STEPPENWOLF THEATRE COMPANY BEGINS 2014/15 SUBSCRIPTION SEASON WITH THE NIGHT ALIVE BY CONOR McPHERSON, IN THE DOWNSTAIRS THEATRE, SEPT 18 – NOV 16
Steppenwolf Theatre Company launches its 2014/15 Subscription Season with the Chicago premiere production of The Night Alive by celebrated playwright Conor McPherson. Henry Wishcamper directs a cast featuring ensemble members Francis Guinan and Tim Hopper with Helen Sadler, Dan Waller and M.Emmet Walsh. The world premiere of The Night Alive was produced at London’s Donmar Warehouse in 2013. The Night Alive begins previews September 18, 2014 (opening night is September 28; press performances are September 27 at 3pm and September 30 at 7:30pm) and runs through November 16, 2014 in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Tickets ($20 – $82) go on sale Friday, August 8 at 11am at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.
The kindness of strangers comes with complications. Tommy is getting by—kind of: he is crashing in his uncle’s ramshackle house in Dublin, dodging his estranged family, and plotting a parade of get-rich-quick scenes with his buddy Doc. Then one day he defends a destitute woman against a violent attack, and a fragile glimmer of hope appears as Tommy tends to her in his run-down room. From the author of The Weir, Shining City and The Seafarer comes this compelling new drama—by turns funny and frightening, but always deeply human.
“We open the season with Conor McPherson’s beautiful new play—the fourth of his works that Steppenwolf has produced. Henry Wishcamper is a longtime friend and collaborator of Conor’s, having directed many of his works, including Port Authority at Atlantic Theater in New York, which was deeply moving and exquisitely done. We look forward to reuniting the pair for the Chicago premiere of The Night Alive,” shares Artistic Director Martha Lavey.
Often described as one of the greatest living playwrights, Conor McPherson’s plays include The Weir (Laurence Olivier, Evening Standard Award, Critics’ Circle and George Devine Awards); Shining City (Tony Award nomination for Best Play); The Seafarer (Laurence Olivier, Evening Standard and Tony Award nominations for Best Play); Rum and Vodka; The Good Thief; This Lime Tree Bower; St. Nicholas; Dublin Carol; Port Authority; Come On Over; Poor Beast in the Rain; and The Veil, among other adaptations and films.
Henry Wishcamper most recently directed Conor McPherson’s adaptation of The Dance of Death at Writers Theatre. He also directed McPherson’s Port Authority at Atlantic Theater Company; the American premiere of The Birds at Guthrie Theater; The Seafarer at TheaterWorks; and The Good Thief at Portland Stage Company. Wishcamper has served as the assistant director of the Broadway productions of McPherson’s Shining City as well as August: Osage County by ensemble member Tracy Letts. He is a Resident Artistic Associate at Goodman Theatre, where his directing credits include Animal Crackers, Talking Pictures, Other Desert Cities, A Christmas Carol and Ask Aunt Susan.
The cast of The Night Alive features: Ensemble members Francis Guinan and Tim Hopper with Helen Sadler, Dan Waller and M. Emmet Walsh. Francis Guinan has appeared in more than 30 Steppenwolf productions including McPherson’s The Seafarer, as well as Tribes, The Birthday Party, The Book Thief, Endgame, American Buffalo andAugust: Osage County. Tim Hopper has been an ensemble member since 1989, most recently performing in Russian Transport and Head of Passes. Helen Sadler returns to Steppenwolf where she was last seen in Tribes. Dan Waller last appeared on the Steppenwolf stage in Three Sisters in 2012. M. Emmet Walsh comes to Steppenwolf with several seasons of regional theatre experience and years on Broadway, in addition to the revival of Sam Shepard’s Buried Child at the National Theatre. His most recent film Calvary, which is currently in release, caps a body of work that includes 114 feature films, including Blood Simple, Blade Runner, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Raising Arizona and Ordinary People.
The production team for The Night Alive includes: Todd Rosenthal (scenic design), Rachel Anne Healy (costume design), Richard Woodbury (sound design and original music), Keith Parham (lighting design), Matt Hawkins (fight choreography) and Cecilie O’Reilly (dialect coach). Additional credits include: Erica Daniels (casting), Deb Styer(stage manager) and Michelle Medvin (assistant stage manager).
Tickets to The Night Alive ($20 – $82) go on sale Friday, August 8 at 11am through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org. 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 using promo code “NIGHT15”. 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, visit steppenwolf.org/groups.
Steppenwolf’s 2014/15 season explores the question, How did I get here?, through five stories about losing—and finding—your way. Do you ever catch yourself in the rearview mirror and think: How did I get here? A jolt of fear. A flash of inspiration. The past may be a mystery, but the future is up for grabs. Are you completely lost? Or are you exactly where you are supposed to be?
Accessible performances include an American Sign Language interpretation on October 26 at 7:30pm, open captioning on November 1 at 3pm and an audio description on November 9 at 3pm. For more information, visit steppenwolf.org/access.
Free post-show discussions are offered after every performance in the Subscription Season. Steppenwolf is located near all forms of public transportation and is wheelchair accessible. Street, lot and valet parking are available. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance.
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 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 steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatreand twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr.
The 2014/15 Subscription Season also includes Airline Highway by Lisa D’Amour, directed by Joe Mantello (December 4, 2014 – February 8, 2015) in the Downstairs Theatre; Marie Antoinette by David Adjmi, directed by Robert O’Hara (February 5 – May 10, 2015) in the Upstairs Theatre; The Herd by Rory Kinnear, directed by ensemble member Frank Galati (April 2 – June 7, 2015) in the Downstairs Theatre; and Grand Concourse by Heidi Schreck, directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov (July 2 – August 30, 2015) in the Downstairs Theatre.