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Laurie Metcalf and John Malkovich in "True West," at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 1982.

Steppenwolf Theatre Announces 2018-19 Season

The season will feature a world premieres by Bruce Norris and Isaac Gomez, and the return of Sam Shepard’s ‘True West.’

CHICAGO: Steppenwolf Theatre Company has announced its 2018-19 season, featuring seven productions.

“We look forward to sharing these vital, original and joyful plays with Chicago in our 2018-19 season,” said artistic director Anna D. Shapiro in a statement. “Steppenwolf’s work continues to explore and celebrate the dynamic and ever-changing story of our world—both the literal and emotional—while also hopefully offering insights into experiences beyond our own. At Steppenwolf, we hope to give our audiences the opportunity to both see and be seen, as all of us try to extend ourselves in the worthy effort of understanding our fellow man.”

The season will kick off with the world premiere of Downstate (Spet. 20-Nov. 4), by Bruce Norris. The play is a co-commission and coproduction with the National Theatre of Great Britain, and will transfer to the National Theatre in 2019. The play is about a man who confronts his childhood abuser at a group home shared by sex offenders. The cast will include Todd Freeman, Francis Guinan, and Tim Hopper. Pam MacKinnon will direct.

Next up will be Danai Gurira’s Familiar (Nov. 15-Jan. 6, 2019), a comedy about a Zimbabwean-American family living in Minnesota preparing for their eldest daughter’s wedding.

Following will be the world premiere of Isaac Gomez’s La Ruta (Dec. 13-Jan. 27, 2019), which was developed as part of Steppenwolf’s new-play program, about the women living and working along a bus route in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Sandra Marquez will direct.

The season will continue with Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Jan. 31-March 17, 2019), a sequel to Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, which picks up 15 years after the conclusion of Ibsen’s classic play. The cast will feature Celeste M. Cooper, Marquez, and Yasen Peyankov.

Next will be Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children (April 18-June 9, 2019), about two retired nuclear scientists startled by a visit from a former colleague who uncovers past secrets. The cast will include Ora Jones and Peyankov, and Jonathan Berry will direct.

Following will be Tarell Alvin McCraney’s WIG OUT! (May 23-July 7, 2019), about the African-American drag queens of two rival drag houses who compete on the runway. The cast will feature Glenn Davis and McCraney. Tina Landau will direct.

The season will continue with the return of Sam Shepard’s True West (July 5-Aug. 18, 2019), which first appeared at Steppenwolf in 1982, a play about two estranged brothers trapped together in their mother’s empty house. The cast will include Jon Michael Hill and Namir Smallwood.

Founded in 1976, Steppenwolf Theatre Company is an ensemble-based company that produces contemporary works.

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