Chicago NewsSteppenwolf to Launch 2020–2021 Season With World Premiere of Good Night, and Good LuckThe lineup also includes a new Seagull, a Tarell Alvin McCraney-Robert O'Hara collaboration, and plays by Vichet Chum, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, and Bess Wohl.
March 04, 2020
Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre will launch its 2020–2021 season with the world premiere of Matt Charman's adaption of the Oscar-nominated film, Good Night, and Good Luck. The recently unveiled season will also feature a new version Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, inaugurating Steppenwolf's new in-the-round space, a Tarell Alvin McCraney-Robert O'Hara collaboration, as well as plays by Vichet Chum, Bess Wohl, and Donnetta Lavinia Grays.
Kicking things off in October will be Good Night, and Good Luck, a new play by Bridge of Spies writer Charman, based on the Oscar-nominated screenplay by George Clooney and Grant Heslov. Artistic director Anna D. Shapiro (The Minutes, August: Osage County) will helm the world premiere, featuring ensemble members Alana Arenas, Ian Barford, Audrey Francis, Tom Irwin and William Petersen, along with Jordan Brodess, Keith Gallagher, and Joey Slotnick. The October 22–December 20 run in the upstairs theatre is presented by special arrangement by Jean Doumanian, Robert Fox, Clooney and Heslov.
Beginning in December in the downstairs theatre, Steppenwolf will present the world premiere of Chum's Bald Sisters. Developed at the Chicago theatre as part of the SCOUT new play series, the play follows a Cambodian-American family as they plan the funeral of their indomitable matriarch. Performances will run through February 7, 2021, with a director and cast to be announced.
In the new year, the upstairs theatre will welcome the Chicago premiere of Wohl's Barcelona, about an American woman who stumbles into the arms of an older handsome stranger in the Spanish city. Trip Cullman will direct the production, which will run January 28–March 14 and will star ensemble member Caroline Neff.
The season will feature a second Chicago premiere, of Donnetta Lavinia Grays' Last Night and The Night Before, a portrait of Black love and family in all its complexities. Valerie Curtis-Newton directs the production, which will run April 1–May 26, 2021 in the downstairs theatre, featuring ensemble member Namir Smallwood.
During the summer in the downstairs theatre, ensemble member McCraney will team up with O'Hara for a new production of McCraney's play with music, Choir Boy. Recently seen on Broadway, the play follows a group of seniors at the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, an institute committed to building strong, ethical Black men. Performances will run June 10–August 1, featuring ensemble members James Vincent Meredith and Austin Pendleton (seen on Broadway).
Rounding out the 2020–2021 season will be Seagull, ensemble member Yasen Peyankov’s world-premiere adaptation of the classic Chekhov play. Written and directed by Peyankov, the production will open Steppenwolf's new theatre-in-the-round for a run scheduled July 24–September 12, 2021. Ensemble members Ian Barford, Cliff Chamberlain, Francis Guinan, Tim Hopper, Sandra Marquez, James Vincent Meredith, Caroline Neff, Karen Rodriguez, and Namir Smallwood will make up the cast.
“This season—and 45 years after the lights went on in Highland Park—Steppenwolf will open our new building, completing a campus worthy of the artists whose commitment to excellence, truth and bravery continues to inspire our city,” artistic director Shapiro says of the expansion. The new 50,000-square foot building features a 400-seat theatre. The second phase of Steppenwolf’s multi-year campus expansion, including an education floor, new lobby, and more, will be visible at the start of the 2020–21 Season.
The move comes after the resignation of the theatre's 2020 cohort, along with its artistic director and board chair, citing similar allegations about a lack of transparency and commitment to diversity and inclusion.