Steppenwolf Theatre Company has been awarded a major grant from the newly formed Roy Cockrum Foundation, which will provide major support for the world premiere production of Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Steppenwolf ensemble member Tracy Letts’s intimate new play, Mary Page Marlowe in the 2015-2016 season. This gift is one of two grants the foundation has bestowed; the other being to Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in support of Robert Falls' and Seth Bockley's world premiere stage adaptation of Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño’s masterpiece, 2666. By invitation only, The Roy Cockrum Foundation awards grants to support world-class performing arts projects in not-for-profit professional American theaters. The aim of the foundation is enable theaters to reach beyond their normal scope of activities and undertake ambitious and creative productions.
“I believe Tracy Letts is one of the great playwrights of our time, said Roy Cockrum, a Northwestern University alum who spent more than two decades working as an actor and stage manager for theater and television. “It is necessary that we as a society support our artists’ big dreams and financially enable our important theater companies such as Steppenwolf to create new contributions to the theatrical canon.”
“We are honored by the remarkable support of The Roy Cockrum Foundation that will allow us to develop and produce an ambitious new play by one of our ensemble members,” noted Martha Lavey, Steppenwolf Theater artistic director. “Roy’s vision to enable theaters to produce work of extraordinary ambition and scale is inspired. It is a testament to the cultural vitality of our city that the Foundation has selected two Chicago theaters as the recipients of its first grants, and it is a privilege to join the Goodman Theatre in this honor.”
Tracy Letts won the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for his play August: Osage County. His latest play, Mary Page Marlowe, will debut as part of the Steppenwolf 2015-2016 subscription season, March 31 – May 29, 2016 in their Downstairs Theatre.
Steppenwolf has produced the world premieres of Tracy Letts’s August: Osage County (transferred to Broadway, London’s National Theatre and the Sydney Theatre); Superior Donuts (transferred to Broadway); and Man from Nebraska (premiered at Steppenwolf in 2003, Pulitzer Prize finalist). Letts received a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for Steppenwolf’s production of Edward Albee’s Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Letts, a Steppenwolf ensemble member since 2002, can currently be seen in Showtime's Homeland in the role of Andrew Lockhart.
For additional information about Steppenwolf’s 2015-2016 season, visit steppenwolf.org.
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Northwestern Alum, Roy Cockrum, whose foundation has awarded both Steppenwolf and Goodman Theatres major grant awards to support new works (photo courtesy of The Roy Cockrum Foundation).