CASTING COMPLETE FOR STEPPENWOLF’S CONSTELLATIONS AND VISITING EDNA

Rondi Reed

Steppenwolf Theatre Company announced today the complete casting for two upcoming productions. Celebrated actress Jessie Fisher (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s Othello, Once on Broadway) joins ensemble member Jon Michael Hill (CBS’s Elementary, Steppenwolf’s Superior Donuts) in the Chicago premiere production of Constellations, the moving two-character drama by Nick Payne, directed by artistic producer Jonathan Berry to take place this summer in the Upstairs Theatre May 26 – July 3, 2016.Ensemble member and Tony Award winner Rondi Reed (CBS’s Mike & Molly, Wicked) joins the cast of the 2016/17 season opener, the world premiere production of Visiting Edna (September 15 – November 6) by Tony Award-winning playwright David Rabe. Reed, who won the Tony Award for her performance in Steppenwolf’s August: Osage County, will play the title role of Edna alongside previously announced ensemble members Ian Barford, K. Todd Freeman and Sally Murphy. Completing the cast is Michael Rabe making his Steppenwolf debut. Steppenwolf Artistic Director and Tony Award winner Anna D. Shapiro directs.

About Constellations

Chicago Premiere
Constellations
By Nick Payne
Directed by Steppenwolf artistic producer Jonathan Berry
Featuring ensemble member Jon Michael Hill with Jessie Fisher
May 26 – July 3, 2016 in the Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted
Press performance: Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 7:30pm
Tickets ($20 – $89) are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted), 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org.

Roland (a bee keeper) and Marianne (a theoretical physicist) meet at a party. In that single moment, an unfathomable multitude of possibilities unfold. Their chance meeting might blossom into a meaningful relationship or a brief affair: it might lead to nothing at all. Each step along those possible paths in turn offers a new series of potential outcomes: a marriage can exist alongside a breakup and a tragic illness can exist on a parallel plane to a happily ever after. In this clever, eloquent, and moving story, Roland and Marianne’s romance plays out over a myriad of possible lifetimes, capturing the extraordinary richness of being alive in the universe.

Nick Payne is a British playwright and screenwriter. Constellations opened at the Royal Court in 2012 and transferred to the West End where it received universally glowing reviews, won the Evening Standard Best Play Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play. In 2015, Constellations transferred to Broadway starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson under the direction of Michael Longhurst. Jonathan Berry joined the Steppenwolf staff as Artistic Producer in June 2015. A prolific director, Berry has directed for many Chicago companies, including Goodman Theatre, Steep, Griffin, Remy Bumppo and The Gift. His Steppenwolf directing credits include Melinda Lopez’s Gary for the First Look new play series and A Separate Peace for Steppenwolf for Young Adults.

Constellations production team includes Joe Schermoly (scenic design), Izumi Inaba (costume design), Heather Gilbert(lighting design) and Christopher Kriz (sound design and original music). Additional credits include Christine D. Freeburg (stage manager), Tam Dickson (casting) and Hallie Gordon (artistic producer).

About Visiting Edna

World Premiere
Visiting Edna
By David Rabe
Directed by artistic director Anna D. Shapiro
Featuring ensemble members Ian Barford, K. Todd Freeman, Sally Murphy and Rondi Reed with Michael Rabe
September 15 – November 6, 2016 in the Downstairs Theatre

Single tickets go on sale at a later date. 2016/17 Subscription packages are currently available for purchase. For more information, contact Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.

Edna has suffered a number of losses as she has aged, and now faces the stealthy advance of cancer embodied by an intimate figure that she could do without. Home for a visit, Edna’s son Andrew is trying to bridge the gulf between the childhood love they shared and the aggressively polite but baffling relationship they now live with. Mother and son stumble toward honesty as they wrestle with the distractions—both mundane and profound—that keep us from real connection.

David Rabe
is a Tony Award-winning playwright well-known for Streamers, Hurlyburly, Sticks and Bones and the Gift Theatre’s recent world premiere production of Good for Otto. Anna D. Shapiro is a Tony Award-winning director well-known for August: Osage County, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Larry David’s Fish in the Dark, Of Mice and Men andThis Is Our Youth. She directed Steppenwolf’s critically acclaimed world premiere production of Mary Page Marlowe now playing through May 29, 2016 in the Downstairs Theatre.

Visiting Edna production team includes David Zinn (scenic design), Linda Roethke (costume design), Marcus Doshi(lighting design) and Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound design and original music). Additional credits includeChristine D. Freeburg (stage manager), Tam Dickson (casting) and Jonathan Berry (artistic producer).
Currently playing in the 2015/16 Subscription Season is the world premiere of Mary Page Marlowe by ensemble member Tracy Letts, directed by Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro through May 29, 2016. Concluding the season is the Chicago premiere of Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov (June 23 – August 21, 2016).

Steppenwolf’s 2016/17 Subscription Season includes the world premiere of Visiting Edna by David Rabe, directed by Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro (September 15 – November 6, 2016); the world premiere of The Fundamentals by Erika Sheffer, directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov (November 10 – December 23, 2016); the Chicago premiere ofThe Christians by Lucas Hnath, directed by ensemble member K. Todd Freeman (December 1, 2016 – January 29, 2017); the Chicago premiere of Straight White Men, written and directed by Young Jean Lee (February 2 – March 19, 2017); the world premiere of Linda Vista by Tracy Letts, director TBA (March 30 – May 21, 2017); and the Chicago premiere of Hir by Taylor Mac, director TBA (June 29 – August 20, 2017).

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 1700 Theatre. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an ensemble of 44 actors, writers and directors. Beginning in 2016/17, Steppenwolf expands artistic programming to include a seven-play Season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a new multidisciplinary performance series. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-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. Anna D. Shapiro 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 www.steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatreand twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr.

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