TONY AWARD-WINNER PAM MACKINNON STAGES THE WORLD PREMIERE OF THE QUALMS BY BRUCE NORRIS ENSEMBLE MEMBER BRUCE NORRIS’S NEW PLAY ABOUT THE ETERNAL STRUGGLE FOR POWER, STATUS AND GETTING LAID IS IN THE DOWNSTAIRS THEATRE, JULY 3 – AUGUST 31, 2014

imagesRehearsals are underway for Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s world-premiere production of The Qualms by ensemble member Bruce Norris. This provocative comedy marks Steppenwolf’s eighth production and seventh world premiere by the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning author of Clybourne Park. Tony Award-winner Pam MacKinnon (Steppenwolf’s production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) directs a cast of nine featuring ensemble member Kate Arrington with Owais Ahmed, Karen Aldridge, Diane Davis, Kirsten Fitzgerald,Keith Kupferer, David Pasquesi, Paul Oakley Stovall and Greg Stuhr. The Qualms begins previews July 3, 2014 (opening night is July 13) and runs through August 31, 2014 in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Tickets ($20 – 86) are on sale now at steppenwolf.org.

At a beachside apartment complex, a group of friends gathers for their regular evening of food, drink, drugs and partner-swapping. When Chris (Stuhr) and Kristy (Davis) attempt to become the newest members, the evening does not go as planned. The artichoke dip grows cold as the party devolves into a territorial battle over mating privileges. Does sex ruin everything? And what is the purpose of monogamy? Bruce Norris’s comedy explores the eternal struggle for power, status and getting laid.

“I love that the play gets so quickly to the question of status and power,” notes Artistic Director Martha Lavey, “because status and power are precisely what the dominant social narrative both wields and conceals. We accept fidelity in marriage or a committed partnership as ‘natural.’ But, Bruce asks, is it? If fidelity is “natural” why is so much energy devoted to corralling the desire of one’s partner?”

The cast of The Qualms features ensemble member Kate Arrington (Teri) with Owais Ahmed (Delivery Boy), Karen Aldridge (Regine), Diane Davis(Kristy), Kirsten Fitzgerald (Deb), Keith Kupferer (Gary), David Pasquesi (Roger), Paul Oakley Stovall (Ken) and Greg Stuhr (Chris).

The production team for The Qualms includes: Todd Rosenthal (scenic design), Janice Pytel (costume design), Russell H. Champa (lighting design) and Rick Sims (sound design). Additional credits include: Erica Daniels (casting), Matt Hawkins (fight choreographer), Cecilie O’Reilly (dialect coach), Laura D. Glenn (stage manager) and Christine D. Freeburg (assistant stage manager).

Tickets to The Qualms ($20 – $86) are on sale now 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. 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.

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, valet and lot 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 Workand 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/steppenwolftheatre and twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr.