With live programming currently on hiatus, Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre will offer its members virtual spring and summer performances. The lineup includes an insider Zoom reading of Seagull, the play that will open Steppenwolf’s new building in 2021; a radio-play production of Arthur Miller’s The American Clock featuring more than 30 ensemble ensemble members; and an online version of Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney’s In the Red and Brown Water.
Kicking things off in May will be the virtual reading of Seagull, translated, adapted and directed by Yasen Peyankov. Available for streaming May 14–27 for Steppenwolf members exclusively, the cast will be made up of Ian Barford, Cliff Chamberlain, Francis Guinan, Tim Hopper, Sandra Marquez, James Vincent Meredith, Amy Morton, Caroline Neff, Karen Rodriguez, and Namir Smallwood.
On May 14, all active members will receive an email from Steppenwolf with their unique login username and password, as well as viewing instructions.
In June, more than 30 Steppenwolf ensemble members will tackle the 50-plus roles in a radio play rendition of Miller's The American Clock. Austin Pendleton directs a cast made up of Joan Allen, Kate Arrington, Barford, Robert Breuler, Chamberlain, Gary Cole, Celeste M. Cooper, Glenn Davis, Kathryn Erbe, Audrey Francis, K. Todd Freeman, Guinan, Jon Michael Hill, Hopper, Ora Jones, Terry Kinney, Tina Landau, John Malkovich, Marquez, Meredith, Laurie Metcalf, Morton, Sally Murphy, Neff, Austin Pendleton, Jeff Perry, William Petersen, Yasen Peyankov, Molly Regan, Rodriguez, Anna D. Shapiro, Smallwood, and Lois Smith. Pendleton will also perform.
In July, McCraney teams up with director and longtime collaborator Tina Landau for a virtual reading of In the Red and Brown Water. First seen at Steppenwolf in 2010 as part of The Brother/Sister Plays, the online reading of the play will feature many ensemble members reprising their roles along with special guests.
The American Clock is scheduled to stream in mid-June and In the Red and Brown Water is scheduled to stream in July with casting to be announced.
“Challenging times call for bold choices. While we couldn't bring our Members every play this season, through these three projects we’re creating ensemble experiences so unique and unprecedented that even we don’t know quite what to expect," says Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro. "Despite our physical distance, our ensemble has been working more closely than ever to create work that sparks joy, curiosity and empathy and to show our members how much they mean to us.”