STEPPENWOLF 40TH SEASON BEGINS WITH ‘EAST OF EDEN’

imagesSteppenwolf Theatre Company celebrates 40 years as America’s longest running, most distinguished ensemble theater with a remarkable lineup of plays in the 2015/16 Subscription Season, all by Pulitzer Prize-winning writers. Kicking off the landmark season is John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, a world premiere adaptation by Frank Galati. Steppenwolf’s deep connection with the Pulitzer Prize-winning author can be traced back to the company’s 1988 production of The Grapes of Wrath, which Galati adapted and directed. The production transferred to Broadway, California and London and received two Tony Awards—Best Play and Best Director—garnering Steppenwolf international acclaim.

Returning to direct East of Eden is Terry Kinney, who also performed in Galati’s production of The Grapes of Wrath. Kinney co-founded Steppenwolf in 1976 with Gary Sinise and Jeff Perry and has directed many notable productions with the company, including John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, The Violet Hour and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, which won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play in 2000. Kinney’s New York directing credits include the world premiere of Checkers by Doug McGrath, reasons to be pretty and The Money Shot for MCC and Broadway and After Ashley and Beautiful Child at the Vineyard Theatre, among others. He is widely known for his roles in HBO’s prison drama Oz, as well as the ABC series, The Black Box. Recently, he appeared in HBO’s Show Me a Hero and he recurs on Showtime’s new series, Billions. Fellow ensemble members Francis Guinan, Tim Hopper and Alan Wilder, all of whom were in the original The Grapes of Wrath production with Kinney, reunite to perform in the highly anticipated East of Eden world premiere.

Escaping a turbulent past, Adam Trask is determined to make a new start in California’s Salinas Valley. Adam and his wife Cathy settle on a beautiful farm, and soon Cathy gives birth to twins Caleb and Aron. But family history, sibling rivalry and the impending danger of World War One will threaten their little piece of paradise. East of Eden is a sprawling and unflinching story that asks if is it possible to escape the mistakes of previous generations and choose your own course.

The complete cast for East of Eden features ensemble members Kate Arrington as Cathy Trask, Francis Guinan as Samuel Hamilton, Tim Hopper as Adam Trask andAlan Wilder as Dr. Murphy and Mr. Bacon along with Casey Thomas Brown as Aron Trask, Aaron Himelstein as Caleb Trask, Elizabeth Laidlaw as Eva/Mrs. Bacon/Nurse, Stephen Park as Lee, Brittany Uomoleale as Abra Bacon and Dan Waller as Joe and Will Hamilton.

Single tickets to East of Eden ($20 – $89) go on sale Friday, August 7 at 11am. Previews begin September 17, 2015 and the show runs through November 15, 2015 in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre.

Season subscriptions are currently on sale. Packages start at $100. Student, educator and access discount subscriptions available. To purchase a 2015/16 subscription, visit Audience Services at 1650 N Halsted St, call 312-335-1650 or visit steppenwolf.org.

The production team includes Walt Spangler (scenic design), Mara Blumenfeld (costume design), David Weiner (lighting design), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen(original music and sound design) and Matt Hawkins (fight choreography). Additional credits include Erica Daniels (casting), Malcolm Ewen (stage manager) and Christine D. Freeburg (assistant stage manager).

 

Major support for East of Eden is provided by The Negaunee Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

Major support for Steppenwolf’s New Play Development Initiative is provided by The Davee Foundation and the Zell Family Foundation.

Steppenwolf’s 2015/16 Subscription Season includes the world premiere adaptation of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, adapted by ensemble member Frank Galati, directed by ensemble member Terry Kinney (September 17 – November 15, 2015); the Chicago premiere of Domesticated written and directed by ensemble member Bruce Norris (December 3, 2015 – February 7, 2016); the Chicago premiere of The Flick by Annie Baker, directed by Dexter Bullard (February 4 – May 8, 2016); the world premiere of Mary Page Marlowe by ensemble member Tracy Letts, directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro (March 31 – May 29, 2016); and the Chicago premiere of Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov (June 23 – August 21, 2016). As previously announced, Anna D. Shapiro will succeed Martha Lavey as Artistic Director at the start of the 2015/16 season. Shapiro began working with Steppenwolf in 1995, joined the ensemble in 2005 and is a Tony Award-winning director. She will serve alongside Managing Director David Schmitz. Lavey, who joined the ensemble in 1993, has served as Artistic Director of Steppenwolf for 20 years and will conclude her tenure at the end of the 2014/15 season, while still remaining an ensemble member.

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, First Look, a new play development series and Visiting Company engagements. 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 Schmitz is the Managing Director. Nora Daley is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre and twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr.