens and serving as a cultural nexus for Chicago. Glenn Davis and Audrey Francis are the Artistic Directors and E. Brooke Flanagan is 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. steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre, twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr and instagram.com/steppenwolfthtr.