Showbiz Chicago Photo Booth: MARY PAGE MARLOWE, a world premiere by Tracy Letts thru May 29
Previews have begun for Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s highly anticipated world premiere production of Mary Page Marlowe, written by Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning playwright and ensemble member Tracy Letts. Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro, who directed Letts’s internationally acclaimed August: Osage County, teams up with him again for this intimate and moving production in Steppenwolf’s 40th anniversary season. Previews begin March 31 (opening night is April 10 and runs through May 29, 2016 in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Tickets ($20 – $89) are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org. Note: There will be a limited number of pit seats ($30) available for audiences interested in a truly up-close and intimate theater experience.
Mary Page Marlowe is an accountant from Ohio. She’s led an ordinary life, making the difficult decisions we all face as we try to figure out who we really are and what we really want. As Tracy Letts brings us moments—both pivotal and mundane—from Mary’s life, a portrait of a surprisingly complicated woman emerges. Intimate and moving, Mary Page Marlowe shows us how circumstance, impulse and time can combine to make us mysteries…even to ourselves.
“Tracy and I have developed a shared aesthetic over many years of collaborating together as actor/director and playwright/director. We have a mutual vocabulary that embodies the ensemble principle while, at the same time, challenges our individual sensibilities and ideas in complimentary ways,” shares Anna D. Shapiro, Steppenwolf Artistic Director and ensemble member.
“For me, this play does what Steppenwolf Theatre does best: finding the spectacular in the mundane and turning the every-day into the most-important-day, and all the while reflecting our common humanity,” adds Shapiro.
Featuring a 21-member cast, seven different actors will portray Mary Page Marlowe over the span of her lifetime. The seven actors sharing the title role are: Blair Brown (Mary at ages 59, 63 and 69); Carrie Coon (Mary at ages 27 and 36); Laura T. Fisher (Mary at age 50); Caroline Heffernan (Mary at age 12);Annie Munch (Mary at age 19); Rebecca Spence (Mary at ages 40 and 44) with the final Mary to be played by three infants who will rotate in the role: Benicio Calderone, Charlotte Freund and Sebastian White. Completing the cast are ensemble members Ian Barford (Ray) and Alan Wilder (Andy) withStephen Cefalu, Jr. (Ed Marlowe), Amanda Drinkall (Roberta Marlowe), Jack Edwards (Louis Gilbert),Kirsten Fitzgerald (Shrink), Tess Frazer (Lorna), Keith Gallagher (Ben), Sandra Marquez (Nurse),Ariana Venturi (Connie), Madeline Weinstein (Wendy Gilbert) and Gary Wilmes (Dan).
Tracy Letts (Playwright) was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play for August: Osage County, which premiered at Steppenwolf in 2007 and played on Broadway, London’s National Theatre and the Sydney Theatre. Steppenwolf also produced the world premieres of Letts’s Superior Donuts (transferred to Broadway in 2009); and Man from Nebraska (premiered at Steppenwolf in 2003, Pulitzer Prize finalist). He wrote screenplays of three films adapted from his own plays, Killer Joe, Bug and August: Osage County. Letts received a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for Steppenwolf’s production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? He has been an ensemble member since 2002. He is also known for his portrayal of Andrew Lockhart in seasons three and four of Showtime’s Homeland.
Anna D. Shapiro (Director) has directed many notable productions for Steppenwolf, including Tracy Letts’s August: Osage County, for which she received the 2008 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Director. In 2011 she received a Tony Award nomination for her direction of The Motherf**ker with the Hat, which she also directed at Steppenwolf. Broadway credits include the sold-out run of Larry David’s Fish in the Dark on Broadway, the revival of Steppenwolf’s production of This Is Our Youth and the Broadway revival of Of Mice and Men, which National Theatre Live selected as the first American production to be broadcast to over 700 cinemas across the US and Canada. Additional Steppenwolf directing credits include A Parallelogram, Up, The Unmentionables, The Pain and the Itch (also at Playwrights Horizons), Tracy Letts’s Man from Nebraska, (named byTIME Magazine as one of the Year’s Top Ten of 2003), Side Man (also in Ireland, Australia and Colorado) and Tracy Letts’s Three Sisters, among others. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and Columbia College and the recipient of a 1996 Princess Grace Award, as well as the 2010 Princess Grace Statue Award. Shapiro began working with Steppenwolf in 1995 as the original director of the New Plays Lab, joined the ensemble in 2005 and became Artistic Director at the start of the 2015/16 Season.
The production team includes Todd Rosenthal (scenic design), Linda Roethke (costume design), Marcus Doshi (lighting design), Richard Woodbury (sound design), Diana Lawrence (original music), and Sven Ortel (projection design). Additional credits includeJessamyn Fuller (casting), Malcolm Ewen (stage manager) and Brian Maschka (assistant stage manager).
Single tickets to Mary Page Marlowe are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org: Previews: $20 – $54 and Regular Run:$20 – $89. Prices subject to change. Pit Seats: Audiences can experience a truly up-close and intimate theater experience with the newly added “pit seats” at a discounted $30 ticket price, available by phone only. Located directly in front of the stage, pit seating will be hard shell chairs that are 9-inches lower than Steppenwolf’s “Row A,” where Steppenwolf’s standard theater seating begins. 20 for $20: twenty $20 tickets are available through Audience Services beginning at 11am on the day of each performance (1pm for Sunday performances). 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. For additional student discounts, visit steppenwolf.org/students. Group Tickets: all groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance throughout the season. For additional information, visitsteppenwolf.org/groups. For subscription packages and flexible pass options available, call 312-335-1650.
Accessible performances include an American Sign Language interpretation on Sunday, May 8 at 7:30pm, Open Captioning on Saturday, May 7 at 3pm, Audio Description (no touch tour) on Sunday, May 22 at 3pm, and a touch tour on Sunday, May 29 at 1:30pm with an audio-described performance at 3pm.
Full performance schedule included at end of the release. Curtain Times: Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30pm; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3pm; Wednesday matinees at 2pm on May 11, May 18, May 25. There will be no 3pm or 7:30pm performances on Saturday, May 14 and no Sunday 7:30pm performance on Sunday, May 29.
Lead support for Mary Page Marlowe is provided by The Roy Cockrum Foundation. Major support for Mary Page Marlowe is provided by Allstate Insurance Company, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, ComEd, National Endowment for the Arts, Northern Trust and PwC.
Major support for Steppenwolf’s New Play Development Initiative is provided by The Davee Foundation and the Zell Family Foundation.
Mary Page Marlowe is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.
Steppenwolf’s 2015/16 Subscription Season opened with the world premiere adaptation of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, adapted by ensemble member Frank Galati, directed by co-founder Terry Kinney (September 17 – November 15, 2015); followed by the Chicago premiere of Domesticated written and directed by ensemble member Bruce Norris (December 3, 2015 – February 7, 2016).
Currently playing is the Chicago premiere of The Flick by Annie Baker, directed by Dexter Bullard (February 4 – May 8, 2016). After the world premiere of Mary Page Marlowe by ensemble member Tracy Letts, directed by Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro (March 31 – May 29, 2016), the season will conclude with the Chicago premiere of Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov (June 23 – August 21, 2016).
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/steppenwolftheatre and twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr.