Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents the Chicago premiere production of Familiar written by Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead, Black Panther, Broadway’s Eclipsed) and directed by Danya Taymor, who helmed Steppenwolf’s powerful 2017 production of Pass Over. As previously announced, this fiercely funny production features ensemble members Celeste M. Cooper (Nyasha) and Ora Jones (Marvelous Chinyaramwira), who appeared together in Steppenwolf’s The Doppelgänger (an international farce) last season. Rounding out the cast are Cheryl Lynn Bruce (Anne), Erik Hellman (Chris), Lanise Antoine Shelley, (Tendikayi), Luigi Sottile (Brad), Jacqueline Williams (Margaret Munyewa) and Cedric Young (Donald Chinyaramwira).
Familiar begins previews on November 15, 2018, opening is November 26 at 7pm and the production runs through January 13, 2019 in the Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St. Press performances are Monday, November 26 at 7pm and Wed, November 28 at 7:30pm. Single tickets ($20-$109) are now on sale through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.
It's winter in Minnesota, and a Zimbabwean-American family is preparing for the wedding of their eldest daughter. When an unexpected guest arrives and the bride surprises the family by insisting on a traditional African ceremony, pre-wedding stress explodes into a full-on family feud. Fiercely funny, fast-paced and filled with love, Familiar is a brilliant portrayal of a tight-knit family searching to preserve their past while building a new future.
Danai Gurira is an award-winning playwright and actress. As a playwright, her works include In the Continuum (OBIE Award, Outer Critics Award, Helen Hayes Award), Eclipsed (Tony Award Nomination: Best Play; NAACP Award; Helen Hayes Award: Best New Play; Connecticut Critics Circle Award: Outstanding Production of a Play), and The Convert (six Ovation Awards, Los Angeles Outer Critics Award). Her newest play, Familiar, received its world premiere at Yale Rep in 2015, and premiered in New York at Playwrights Horizons in February of 2016. She is a recipient of the Sam Norkin Award at the 2016 Drama Desk Awards, a Whiting Award, a Hodder Fellow, and has been commissioned by Yale Rep, Center Theatre Group, Playwrights Horizons, and the Royal Court.
As an actor, Danai Gurira was most recently seen in Marvel’s blockbuster phenomenon Black Panther as “General Okoye” and reprised the role in another blockbuster sensation Avengers: Infinity War in April 2018. Gurira currently starts as “Michonne” on AMC’s The Walking Dead (NAACP Image Award nomination). Other select acting credits include the films All Eyez on Me (NAACP Image Award nomination), The Visitor, Mother of George and the NYS&F’s Measure for Measure (Equity Callaway Award.) Gurira is currently adapting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book Americanah into a miniseries.
Born in the US to Zimbabwean parents and raised in Zimbabwe, Danai Gurira holds an M.F.A. from Tisch, NYU and serves as an ambassador for Bono’s ONE campaign. She is also the founder of LOGpledge.org, an awareness-building campaign focused on the plights of women and girls around the globe; and the co-founder of Almasi Arts, which works to give access and opportunity to the African Dramatic Artist. almasiartsalliance.org. Twitter/Instagram: @danaigurira. Facebook: @DanaiGuriraOfficial.
Danya Taymor is a director and translator. Taymor directed both the Steppenwolf and Lincoln Center productions of Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over. She stage directed Spike Lee’s production of Pass Over for Amazon Prime. Her translations include Alejandro Ricaño's We Are Getting Better at Saying Goodbye, Luis Enrique Gutiérrez Ortiz Monasterio’s I Hate Fucking Mexicans, and Ettore Scola's Working on a Special Day. She directed Antoinette Nwandu's Flat Sam at PlayPenn in Philadelphia. She is an Artist in Residence at Theatre for a New Audience, a member of Ensemble Studio Theater, an Associate Artist at The Flea Theater, New Georges Affiliated Artist and a semi-finalist for the Lange-Taylor Prize with Dominic Bracco. She is a frequent volunteer at Covenant House, where she teaches a master class in directing twice a year and has taught theater in Ecuador and Slovakia. Her recent work includes The Sensuality Party (The New Group), Christina Martinez (Juilliard), Cygnus (Women’s Project), I Hate Fucking Mexicans, My Daughter Keeps Our Hammer and The Place We Built (The Flea), among others.
Familiar production team features Kristen Robinson (Scenic Design); Ntokozo Fuzunina Kunene (Costume Design); Marcus Doshi (Lighting Design); Justin Ellington (Sound Design); Gigi Buffington (Company Vocal & Text Coach); Malcolm Ewen (Production Stage Manager); Mary Hungerford (Asst. Stage Manager); JC Clementz (Casting Director) and Hallie Gordon (Artistic Producer).
Author: Danai Gurira
Director: Danya Taymor
Featuring: Ensemble members Celeste M. Cooper (Nyasha) and Ora Jones (Marvelous Chinyaramwira), along with Cheryl Lynn Bruce (Anne), Erik Hellman (Chris), Lanise Antoine Shelley (Tendikayi), Luigi Sottile (Brad), Jacqueline Williams (Margaret Munyewa) and Cedric Young (Donald Chinyaramwira).
Location: Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St
Dates: November 15, 2018 – January 13, 2019
Previews: November 15 – November 25, 2018
Press Performances: Monday, November 26 at 7pm and
Opening: November 26 at 7pm
Regular Run: November 28, 2018 – January 13, 2019
American Sign Language Interpretation: Sunday, December 9 at 7:30pm
Open Captioning: Thursday, December 13 at 7:30pm and Saturday,
December 29 at 3pm
Audio Description and Touch Tour: Sunday, December 23 at 1:30pm
touch tour; 3pm audio-described performance
Curtain Times: Tuesday – Friday at 7:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm and
Ticket prices and offers:
Previews: $20 – $86, Regular Run: $20 – $109. Prices subject to change
20 for $20: Twenty $20 tickets are available on the day of the performance
at 11am (Mon – Sat) and 1pm (Sun) by phone only at 312-335-1650. Limit 2
Rush Tickets: Half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each
Student Discounts: Limited $15 student tickets are available online. (Limit
2 tickets. Must present a valid student ID for each ticket)
Group Tickets: All groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any
Black Card Memberships are for audiences interested in extreme flexibility
with six tickets for use any time for any production. Credits valid for one year
with the option to add additional tickets as needed. Perks include easy and
free exchanges, access to seats before the general public, savings on
single ticket prices and bar and restaurant discounts for pre- and post-show
Red Card memberships are available for theatergoers under 30.
Audience Services: To purchase a membership or tickets or for more
information, contact Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St) at
312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.
Steppenwolf is located at 1650 N Halsted St near all forms of public transportation, bike racks and Divvy bike stands. The parking facility ($12 or $14, cash or card) is located just south of our theater at 1624 N Halsted. Valet parking service ($14 cash) is available directly in front of the main entrance starting at 5pm on weeknights, 1pm on weekends and at 12noon before Wednesday matinees. Limited street and lot parking are also available. For last minute questions and concerns, patrons can call the Steppenwolf Parking Hotline at 312-335-1774.
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.
United Airlines is the Official and Exclusive Airline of Steppenwolf.
Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks
Connected to the main lobby is Steppenwolf’s own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks, offering a warm, creative space to grab a drink, have a bite, or meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night. Open Tuesdays – Sundays from 8am to midnight, Front Bar serves artisanal coffee and espresso is provided by La Colombe and food prepared by Goddess and Grocer. The menu focuses on fresh, accessible fare, featuring grab-and-go salads and sandwiches for lunch and adding shareable small plates and desserts for evening and post show service. www.front-bar.com
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble of 49 members represent 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 programing 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.
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