STEPPENWOLF THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS THE WORLD PREMIERE PRODUCTION OF BROADWAY-BOUND AIRLINE HIGHWAY

imgresSteppenwolf Theatre Company continues its 2014/15 subscription season with the world premiere production of Airline Highway, written by Lisa D’Amour (Detroit) and directed by Joe Mantello(The Last Ship, Casa Valentina, Wicked).  Steppenwolf’s production will open on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC)’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre following its world premiere engagement in Chicago. Airline Highwaybegins previews December 4, 2014 (opening night is December 14, 2014;and runs through February 8, 2015 in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Single tickets to Airline Highway ($20 – $86) go on sale Friday, September 26 at 11am through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.

In the parking lot of The Hummingbird, a once-glamorous motel on New Orleans’ infamous Airline Highway, a group of friends gather. A rag-tag collection of strippers, hustlers and philosophers have come together to celebrate the life of Miss Ruby, an iconic burlesque performer who has requested a funeral before she dies. The party rages through the night as old friends resurface to pay their respects. A world premiere from the author of Detroit, Airline Highway is a boisterous and moving ode to the outcasts that make life a little more interesting.

Airline Highway was originally commissioned and developed by Steppenwolf Theatre Company with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Lisa D’Amour’s critically acclaimed production of Detroit also received its world premiere production at Steppenwolf and was directed by ensemble member Austin Pendleton. Detroit received a second production under Pendleton’s direction at the Royal National Theater, as well as several subsequent productions. Detroit won the Obie Award for Best New American Play in 2013 and was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn prize. Airline Highway is D’Amour’s first full-length play about New Orleans, the city where she was raised and currently resides.

The production team for Steppenwolf’s production of Airline Highway includes: Scott Pask (scenic design), David Zinn (costume design), Japhy Weideman (lighting design) and Fitz Patton (sound design and original composition). Additional credits include: Erica Daniels (casting), Malcolm Ewen (stage manager) and Christine D. Freeburg(assistant stage manager).

Northern Trust is the Corporate Production Sponsor of the Chicago production of Airline Highway.

Free post-show discussions are offered after every performance in the Subscription Season. Steppenwolf is located near all forms of public transportation and is wheelchair accessible. Street, lot and valet parking are available. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance.

Steppenwolf’s 2014/15 season explores the question, How did I get here?, through five stories about losing—and finding—your way. Do you ever catch yourself in the rearview mirror and think: How did I get here? A jolt of fear. A flash of inspiration. The past may be a mystery, but the future is up for grabs. Are you completely lost? Or are you exactly where you are supposed to be?

In addition to Airline Highway, the 2014/15 Subscription Season includes The Night Alive by Conor McPherson, directed by Henry Wishcamper (September 18, 2014 – November 16, 2014) in the Downstairs Theatre; Marie Antoinette by David Adjmi, directed by Robert O’Hara (February 5 – May 10, 2015) in the Upstairs Theatre; The Herd by Rory Kinnear, directed by ensemble member Frank Galati (April 2 – June 7, 2015) in the Downstairs Theatre; and Grand Concourse by Heidi Schreck, directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov (July 2 – August 30, 2015) in the Downstairs Theatre.

BIOGRAPHIES

Lisa D’Amour (Playwright) is a playwright and interdisciplinary artist and one half of the OBIE Award-winning performance duo PearlDamour.  Her plays have been produced by theaters across the country, including Playwrights Horizons, Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf and Clubbed Thumb (New York); Children’s Theater Company (Minneapolis); The Wilma Theater (Philadelphia); and Woolly Mammoth Theater (Washington D.C.). D’Amour’s playDetroit premiered at Steppenwolf in 2010, directed by ensemble member Austin Pendleton. Pendleton also directed the second production at the Royal National Theater with a British cast. Detroit was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn prize. PearlDamour is known for creating interdiscplinary, often site-specific works which range from the intimate to large scale.  Recent work includes How to Build a Forest, an eight-hour performance installation created with visual artist Shawn Hall (The Kitchen, New York, 2011, currently touring) and MILTON, a performance created from visits and interviews in five U.S. cities named Milton. She is the recipient of the 2008 Herb Alpert Award for the Arts in Theatre, the 2011 Steinberg Playwright Award and the 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.

Joe Mantello (Director) most recently received Emmy and Critics’ Choice Television Award nominations for his performance in HBO’s The Normal Heart (directed by Ryan Murphy). This two-time Tony Award-winning director’s credits include: The Last Ship, Casa Valentina, I’ll Eat You Last, The Other Place, Dogfight, Other Desert Cities,The Pride, Pal Joey, 9 to 5, November, The Receptionist, The Ritz, Blackbird, Three Days of Rain, The Odd Couple,Glengarry Glen Ross (Tony nomination), Laugh Whore, Assassins (Tony Award), Wicked, Take Me Out (Tony Award), Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, A Man of No Importance, Design for Living, The Vagina Monologues, Bash, Love! Valour! Compassion! (Tony nomination), Proposals, The Mineola Twins and Corpus Christi.  Acting credits include: The Normal Heart (Tony nomination), Angels in America (Tony nomination) and The Baltimore Waltz. He has received Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Helen Hayes, Clarence Derwent, Obie and Joe A. Callaway Awards. He is a member of Naked Angels and an associate artist at Roundabout Theatre Company.

Manhattan Theatre Club, under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, has become one of the country’s most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. Over the past four and a half decades, MTC productions have earned numerous awards including six Pulitzer Prizes and 19 Tony Awards. MTC has a Broadway home at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and two Off-Broadway theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street). Renowned MTC productions include Casa Valentina;Outside Mullingar; The Assembled Parties; Venus in Fur; Master Class; Good People; The Whipping Man; Time Stands Still; The Royal Family; Ruined; Come Back, Little Sheba; Blackbird; Shining City; Rabbit Hole; Doubt;Proof; The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife; Love! Valour! Compassion!; A Small Family Business; Sylvia; Putting It Together; Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; Crimes of the Heart; and Ain’t Misbehavin’. For more information on MTC, please visit  ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is America’s longest standing, most distinguished ensemble theater, producing nearly 700 performances and events annually in its three Chicago theater spaces—the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat Garage Theatre. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an ensemble of 44 actors, writers and directors. Artistic programming at Steppenwolf includes a five-play Subscription Season, a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season and two repertory series: First Look Repertory of New Work, and Garage Rep. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Off-Broadway, Broadway, London, Sydney and Dublin. Steppenwolf has the distinction of being the only theater to receive the National Medal of Arts, in addition to numerous other prestigious honors including an Illinois Arts Legend Award and 12 Tony Awards. Martha Lavey is the Artistic Director and David Hawkanson is the Executive Director. Nora Daley is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre and twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr.