Forty floors up, behind the windows of a posh Swiss hotel, a man sings, a maid cleans, children run wild, a banker makes things difficult, and one elderly woman’s fight against a corrupt world order changes everything. Or nothing. Disturbingly funny, Amelia Roper’s Zürich dives below the surface of lives lived in the moments before.
Steep Ensemble Member Brad DeFabo Akin returns to Steep this fall to direct the Midwest premiere of Amelia Roper’s Zürich. Zürich, which premiered in New York this past spring and was named “Critics’ Choice” by The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Timeout, will mark Roper’s Chicago debut as a playwright. In addition to theater, she writes for film and television in Australia and the US, and is currently working on the Netflix/Jenji Kohan show GLOW. Director Brad DeFabo Akin’s recent Steep productions include Samuel Hunter’s The Few and the world premiere of Calamity West’s Hinter.
Zürich will feature Debo Balogun, Julia Dale, Valerie Gorman, Maya Lou Hlava, Paula Hlava, Cole Keriazakos, Jeff Kurysz, and Elizabeth Wigley, alongside Steep Ensemble Members Cindy Marker, Brandon Rivera, and Sasha Smith. Zürich will mark the Steep Theatre debuts for Balogun, Dale, Maya Lou & Paula Hlava, Keriazakos, Kurysz, and Wigley. Valerie Gorman was last seen on Steep’s stage in 2012’s Moment.
About the Playwright
Amelia is an award-winning Australian/American playwright and screenwriter, living in LA, where she works on the Netflix/Jenji Kohan show GLOW and develops TV and film for American and Aussie audiences. Zürich opened at New York Theatre Workshop, produced by Colt Coeur, to rave reviews and Critics Pick in The New York Times, TimeOut, and The New Yorker. Her plays have been seen at New York Theatre Workshop produced by Colt Coeur, Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, the Old Vic in London, Taffety Punk in DC, Square Product in Boulder, Prelude Festival in NYC, San Francisco, Sydney, Melbourne, and Moscow in Russian translation. She’s writing for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Marin Theatre Company, The Rose and an adaptation of Jane Bowles’ queer, modernist novel, Two Serious Ladies for Yale Rep. Showcase and developments include the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Black Swan Lab at OSF, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, Kennedy Center in DC, Playwrights Realm in NYC, New Group NYC and The MacDowell Colony. Published plays include Big Sky Town, Camberwell House and She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange with an introduction by Sarah Ruhl. New plays include Everything is Nice, a futuristic comedy about climate change, and A Duck on a Bike, an autobiographical comedy about grief. As an activist, she works with Gloria Steinem, Hollywood’s Time’sUp movement and 5050by2020 with Jill Soloway. She is represented by CAA and Management 360 and has an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama.
About the Director
Zürich marks the ninth show Brad DeFabo Akin has directed at Steep, where he’s been an ensemble member since 2005. Past Steep directing credits: Book of Days, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Insignificance, Greensboro: A Requiem, Under the Blue Sky, strangers, babies, The Few, and the world premiere of Calamity West’s Hinter. Outside of Steep, his Chicago directing credits include: The Orchestra (Akvavit Theatre), Crimes of the Heart (Step Up Productions), Edgar & Annabel (Poor Theatre), The Revenants (WildClaw Theatre), OOHRAH! (LiveWire Theatre), and Where We’re Born (Steppenwolf Garage). Brad served as Steep’s Literary Manager for 11 years, helping to cultivate the company’s relationship with new playwrights, developing relationships with MFA playwriting programs, and supporting the development of three world premieres at Steep - including Calamity West’s Hinter. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Step Up Chicago Playwrights, where he supports the work of local playwrights in telling the story of our city.
About Steep Theatre
Housed in what was once a small grocery store steps from the Berwyn Red Line stop, and lead by an ensemble of 41 actors, directors, designers, writers, and other theatre artists, Steep is the quintessential storefront theatre. Described by Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune as "a storefront theater known for the power of its acting," Steep creates powerful productions of plays by today's most exciting writers and features the work of Chicago's hottest theatre artists in an intimate, accessible space. Founded in 2000, Steep is known as a home for hard-hitting, finely tuned ensemble work. With each production, the company has shepherded a growing community of audiences and artists into bold new territories of story and performance.
Steep Theatre is conveniently located by the Berwyn Red Line stop and is within blocks of the #92, #36, #146, #147, and #151 buses.
1115 West Berwyn Ave., Chicago, IL 60640
October 4 – November 10, 2018
Press Opening: Thursday, October 4 at 8:00pm
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8pm
Sunday matinees at 3pm on October 14, 21, and 28
The performance on Saturday, November 3 will be at 3:00pm
-Open Captioning: Sunday, October 28 at 3:00pm
-Audio Description: Saturday, November 3 at 3:00pm
General Admission Tickets: $27
Reserved Seat Tickets: $38
Access Tickets: $10 (Steep’s universal discount for students, artists, whomever)
Cast photos and bios are available at steeptheatre.com/zurich.
Press Opening: Thursday, October 4 at 8:00pm
Maya Lou Hlava
Director – Brad DeFabo Akin*
Stage Manager – Lauren Lassus*
Set Designer – Jeff Kmiec
Lighting Designer – Becca Jeffords
Sound Designer – Thomas Dixon*
Costume Designer – Izumi Inaba
Props Designer – Kevin Rolfs
Dialect Coach – Adam Goldstein
Intimacy Director – Sarah Scanlon
Fight Director and Assistant Intimacy Director – Gaby Labotka
Production Manager – Catherine Allen**
Assistant Director – AJ Schwartz
Assistant Stage Manager – Serena Dully
*Denotes Steep Company Member
**Denotes Steep Artistic Associate