STEPPENWOLF THEATRE COMPANY HOSTS FREE, NEW ORLEANS-THEMED EVENT EXPLORE: THE WORLD OF AIRLINE HIGHWAY

b99410913z.1_20141218175120_000_get96hta.1-0Steppenwolf Theatre Company hosts its second EXPLORE event of the season on Saturday, January 17 at 5:30pm in-between the matinee and evening performances of the Broadway-bound world premiere Airline Highway. EXPLORE events invite audiences to celebrate the ideas and themes of the play through a fun, social setting. Each EXPLORE event is a unique experience tailored to create an immersive environment that reflects the world of that play.

EXPLORE: The World of Airline Highway will feature live music provided by Four Star Brass Band, a Chicago-based New Orleans-style brass band and authentic New Orleans cuisine prepared by Blue Door Farm Stand. Performance poetry from New Orleans-based Danny Kerwick, the real-life inspiration for the character of Francis, will kick off the event. Kerwick will be joined by some of Chicago’s coolest performance poets, including Gregorio Gomez, Marty McConnell and Billy Tuggle. Participants will also have the chance to make their own Mardi Gras masks and take some photos before heading next door to the Downstairs Theatre to see Steppenwolf’s critically acclaimed production of Airline Highway by Lisa D’Amour.

EXPLORE: The World of Airline Highway will take place Saturday, January 17 at 5:30pm in Steppenwolf’s Garage Theatre, 1624 N. Halsted St. EXPLORE events are free, but space is limited. Please RSVP to reserve your spot by calling Audience Services at 312-335-1650. Round out the experience and purchase a ticket to Airline Highway on Saturday, January 17 at 3pm before EXPLORE or at 7:30pm following EXPLORE. Tickets ($20 – $82) to Airline Highway must be purchased separately through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org. Steppenwolf also offers a special EXPLORE 25% off ticket offer only valid for the January 17 matinee at 3pm (use code 19075 when ordering).

Written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Lisa D’Amour and directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello, the world premiere of Airline Highway features ensemble members Robert Breuler and K. Todd Freeman. The production is currently running through February 8, 2015 in the Downstairs Theatre. Steppenwolf’s production will be presented by Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) at their Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway in Spring 2015.

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 who make life a little more interesting. 

Tickets to Airline Highway ($20 – $86) are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org. 20 for $20: twenty $20 tickets are available through Audience Services beginning at 11am on the day of each performance (1pm for Sunday performances by phone only). Rush Tickets: half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show. Student Discounts: a limited number of $15 student tickets are available online. Limit 2 tickets per student; must present a valid student ID for each ticket; visit steppenwolf.org/students. Group Tickets: all groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance throughout the season; visit steppenwolf.org/groups.

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

Steppenwolf’s 2014/15 season explores the question, How did I get here?, through five stories about losing—and finding—your way. In addition to Airline Highway, the remaining 2014/15 Subscription Season includesMarie 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.

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-seatDownstairs 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, Galway 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/steppenwolftheatreand twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr.