Steep Theatre Announces 18-19 Season

Steep Theatre Announces 18-19 Season

Pictured: Amelia Roper

Steep Theatre has announced the plays and directors that make up its 18th season, featuring a world premiere from Chicago playwright Ike Holter (the sixth in his Chicago-set series) a production of Alistair McDowall’s 2015 London hit PAMONA, and Chicago debut productions from acclaimed writers Amelia Roper and Rita Kalnejais.

“These playwrights are four of the most distinctive and thrilling voices in theater right now and I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring their work and their utterly unique worlds to life in our theater,” said Artistic Director Peter Moore. “This season is going to be a wild ride from start to finish and I am equal parts excited and terrified – in just the right way.”

The season kicks off in October with the Chicago debut of Amelia Roper’s ZÜRICH, directed by Brad DeFabo Akin. ZÜRICH premiered this past spring in New York to critical acclaim. Roper is a Los Angeles-based playwright and screenwriter who is currently working on the Netflix/Jenji Kohan show GLOW. In January, Jonathan Berry directs the world premiere of Ike Holter’s RED REX, the sixth of the seven-play “Rightlynd Saga.” LOTTERY DAY, the final play in the series, will open in the spring at the Goodman.

April brings the Chicago premiere of Rita Kalnejais’ FIRST LOVE IS THE REVOLUTION, with a director yet to be announced. Kalnejais has been produced extensively in Australia and London in recent years, but Steep’s production will the Chicago debut of her work. Alistair McDowall’s POMONA closes the season in a production directed by Robin Witt. McDowall was the playwright behind Steep’s 2015 hit BRILLIANT ADVENTURES.

In addition to the selection of mainstage productions, Steep will collaborate with Chicago Sinfonietta on the Chicago premiere of ELLIS ISLAND: THE DREAM OF AMERICA, which brings to life the immigrant experience through true stories told by seven actors, video projections, and a score by Peter Boyer. Steep Ensemble Member George Cederquist will direct the acting portion. Cabaret performances will also be presented throughout the year in Steep’s new lounge venue dubbed The Boxcar, next door to the company’s Edgewater theater.

Steep Theatre’s 2018-2019 Season (descriptions from the press release):

By Amelia Roper
Directed by Brad DeFabo Akin
October 4 – November 10, 2018

Forty floors up, behind the windows of a posh Swiss hotel, a man sings, a maid cleans, children run wild, a banker makes things difficult, and one elderly woman’s fight against a corrupt world order changes everything. Or nothing. Disturbingly funny, Amelia Roper’s ZÜRICH dives below the surface of lives lived in the moments before.

By Ike Holter
Directed by Jonathan Berry
January 24 – March 2, 2019

A small theater company moves into an abandoned Chicago storefront. Lead by their adventurously thirsty artistic director, they embark on an explosive new play with the hope of finally breaking it big. When the ensemble realizes their source material might not be as original as once assumed, they are thrust into an intense confrontation with residents of their new community, who not only want them out, but will take their story back by any means necessary. RED REX is the sixth play in Ike Holter’s seven-part “Rightlynd saga,” which also includes EXIT STRATEGY, PROWESS, and THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE BLOCK.

By Rita Kalnejais
April 18 – May 25, 2019

Basti is having a rough go of it without his mom and Rdeca is struggling just to make her first kill. But when this 14 year-old boy and this young fox connect, the world just seems to make a whole lot more sense. Rita Kalnejais’FIRST LOVE IS THE REVOLUTION is a wild take on the timeless tale of star-crossed lovers – from different sides of the animal kingdom.

By Alistair McDowall
Directed by Robin Witt
July 18 – August 24, 2019
When Ollie’s sister goes missing her search leads her to Pomona – a bleak, concrete island in the middle of a scarred city. Part thriller, part fantastical puzzle, Alistair McDowall’sPOMONA twists and turns its way into the dark heart of a world built on pain and suffering and asks the question – is it even possible to be good anymore?

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About author

Jason Epperson

Jason is a producer, manager, and designer with 17 years of experience in Chicago, New York, and in the touring market. In 2015, he founded Lotus Theatricals - the publisher of Performink, and an independent commercial producing company - with Abigail Trabue.