This spring Steppenwolf Theatre opens its stunning new in-the-round Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell, the centerpiece of the theater company’s recently unveiled Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center.
The new space will launch with Steppenwolf ensemble member Yasen Peyankov’s extraordinarily funny and lyrical adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Seagull, April 28–June 12, 2022 (opening May 8).
Yasen Peyankov directs the production, featuring Steppenwolf co-founder Jeff Perry and fellow ensemble members Sandra Marquez, Caroline Neff, Karen Rodriguez, Eric Simonson and Namir Smallwood, alongside Keith Kupferer, Jon Hudson Odom, Elijah Newman, Joey Slotnick and Lusia Strus. Scott Jaeck will be stepping in for Jeff Perry for performances May 24–June 5. Three generations of Steppenwolf’s acclaimed ensemble collide in classic Chekhovian style in this play set over a long summer weekend in the Russian countryside, where guests wrestle with the eternal questions that haunt the intellectual artist class: What is Love? What is Art? When is Lunch? This historic moment in Steppenwolf history marks a new era of theater-making for the company in their new artistic home.
Designed by world-renowned architect Gordon Gill FAIA of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the new state-of-the-art 400-seat theater in-the-round is one of its kind in Chicago, with theater design and acoustics by Charcoalblue. Only six rows deep—with audience members never more than 20 feet from the stage—and featuring a modular staging system to vary audience capacity and experience, Charcoalblue designed the incredibly intimate Ensemble Theater from the inside out to integrate the theater into the fabric of the surrounding building.
The opening of the Ensemble Theater with a multigenerational cast stacked with Steppenwolf ensemble members is the culmination of a season-long celebration of the new Arts and Education Center. Steppenwolf Theatre Company now has an intimate, highly experimental cultural campus that doubles down on education, enhances audience engagement, and invites all of Chicago to experience its cutting-edge theater.
Single tickets to Seagull ($20- $88) are on sale now at steppenwolf.org and 312-335-1650.
The production is part of Steppenwolf’s 4-Play Deal for $150 that also includes ensemble member Rajiv Joseph’s King James, Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man and the Pool and ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy.
The creative team is hilighted by Todd Rosenthal (Scenic Design); Ana Kuzmanic (Costume Design); Marcus Doshi (Lighting Design); Pornchanok (Nok) Kanchanabanca (Sound Designer and Composition); and Dassia N. Posner (Dramaturg); For full cast and creative team bios, visit https://www.steppenwolf.org/tickets-events/seasons/2021-22/seagull/
Steppenwolf is part of the growing coalition of more than 70 Chicagoland performing arts venues and producers that have agreed upon COVID-19 vaccination and mask requirements for all audiences, artists and staff. Audience members must provide proof of vaccination in addition to wearing masks. For more information about Steppenwolf’s guidelines, visit steppenwolf.org/welcomeback.