Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Thiw winter, Steppenwolf will again unveil Linda Vista, a new work by award-winning playwright and ensemble member Tracy Letts. (photo by Jim Luning).
Steppenwolf Theatre Company will present the world premiere production of Linda Vista by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright and Steppenwolf ensemble member Tracy Letts. The production will be directed by Dexter Bullard. A hilarious and complex exploration of a modern misanthrope, the cast features ensemble members Ian Barford (Wheeler), Tim Hopper (Paul), Sally Murphy (Margaret) and Caroline Neff (Anita) with Kahyun Kim (Minnie),Cora Vander Broek (Jules) and Troy West (Michael). This is the fifth world premiere production by Tracy Letts that Steppenwolf has produced.
In the new work, Wheeler is 50. His marriage is over, his job is mundane, and the best years of his life appear to be behind him. However, a move from the cot in his ex-wife’s garage to his own apartment opens up new possibilities for love and sex—complicated, painful and hilarious. Full of opinions, yet short on self-examination, Wheeler is a modern misanthrope who must reconcile the man he has become with the man he wants to be.
Linda Vista adds to an impressive body of work for Tracy Letts, who has authored such works as Mary Page Marlowe, The Scavenger’s Daughter, Superior Donuts, the Pulizer Prize- and Tony Award-wining August: Osage County, Man from Nebraska (PulitzerPrize finalist), Bug and Killer Joe. Also a prolific actor, Letts has appeared on Broadway in Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses and Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role). His film appearances are numerous and include Lady Bird, The Lovers, Elvis and Nixon and The Big Short. His television appearances include HBO’s Divorce, Sienfeld and two seasons as Sen. Lockharton on Showtime’s Homeland. He is perhaps known best for his stage appearances at Steppenwolf, including a powerful turn in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, American Buffalo, Betrayal, among a host of other acclaimed productions.
Director for Linda Vista, Dexter Bullard has strong ties with Steppenwolf, having directed Annie Baker’s The Flick last season to critical acclaim. He directed Letts’s Bug at the Barrow Street Theater, for which he received the 2004 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Direction Off-Broadway. He has directed for Steppenwolf’s First Look Repertory of New Work in 2006 and2013. Additional directing credits include Craig Wright's Grace on Broadway, Roy Williams' Sucker Punch and Annie Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation at Victory Gardens. He is the head of Graduate Acting and Showcase Artistic Director with The Theatre School at DePaul University.
The Linda Vista production team includes Todd Rosenthal (scenic design), Laura Bauer (costume design), Marcus Doshi (lighting design), Richard Woodbury (sound design) and Gigi Buffington (Company Vocal Coach).
Linda Vista begins previews March 30,2017 and the production runs through May 21, 2017 in the Downstairs Theatre,1650 N Halsted Street.
Single tickets ($20-$89) go on sale January 27, 2017. Call 312.335.1650 or visit steppenwolf.org.