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Steppenwolf Announces 2020-21 ‘Reset’ Season

The Chicago ensemble theatre will present a shortened lineup, plus new works on a streaming platform.

CHICAGO: Steppenwolf Theatre Company has announced its 2020-21 Reset Season, featuring four plays with flexible dates. The truncated season, which was originally announced with six productions, will now include virtual programming.

Steppenwolf is offering patrons a risk-free membership, guaranteeing a refund if the show is not able to be performed or if patrons do not feel comfortable attending because of the coronavirus. Steppenwolf’s streaming platform, “Steppenwolf NOW,” will be available for patrons who purchase memberships this season. The virtual programming will include new work from ensemble members Rajiv Joseph and Bruce Norris, Mia Chung, Isaac Gómez, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, James Ijames, and more.

“Steppenwolf is the longest-standing ensemble-based theatre company in the country; everything we do is about the collision of human experience,” said artistic director Anna D. Shapiro in a statement. “Acknowledging the uncertainty that lies ahead, we made the difficult decision to cancel our production of Bess Wohl’s Barcelona and to move the world premiere of Vichet Chum’s Bald Sisters to our 21/22 Season, to allow for greater flexibility. It is important to us that when we do return, we do so with a selection of productions that allow for large ensemble participation, which is the core of who we are.”

The season will open in mid-December with the world premiere of Good Night, and Good Luck by Matt Charman, based on the screenplay by George Clooney and Grant Heslov. Shapiro will direct this story of truth, politics, and the fate of the nation in 1953 Washington, D.C.

Next will be the return of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, based on the novel by Erika L. Sánchez, adapted by Isaac Gómez. Ensemble member Sandra Marquez will direct this production, the first transfer of a Steppenwolf for Young Adults production to the mainstage.

Following will be Donnetta Lavinia Grays’s Last Night and the Night Before, about a woman on the run who shows up on her sister’s doorstep with her daughter, throwing off a family’s balance. Valerie Curtis-Newton will direct.

The season will close out with ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy, which follows Pharus Young, who tries to be the best leader of his school’s prestigious choir while grappling with a world built around rites, rituals, and a pressure to conform.

Steppenwolf members will receive priority access to Seagull, translated, adapted and directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov. This production will open the company’s new building in fall of 2021.

“Our Reset Season lets us stay true to our ensemble-driven mission while remaining as nimble as possible during this unsure time,” said Shapiro in a statement. “Our risk free membership makes it easy for our loyal audiences to continue to invest in us, which in turn makes it possible for us to carry on. When we are back, the celebration will be big onstage and off.”

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ADV – Billboard