Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Tony Award-winning director Anna D. Shapiro will direct Steppenwolf ensemble member Tracy Letts' new play, Mary Page Marlowe, in Steppenwolf's new 2015-2016 season. Shapiro was tapped to succeed acclaimed director Martha Lavey as artistic director for Steppenwolf Theatre at the end of the current season, marking 22 years at the helm of the artistic ensemble (photo courtesy of Steppenwolf Theatre).
Steppenwolf Theatre Company announced this week the full cast for the first show of its 40th Anniversary Season, the world premiere production of John Steinbeck’s sweeping masterpiece East of Eden, adapted by ensemble member Frank Galati and directed by Steppenwolf co-founder and ensemble member Terry Kinney. Galati’s 1988 adaptation of Steppenwolf’s The Grapes of Wrath won him two Tony Awards and first catapulted Steppenwolf into the national spotlight.
The powerhouse cast for East of Eden features ensemble members Kate Arrington as Cathy Trask, Francis Guinan as Samuel Hamilton, Tim Hopper as Adam Trask and Alan Wilder as Dr. Murphy and Mr. Bacon. The cast will also include Casey Thomas Brown as Aron Trask, Aaron Himelstein as Caleb Trask, Elizabeth Laidlaw as Eva/Mrs. Bacon/Nurse, Stephen Park as Lee, Brittany Uomoleale as Abra Bacon and Dan Waller as Joe and Will Hamilton. The production is a reunion of sorts for Guinan, Hopper, Wilder and Kinney, all who appeared in Galati’s 1988 adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath. East of Eden begins previews September 17, 2015 and runs through November 15, 2015 in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre.
Additionally, Steppenwolf ensemble member and Tony Award-winning director Anna D. Shapiro will direct ensemble member Tracy Letts’s ambitious new play, Mary Page Marlowe, featuring a 17-member cast to be announced in the coming months. An ensemble member since 2005, Shapiro has directed several acclaimed Steppenwolf productions including three of Letts’s plays: August: Osage County (2008 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Letts’s adaptation of Three Sisters and Man from Nebraska. Most recently, Shapiro directed Steppenwolf’s production of This Is Our Youth and Larry David’s Fish in the Dark on Broadway.
Steppenwolf announced earlier this season that Shapiro would succeed Martha Lavey as artistic director at the start of the 2015-2016 season.
Lavey, who will have served 20 years as Steppenwolf artistic director at the conclusion of this season, has been cast alongside fellow ensemble members Alana Arenas, Tom Irwin, and Mariann Mayberry in Domesticated, a Chicago premiere production written and directed by Steppenwolf ensemble member and Pulitzer Prize-winner Bruce Norris. Domesticated runs December 3, 2015 – February 7, 2016 in thSteppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre.
East of Eden begins previews September 17, 2015 and runs through November 15, 2015 in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre.
For more information about Steppenwolf’s 40th anniversary season programming and casting, visit steppenwolf.org or call 312.335.1650 to subscribe to the upcoming new season.