Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre has unveiled casting for the first four productions of the 2019–2020 season: Lauren Yee's The Great Leap (September 5–October 20); The Brothers Size by ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney (October 2–19); Lindiwe by ensemble member Eric Simonson (November 7–January 5, 2020); and Clare Barron's Dance Nation (December 12–February 2, 2020).
The season begins with the Chicago premiere of Yee’s The Great Leap, directed by Jesca Prudencio and featuring a cast made up of Glenn Obrero, Deanna Myers, Keith Kupferer, and James Seol. The play, seen Off-Broadway last year, follows an American basketball team traveling to Beijing amidst the throes of China’s post-Cultural Revolution.
Patrick Agada, Manny Buckley, and Rashaad Hall will make up the cast of The Brothers Size, a Steppenwolf for Young Adults production helmed by Monty Cole. In McCraney's intimate and complex portrayal of brotherhood, the Oscar-winning writer weaves together poetry, music, and Yoruba mythology.
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Joining the previously announced Ladysmith Black Mambazo in Lindiwe (which is co-directed by Simonson and features music by Mambazo) will be South African stage and screen star Nondumiso Tembe, making her Steppenwolf debut in the title role. A love story that travels from Chicago’s Kingston Mines to South Africa and beyond, Lindiwe challenges us to define the boundaries between this world and the next, all the while exploring the sacrifices we make for love.
The cast also includes ensemble member Yasen Peyankov, Cedric Young, Buddy Fambro, Frank Russell, and Erik Hellman.
In Dance Nation, Lee Sunday Evans (who directed the play Off-Broadway) returns to direct a cast that includes Ariana N. Burks, Ellen Maddow (also seen Off-Broadway), Michael Patrick Thornton, Shanésia Davis, and Adithi Chandrashekar. They join the previously announced ensemble members Audrey Francis, Caroline Neff, Tim Hopper, and Karen Rodriguez. In Barron's Relentless Award-winning play, a pre-teen dance troupe navigates ambition, friendship, and desire as they claw their way to Nationals in Tampa Bay.
For more information, visit Steppenwolf.org.