Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) announces the complete cast for The Burials, a world premiere by Caitlin Parrish and the first production of SYA’s 2016/17 season. Directed by Erica Weiss, the nine-person cast features Aurora Adachi-Winter, Stephanie Barron, Joel Boyd, Olivia Cygan, Matt Farabee, Coburn Goss, Ty Olwin, Becca Savoy and Kristina Valada-Viars. Public performances are scheduled for October 8 (3pm & 7:30pm), October 14 (7:30pm), October 15 (3pm), and October 22 (3pm and 7:30pm). School performances are Tuesday through Friday at 10am and are reserved for school groups only. Tickets to public performances ($20; $15 with student I.D.) are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and

Sophie is everything an upstanding young millennial should be: engaged, devoted to her family, and a likely valedictorian. But her life is shattered when her brother goes on a high school shooting rampage. Thrust into the national spotlight, Sophie finds herself torn between defying the narrative being woven about her brother in the media, and stopping the father she loves from using the rampage for his own political ends. Inspired by Antigone, The Burials is a modern tale of civic responsibility and the gun epidemic in America.

Coburn Goss last appeared at Steppenwolf in Dead Man’s Cell Phone and Joel Boyd returns after appearing in First Look 2015’s reading of The Engine of Our Ruin. Olivia Cygan was in The Gift Theatre’s Richard III, presented in the Garage Theatre, Matt Farabee performed in punkplay as part of Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep and Ty Olwin is a School at Steppenwolf graduate last seen in SYA’s production of Lord of the Flies. Becca Savoy, also a School at Steppenwolf graduate, most recently understudied for Mary Page Marlowe and Kristina Valada-Viars returns after her performance in Time Stands Still. Cast members Aurora Adachi-Winter and Stephanie Barron make their Steppenwolf debut in The Burials.

The Burials production team includes Courtney O’Neill (scenic design), Alarie Hammock (costume design), J.R. Lederle (lighting design), Matt Chapman (sound design), Joseph Burke (projection design) and Rachel Flesher (fight choreographer). Additional credits include Tess Golden (stage manager) andJC Clementz (casting) and Hallie Gordon (artistic producer).



Caitlin Parrish (playwright) won the 2003 National Young Playwrights Competition at age 18 for her first play The View from Tall, which subsequently ran Off-Broadway. A forthcoming adaptation of The View from Tall marks the beginning of her film career, as both screenwriter and co-director. Her collaborator and co-director Erica Weiss directed her sold-out hit A Twist of Water for Route 66 Theatre Company, which also enjoyed an Off-Broadway run at 59E59. Route 66 also recently produced the world premiere of her play The Downpour, which was named a finalist by the American Theatre Critics Association for the Steinberg Award for Best New American Play, an honor that A Twist of Water received in 2011 as well. Her work in television includes stints as a writer for Emily Owens, M.D., Under the Dome and Supergirl. She is a recipient of the prestigious Humanitas Award for her original television pilot Painkiller. Her pilot Red Linehas been optioned by Warner Bros. television.

Erica Weiss (director) is a Jeff-nominated theatre director and filmmaker based in Chicago. She was the recipient of The Goodman Theatre’s Michael Maggio Directing Fellowship, is a proud ensemble member of The Gift Theatre Company and was the Associate Artistic Director of Route 66 Theatre Company for four years. She directed the Gift’s current critically acclaimed production of The Grapes of Wrath. Her primary passions lie in the development of new work and bringing female voices to the stage and screen. Her directing work includes the world premieres of Jerre Dye’s Cicada (Route 66 Theatre), Danny Bernardo’s Mahal (Bailiwick Chicago) and the currently running Chicago premiere of Caroline V McGraw’sThe Bachelors (Cole Theatre). Weiss is a longtime and frequent collaborator with writer Caitlin Parrish, directing their world premiere productions of The Downpour (Joseph Jefferson Nominee for Best Production, Best Director, Best New Work and Best Lead Actress) and A Twist of Water with Route 66 Theatre Company and Off-Broadway at 59E59. She and Parrish co-directed their first feature film The View From Tall with their company Teleporter Productions. She will direct Jerry Dye’s new play, Distanceat Strawdog Theatre, Aug. 25 – Oct. 1.

The Young Adult Council, a group of passionate and motivated high school students who meet weekly at Steppenwolf to learn the inner-workings of professional theatre, will host The Scene for fellow high schoolers. The Scene is an event where teens from throughout the Chicagoland area see the show with their peers and attend an artistic discussion and after-party. The Scene event will take place Saturday, October 15 following the 3pm performance. Tickets are $10 and available at or 312-335-1650.

The Steppenwolf Associates, a collective of more than 150 young professionals, will host Unlocked: The Artistic Process in support of SYA. Featuring festive drinks and hors d’oeuvres, followed a riveting performance of The Burials and an exclusive conversation to discover how Steppenwolf playwrights, directors, teens and teachers create gripping, timely art, Unlocked takes place, October 22, 2016 at5:30pm. Tickets are $75, which includes show admission.

In conversation with The Burials and the SYA 2016/17 season theme, “When We Stick to Our Guns, Who Pays the Price?”, SYA’s second production will be the world premiere of Monster, based on the novel by Walter Dean-Myers. The production, adapted by Aaron Carter and directed by Hallie Gordon, will run February 15 – March 9, 2017 in the Downstairs Theatre.

Major foundation support for Steppenwolf for Young Adults is provided by the Polk Bros. Foundation and Alphawood Foundation. Steppenwolf for Young Adults is also supported in part by contributions from The Crown Family, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Sage Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Northern Trust Company, Field Foundation of Illinois, Dr. Scholl Foundation, the Helen Brach Foundation, ITW Foundation, Siragusa Foundation, Robert and Isabelle Bass Foundation, Inc. and Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation; as well as Steppenwolf Associates, a community of dynamic young professionals.

Steppenwolf for Young Adults is a citywide partner of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) School Partner Program.

Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ unique approach combines play production with educational components to enhance arts education for young audiences, as well as their teachers and families. SYA creates two full-scale professional productions each season specifically for teens. Working closely with the Chicago Public and metropolitan area schools and other community partners, SYA annually ensures access to the theater for more than 15,000 participants from Chicago’s diverse communities. The initiative also includes post-show discussions with artists; classroom residencies led by Steppenwolf-trained teaching artists in almost 100 classrooms in public high schools; professional development workshops for educators; and the Young Adult Council, an innovative year-round after-school initiative that uniquely engages high school students in all areas of the theater’s operations.

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 46 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, and