Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) announced today it will produce We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South West Africa, From the German Südwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 by Jackie Sibblies Drury as the second production in the 2018/19 season. SYA Artistic Director Hallie Gordon co-directs with Gabrielle Randle. SYA’s 2018/19 Season explores the question, “When you feel lost, how do you find your way?”
We Are Proud to Present a Presentation…will be produced in place of the previously announced production of Radical, a new play inspired by the book White American Youth by Christian Picciolini. SYA Artistic Director Hallie Gordon shares, “After months of discussions with teachers, Young Adult Council members, artists and designers it became clear that adapting this book for the stage would not be of service to our young adult audiences at this time. I am so grateful to the author, playwright, and our incredible community of educators, teens and artists for sharing their voices, and to the Steppenwolf family for trusting me to know when to push forward and pull back.”
“SYA is dedicated to creating work that is both provocative and drives us to think harder and deeper about who we are and the choices we make. We are so excited to be producing We Are Proud to Present a Presentation…a powerful story that explores themes of race, representation, storytelling and the power group-thinking can have on an individual. Our season theme is “When you feel lost, how do you find your way?” – a question that every character in this play must ask themselves. SYA hasn’t yet produced a play structured like this one, and we are thrilled that we have the opportunity to share it with our audiences,” adds Gordon.
When a group of actors gathers together to give a presentation about a long-forgotten—or possibly never remembered—genocide, they realize that summaries based on history books aren’t nearly enough to capture the complexity of human extermination—or human interaction. We Are Proud to Present a Presentation…tells the story of what happens when, in an effort to dig deeper, the nobly intentioned ensemble crashes into their own simmering fears and unconscious prejudices, coming face to face with the potential for brutality in all of us.
Public performances for We Are Proud to Present a Presentation…will take place March 2 (3 & 7:30pm); March 8 (7:30pm); March 9 (3 & 7:30pm); March 15 (7:30pm); March 16 (3 & 7:30pm) in the Upstairs Theatre. Performances Tuesday – Friday at 10am are reserved for school groups only and available by visiting steppenwolf.org/education. This season, more than 15,000 Chicago Public School students, teachers and community will see a Steppenwolf for Young Adults production. Single tickets to public performances ($15-20) go on sale at a later date.
Hallie Gordon (Co-Director) is an Artistic Producer at Steppenwolf and the Artistic Director for Steppenwolf for Young Adults, where she has directed many productions for the program including Monster by Walter Dean Myers; George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm; The Book Thief; To Kill a Mockingbird; and the world premiere of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye at Steppenwolf and Off-Broadway. In Steppenwolf’s season she has directed The Rembrandt and Taylor Mac’s Hir. She is an ensemble member for Rivendell Theatre where she directed the critically acclaimed Dry Land and Eat Your Heart Out.
Gabrielle Randle (Co-Director) is a performance scholar, director, and dramaturg based in Chicago. She has a BA in Drama from Stanford University and an MA in Performance as Public Practice from The University of Texas at Austin. She has worked as a dramaturg, producer, and director across the United States including Off-Broadway and internationally on three continents. In Chicago she has worked with Sideshow Theatre Company (Associate Artist), Chicago Dramatists, Victory Gardens Theater, Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, and Court Theatre. She is a third year PhD student at Northwestern in The Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama.
Tour to Juvenile Justice Facilities
Working in collaboration with Storycatchers Theatre, Steppenwolf Education will tour its production of We Are Proud to Present a Presentation… to three Juvenile Justice Facilities in Illinois. This will be the third tour collaboration between Steppenwolf and Storycatchers Theatre, an organization that guides young people to transform their traumatic experiences into powerful musical theatre, inspiring them to develop the courage and vision to become leaders and mentors. By creating support for youth within the criminal justice system, Storycatchers prepares them to change their lives and emerge successfully from court involvement. For more info, visit storycatcherstheatre.org.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Opening the 2018/19 SYA Season is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time adapted by Simon Stephens, based on the book by Mark Haddon and directed by Jonathan Berry, October 5 – October 27, 2018 in the Downstairs Theatre.
Based on the critically acclaimed book by Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time focuses on Christopher, a young boy with an extraordinary brain and an exceptional talent for mathematics. When the neighbor’s dog Wellington is found dead, Christopher launches an investigation into the mystery surrounding the dog’s murder. As he searches for the truth on his first ever excursion by himself, he uncovers surprises about himself and his family, exploring the hidden secrets and challenges in everyday life.
Public performances of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time are October 5 (7:30pm); October 6 (3 & 7:30pm); October 7 at 3pm; October 12 (7:30pm); October 13 (3 & 7:30pm); October 19 (7:30pm); October 20 (3 & 7:30pm); October 26 (7:30pm); October 27 (3 & 7:30pm). *The October 27 3pm performance will be a Relaxed/Sensory Friendly performance. Tickets to public performances are available at 312-335-1650 or at steppenwolf.org.
Steppenwolf is proud to present Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly performances for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time on Saturday, October 27 at 3pm, and We Are Proud to Present… at a TBD date. Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly performances feature a more relaxed environment and minor adjustments to sensory effects such as lighting and sound cues. This performance is open to all but designed to create a safe and welcoming experience for guests who may include, but are not limited to, individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as people with sensory processing and/or integration sensitivities. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Major foundation support for Steppenwolf Education is provided by the Polk Bros. Foundation and Alphawood Foundation. Steppenwolf Education is also supported in part by contributions from The Crown Family, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Sage Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Northern Trust Company, Field Foundation of Illinois, Dr. Scholl Foundation, the Helen Brach Foundation, ITW Foundation, Siragusa Foundation, Robert and Isabelle Bass Foundation, Inc. and Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation; as well as the Steppenwolf Associates, a community of dynamic young professionals.
Steppenwolf Education is a citywide partner of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) School Partner Program.
Committed to making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to everyone, performances featuring American Sign Language Interpretation, Open Captioning and Audio Description are offered during the run of each play. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance, and the Downstairs and 1700 Theatres are each equipped with an induction hearing loop. All theaters feature wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms, and Front Bar features a push-button entrance, all-gender restrooms and accessible counter and table spaces.
Steppenwolf Education’s unique approach combines play production with educational components to enhance arts education for young audiences, as well as their teachers and families. Every season Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) creates two full-scale professional productions specifically for teens. Working closely with the Chicago Public and metropolitan area schools and other community partners, Steppenwolf Education annually ensures access to the theater for more than 15,000 participants from Chicago’s diverse communities. The initiative also includes post-show discussions with artists; classroom residencies led by Steppenwolf-trained teaching artists in almost 100 classrooms in public high schools; professional development workshops for educators; and the Young Adult Council, an innovative year-round after-school initiative that uniquely engages high school students in all areas of the theater’s operations, as well as other teen and community based programs.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble represents a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead to August: Osage County—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony Awards—have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programming includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multi-genre performances series. Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities; the esteemed School at Steppenwolf; and Professional Leadership Programs for arts administration training. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre, twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr and instagram.com/steppenwolfthtr.