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This Month in Theatre History

Successes for Steppenwolf, Swine Palace, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Sutton Foster.

30 years ago (1982)

Sam Shepard’s True West opens at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. Founding members Gary Sinise and John Malkovich portray the argumentative brothers. The production will become Steppenwolf’s first Broadway transfer, launching Sinise and Malkovich’s careers.

20 years ago (1992)

Swine Palace is inaugurated with Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men in the Shaver Theatre on Louisiana State University’s campus. Founder Barry Kyle commits his company to producing high-quality work for southern Louisiana. Despite Kyle’s eventual departure, Swine Palace goes on to become an award-winning regional theatre.

10 years ago (2002)

In two consecutive days, Suzan-Lori Parks’s Topdog/Underdog opens on Broadway and wins the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The drama stars Don Cheadle and Jeffrey Wright as adult brothers named Booth and Lincoln. The play will go on to have an extended run, in which Mos Def will step in for Cheadle.

10 years ago (2002)

A new adaptation of the film musical Thoroughly Modern Millie opens on Broadway, re-scored by Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan. It will go on to win six Tony Awards, including best musical and best actress in a musical for its star, Sutton Foster.

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