Steppenwolf Announces Casting for First Half of 19-20 Season

Steppenwolf Theatre Company has announced the actors slated for the first four productions of the upcoming 2019-2020 season: “The Great Leap” by Lauren Yee, Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ production of “The Brothers Size” by ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney, “Lindiwe” by ensemble member Eric Simonson, and “Dance Nation” by Clare Barron.

Single tickets to “The Great Leap” go on sale this Friday, July 26 at 11 am. Classic and Flex Memberships are currently available at 312-335-1650 or

Casting for the four productions follows (show descriptions from a press release):

Chicago Premiere
“The Great Leap”
By Lauren Yee
Directed by Jesca Prudencio
September 5 – October 20, 2019
In the Upstairs Theatre

The cast features (Pictured L to R) Glenn Obrero (Manford), Deanna Myers (Connie), Keith Kupferer (Saul) and James Seol (Wen Chang).

“When an American basketball team travels to Beijing amidst tensions in the late 80s, past relationships collide with present-day revelations. Witty and weighty, this Chicago premiere explores cultural barriers, political risks and personal sacrifice. Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap is sure to be compelling to basketball fans, history buffs and everyone who has ever had a dream.”

Steppenwolf for Young Adults
“The Brothers Size”
By ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney
Directed by Monty Cole
October 02 – October 19, 2019
In the Downstairs Theatre

The cast features (Pictured L to R) Patrick Agada (Oshoosi Size), Manny Buckley (Ogun Size) and Rashaad Hall (Elegba)

“Ogun Size is hardworking and heartbroken. Oshoosi Size is recently returned home from prison and trying to be anywhere but. In this fierce and honest look at the complex bonds of brotherhood, McCraney weaves together poetry, music and Yoruba mythology to magnify the tug-of-war between freedom and the need to belong somewhere, to something, to someone.”

World Premiere
By ensemble member Eric Simonson
Music by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Directed by ensemble member Eric Simonson and Jonathan Berry
Featuring ensemble member Yassen Peyankov and LadySmith Black Mambazo
November 7, 2019 – January 5, 2020
In the Downstairs Theatre

The cast features (pictured top row L to R) Nondumiso Tembe (Lindiwe), ensemble member Yasen Peyankov (Keeper), Cedric Young (Mkhulu), Buddy Fambro (guitarist), Frank Russell (bassist), Erik Hellman (Adam) and (pictured bottom row) Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

“The evocative live music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo [South Africa’s five-time GRAMMY Award-winning singing group founded in the early 1960s] forms the foundation of this Steppenwolf world premiere production written and co-directed by ensemble member Eric Simonson. As the story travels from Chicago’s Kingston Mines to South Africa and beyond, Lindiwe’s love story challenges us to define the boundaries between this world and the next, all the while exploring the sacrifices we make for love.”

Chicago Premiere
“Dance Nation”
By Clare Barron
Directed and choreographed by Lee Sunday Evans
Featuring ensemble members Audrey Francis, Tim Hopper, Caroline Neff and Karen Rodriguez
December 12, 2019 – February 2, 2020
In the Upstairs Theatre

The cast features (pictured top row, L to R) previously announced ensemble members Audrey Francis (The Moms/Vanessa), Caroline Neff (Zuzu), Tim Hopper (Dance Teacher Pat) and Karen Rodriguez (Amina) with (pictured bottom row, L to R) Ariana N. Burks (Sofia), Ellen Maddow (Maeve), Michael Patrick Thornton (Luke), Shanésia Davis (Ashlee) and Adithi Chandrashekar (Connie).

“A pre-teen dance troupe navigates ambition, friendship and desire as they claw their way to Nationals in Tampa Bay. Featuring a multigenerational cast of women playing our pre-teen heroines, this Chicago premiere is fiercely funny, theatrically inventive and full of heart.”

Steppenwolf’s 44th season also features “Bug” by ensemble member Tracy Letts, directed by David Cromer; “The Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington,” a Chicago premiere by James Ijames, directed by Whitney White; “King James,” a world premiere by ensemble member Rajiv Joseph, directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro; and Catch as Catch Can, a Chicago premiere by Mia Chung, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll.

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