Steppenwolf Theatre Company is proud to announce the line-up for the ninth annual First Look Repertory of New Work, featuring three developmental productions of new plays presented in rotating repertory July 26 – August 24, 2014 in the Garage Theatre (1624 N Halsted St). First Look 2014 includes:Ironbound by Martyna Majok, Hushabye by Tanya Saracho and Okay, Bye by Joshua Conkel. The 2014 festival also features readings of two new plays, American Beauty Shop by Dana Lynn Formby and Opium Den by Julie Marie Myatt. Tickets to First Look Repertory of New Work ($20) are on sale now. To purchase tickets or RSVP for the free readings, call Audience Services at 312-335-1650.

Steppenwolf also announces the continuation of First Look 101, a unique two-month experience spanning June through August that takes enrolled participants on a backstage journey through all aspects of the new play development process—from the first rehearsal to the final performance. Enrollment in the program is open now to anyone interested in learning about new plays. First Look 101 events are free, but space is limited. Sign up for each event to guarantee your spot. Waiting lists will be available on a first come, first served basis. or call 312-654-5613 to sign up.

In addition, Steppenwolf will also host a Professionals’ WeekendAugust 8 – 10. During Professionals’ Weekend, theater practitioners from across the country join Steppenwolf in conversation about new plays. Participants are invited to attend all First Look productions and readings in addition to special industry events such as panel discussions and receptions. Professionals’ Weekend is $75. E-mail or call 312-654-5613 to sign up.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Ninth Annual

First Look Repertory of New Work

By Tanya Saracho
Directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov

With crackling dialogue and heartfelt humor, Tanya Saracho explores what it takes to repair family relationships—especially when you share the blame for the damage. Erika is crazy desperate for her own apartment: so much so that she’ll take one sight unseen. Anything to escape Cynthia and Brian, her overprotective sister and her controlling brother-in-law. To be fair, Cynthia has reason to worry. Erika just left rehab and her definition of sobriety is, well…flexible. As Erika fights for her independence, she realizes that kicking the pills was just her firstchallenge.

The cast of Hushabye features James T. Alfred (Brian), McKenzie Chinn (Erika), Desmond Gray (Terrence),Shane Kenyon (Jackson) and Tamberla Perry (Cynthia).

Tanya Saracho’s plays include The Tenth Muse, Mala Hierba, Song for the Disappeared, EnfrascadaEl Nogalar, an adaptation of The House on Mango StreetOur Lady of the Underpass, Surface Day, Kita y Fernanda and Quita Mitos. Her plays have been produced at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 2nd Stage Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna, Fountain Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, Next Theatre and 16th Street Theater. She currently writes for the HBO series Looking.

By Martyna Majok
Directed by Daniella Topol

Waiting for a bus in a run-down New Jersey town, Darja—a Polish immigrant—gives her cheating boyfriend a long-deserved tongue-lashing. She’s done talking about feelings; it’s time to talk money.  Over the course of three relationships spanning 22 years, Darja negotiates for her future with men who can offer her love or security, but never both. Martyna Majok’s Ironbound is a clear-eyed, compassionate portrait of a woman for whom love might not be enough.

The cast of Ironbound features Paul D’Addario (Tommy), Billy Fenderson (Max), Nate Santana (Vic) and Lusia Strus (Darja).

Martyna Majok’s plays include Mouse in a Jar, the friendship of her thighs, Petty Harbour and reWilding. Her work has been seen/developed at Marin Theatre Company, New York Stage & Film, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Yale Cabaret, Red Tape Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Satori Group, LIDA Project and The Playwright and Director Center of Moscow. She is the recipient of the 2050 New York Theatre Workshop Fellowship.

Okay, Bye
By Joshua Conkel
Directed by Margot Bordelon


At an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, two thirty-somethings recognize each other from their high school days. Back then, they didn’t have much in common: Meg was an “alternative” and Jenny was a “Goody-Goody.” But nowboth their lives are on the brink of implosion. Jenny, sure that Meg’s bleak, sardonic humor is just a front, insists that a slumber party is the answer to all their problems. But it’s not the 90’s anymore, and it might take more than pedicures and Pretty in Pink to fuel a friendship that makes life worth living.

The cast of Okay, Bye features Brenda Barrie (Jenny) and Lara Phillips (Meg).

Joshua Conkel’s plays include MilkMilkLemonadeThe Chalk Boy, I Wanna Destroy You, The Sluts of Sutton Drive as well as countless short plays. His work has been seen all over the United States as well as in the U.K., New Zealand and Australia. He has been developed by Ensemble Studio Theatre, Soho Rep, The Lark Play Development Center, The Old Vic and others.

The production team for First Look 2014 includes Chelsea Warren (scenic design), J.R. Lederle (lighting design),Chris LaPorte (sound design) Rachel Laritz (costume design, Hushabye)Sally Dolembo (costume design,Ironbound), and Emily Tarleton (costume design, Okay, Bye). Additional credits include: Erica Daniels (casting),Derek Matson (dramaturg, Hushabye), Kathryn Zukaitis (dramaturg, Ironbound), Jenni Page-White (dramaturg,Okay, Bye), Cassie Calderone (stage manager, Hushabye), Briana Jo Fahey (stage manager, Ironbound) and Jon Nook (stage manager, Okay, Bye).

Performance Schedule

Hushabye                                                   Ironbound                                               Okay, Bye           

July 26 at 8pm                                           July 28 at 8pm                                        July 30 at 8pm*

August 1 at 8pm                                        August 2 at 8pm                                     August 3 at 8pm*
August 6 at 8pm                                        August 7 at 8pm                                     August 8 at 8pm*
August 9 at 4:30pm                                     August 9 at 8pm                                       August 9 at 1pm
August 10 at 4:30pm                                 August 10 at 1pm                                  August 10 at 8pm**
August 13 at 8pm                                        August 15 at 8pm                                     August 12 at 8pm

August 16 at 8pm                                        August 16 at 1pm                                     August 14 at 8pm
August 17 at 8pm                                        August 17 at 4pm                                     August 16 at 4:30pm

August 19 at 8pm                                        August 20 at 8pm                                     August 21 at 8pm
August 22 at 8pm                                        August 23 at 4:30pm                                August 23 at 8pm
August 23 at 1pm                                        August 24 at 8pm                                     August 24 at 4pm

Tickets to First Look Repertory of New Work ($20) are on sale now. Student tickets ($15) are available with valid ID. Passes to all three plays are available for $45. Tickets are available at, 1650 N Halsted St or at 312-335-1650First Look 101 events are free, but space is limited. Sign up for each event to guarantee your spot. Waiting lists will be available on a first come, first served basis. E-mail or call 312-654-5613 to sign up. Professionals’ Weekend ($75) sign-up is also available now, and includes tickets to all productions and readings along with additional industry events. For more information or to sign up, e-mail or call 312-654-5613.

First Look Repertory of New Work

Free Readings

American Beauty Shop

By Dana Lynn Formby

Directed by Marti Lyons


It’s hard to pull yourself up by your bootstraps in this economy—Sue should know. It’s harder when you’ve got kids, even whip-smart, talented ones like Judy. Sue has big dreams for both her basement beauty shop and her daughter, who’s anxiously waiting for a letter from Berkeley that could change her life. Armed with tough love, combative humor and an

uncompromising work ethic, Sue is struggling to balance her own livelihood and Judy’s future. A heartfelt play about the true cost of dreams.

Dana Lynn Formby is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists. Her plays have been produced, workshopped, or read by Pegasus, Mortar Theatre Company, Steep, PICT, Victory Gardens, WordBRIDGE, Florida Studio Theatre, The Alliance Theatre of Atlanta, The Kennedy Center and New York Theatre Workshop. Her play UNTIL DEATH  will be produced this season at Concordia College in association with Chicago Dramatists. She is represented by The Robert A. Freedman Dramatic Agency in New York.

Opium Den

By Julie Marie Myatt

Directed by Jessica Thebus


What could bring a privileged heroin addict and a decorated war veteran together? At first glance, Lizzie is a bored housewife who made selfish decisions, and Mac is a hero of the war in Afghanistan. Matthew—Lizzie’s brother and the photojournalist that made Mac famous—has reluctantly agreed to let them crash at his squalid apartment. As Matthew’s colleagues nose around for a newsworthy scoop, Lizzie and Mac desperately attempt to take control of the stories told about them. Spiked with hard-nosed humor, Opium Den offers a glimpse into an impromptu halfway house for people who can’t find their way home.

Julie Marie Myatt’s plays include The Happy OnesWelcome Home, Jenny SutterSomedayMy Wandering Boy,Boats On A RiverMr. and Mrs. and The Sex Habits of American Women. Her work has been seen at the Kennedy Center, South Coast Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Cornerstone Theater, the Guthrie Theater, Magic Theatre and Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others. She is a resident member of New Dramatists, and the Mellon Playwright in Residence at South Coast Repertory

The mission of First Look Repertory of New Work is to develop plays for future production at Steppenwolf and other theaters across the country. Since its inception, 12 of the 24 plays presented during First Look’s first eight seasons have enjoyed subsequent world premieres at other theaters, including: Sarah Gubbins’ Fair Use, produced by Actors’ Express in Atlanta, Georgia; Jason Wells’ Perfect Mendacity, produced by Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida; Wells’s Men of Tortuga, also produced by Asolo, with a second production at Profiles Theater in Chicago; The Butcher of Baraboo by Marisa Wegrzyn, produced by Second Stage Theatre in New York, with a second production at A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago; 100 Saints You Should Know by Kate Fodor, produced by Playwrights Horizons in New York; Spare Change by Mia McCullough, produced by Stage Left Theatre in Chicago; Gary by Melinda Lopez, produced by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre in Massachusetts; When The Messenger is Hot by Laura Eason, produced by 59E59 Theaters in New York; Eason’s Sex with Strangers, produced by Steppenwolf, with upcoming productions at Second Stage Theatre in New York and Signature Theatre in Washington DC; Pursued by Happiness by Keith Huff, produced by Road Theater Company in Los Angeles, California; The North Plan by Jason Wells, produced by Portland Center Stage, with a second production at Theater Wit in Chicago; and Oblivion by Carly Mensch produced by Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut

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 43 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, and