Steppenwolf Welcomes Two New Ensemble Members

Steppenwolf Welcomes Two New Ensemble Members

Pictured: Rajiv Joseph and Karen Rodriguez

Steppenwolf Theatre Company has announced the addition of Rajiv Joseph and Karen Rodriguez to the ensemble.

An Obie Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize finalist playwright, Rajiv Joseph’s “Guards at the Taj” was produced at Steppenwolf this past May. “It’s a tremendous honor to be invited to be a part of this legendary community of theatre artists,” said Joseph. “Steppenwolf’s commitment to adventurous and political art makes them, in my mind, one of the most important theaters in the country and the world. I’m humbled and energized to join their ranks.”

Karen Rodriguez, a celebrated Chicago-based actor, recently performed at Steppenwolf in “The Doppelgänger (an international farce)” and “The Rembrandt,” and will be featured in this season’s world premiere of Isaac Gomez’s “La Ruta” in a role written specifically for her. “I don’t think I have ever felt more alive, electric onstage than at Steppenwolf,” said Rodriguez. “It has been a place where I have been able to explore the depths of humanity and imagine myself in all walks of life, without limit, amongst inspiring artists. So to be able to call this my artistic home…there are no words. I am completely humbled and excited for what’s to come.”

“Rajiv’s work is extraordinary both for its breadth and its depth, nothing short of a truly dazzling range,” said Steppenwolf Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro. “He is not only a gifted theatre maker, he is a constructive and inspiring collaborator and truly one of the smartest and kindest people I’ve ever met. Karen’s work is always vibrant, original and so, so brave. A grand comedienne already, a truthful and connected acting partner at all times, Karen embodies everything we value in our company and everything we want to see on our stages. We are deeply grateful to have these two exceptional artists joining our family.”

The pair are the eighth and ninth to join the esnemble since  Shapiro began as Artistic Director in 2015, along with Cliff Chamberlain, Celeste M. Cooper, Glenn Davis, Audrey Francis, Sandra Marquez, Caroline Neff and Namir Smallwood. The other members of the ensemble are Joan Allen, Kevin Anderson, Alana Arenas, Randall Arney, Kate Arrington, Ian Barford, Robert Breuler, Gary Cole, Kathryn Erbe, K. Todd Freeman, Frank Galati, Francis Guinan, Moira Harris, Jon Michael Hill, Tim Hopper, Tom Irwin, Rajiv Joseph, Ora Jones, Terry Kinney, Tina Landau, Martha Lavey*, Tracy Letts, John Mahoney*, John Malkovich, Mariann Mayberry*, Tarell Alvin McCraney, James Vincent Meredith, Laurie Metcalf, Amy Morton, Sally Murphy, Bruce Norris, Austin Pendleton, Jeff Perry, William Petersen, Yasen Peyankov, Martha Plimpton, Rondi Reed, Molly Regan, Karen Rodriguez, Anna D. Shapiro, Eric Simonson, Gary Sinise, Lois Smith, Rick Snyder, Jim True-Frost and Alan Wilder. *In Memoriam

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