Pictured: Hallie Gordon
Steppenwolf Theatre Company announced today that it will create a new department, “Steppenwolf Education,” under which the Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) program will be housed. In addition to youth productions, the department will oversee educator training, teen programming and an expanded model for community partnerships, allowing Steppenwolf to reach neighborhoods and communities in new ways.
Hallie Gordon, who has served as Artistic Director for SYA for more than 15 years, will continue to curate the season for SYA. Megan Shuchman, who has worked with Steppenwolf’s education team for the past seven seasons, has stepped into the new role of Director of Education, alongside Education Coordinator, Jared Bellot.
Says Executive Director David Schmitz of this change, “The creation of Steppenwolf Education puts education in the heart of all we do at Steppenwolf and better aligns our vision for the mission of this theater with our vital education programs.”
Steppenwolf also announced the 17/18 Steppenwolf for Young Adults season, which will explore the question “When you say it enough, does a lie become the truth?” The two-show season begins with THE CRUCIBLE, the Arthur Miller classic, directed by Steppenwolf Artistic Producer Jonathan Berry, and is followed the world premiere of THE BURN, by Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins and directed by Devon de Mayo.
“Written in response to the spread of McCarthyism, Arthur Miller’s classic work THE CRUCIBLE explores a paranoid witch hunt and its very real consequences,” said SYA Artistic Director Hallie Gordon. “In conversation with this epic drama, we are proud to present an SYA commission, the world premiere of Philip Dawkins’s THE BURN, a modern telling of the way social media blurs the lines of truth and fiction and paves the way for new kinds of witch hunts in 2018.”
Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ 2017/18 Season (from the press release):
Written by Arthur Miller
Directed by Jonathan Berry
October 4 – October 21, 2017
In the Downstairs Theatre
Since its premiere in 1953, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, a masterful and chilling portrayal of the historic Salem Witch Trials and an allegory for the rise of McCarthyism in the late 1940s, has rightfully become an American classic serving as both a cautionary tale and provocation that compels each generation to reflect upon the harrowing world it portrays.
The people of Salem are whipped into a bloodthirsty frenzy by a series of escalating misinterpretations after a group of teenage girls are accused of dancing devilishly in the woods. Rather than face consequences for their actions, the girls begin a chain of finger-pointing until neighbor turns against neighbor, whispers become testimony, fabrications become facts, and a once powerless teenage girl suddenly has the ability to decide the fate of all those around her. As the hearts of the townsfolk become poisoned, even virtuous farmer and family man John Proctor is falsely accused of witchcraft and must fight a corrupt court to protect his good name.
A new play by Philip Dawkins
Directed by Devon de Mayo
February 14 – March 3, 2018
In the Upstairs Theatre
Mercedes is an outsider. Tara makes sure she knows it. When a high school production of The Crucible forces them together, tensions escalate into acts of bullying—both online and IRL. This world premiere play explores what happens to a teacher and his students when a classroom conflict turns into an online witch-hunt.
The Burn was commissioned by Steppenwolf for Young Adults.