A small theater company moves into an abandoned Chicago storefront. Led by their adventurously thirsty artistic director, they embark on an explosive new play with the hope of finally breaking it big. When the ensemble realizes their source material might not be as original as once assumed, they are thrust into an intense confrontation with residents of their new community, who not only want them out, but will take their story back by any means necessary. Red Rex is the sixth play in Ike Holter's seven part "Rightlynd Saga,” which also includes Exit Strategy, Prowess, and The Wolf at the End of the Block.
In January, Steep Ensemble Member Jonathan Berry returns to Steep to direct the world premiere of Ike Holter’s Red Rex, the sixth play in Holter’s seven-play “Rightlynd Saga” about Chicago. Since the 2012 production of his Hit the Wall, Holter’s work has gained increasing national and international attention. In describing the “Rightlynd Saga,” Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune opined that it “might just be one of the most significant literary achievements in modern-day Chicago.” Holter’s play Rightlynd, part of the seven-play saga, is currently in production at Victory Gardens Theatre, and his Lottery Day, the final play in the saga, premieres in the Spring of 2019 at the Goodman Theatre. Director Jonathan Berry has been at the helm of many of Steep’s most memorable shows, including the recent smash-hit production of Simon Stephens’ Birdland.
Red Rex will feature Aurora Adachi-Winter, Debo Balogun, Chris Chmelik, Amanda Powell, Jessica Dean Turner, and Steep Company Members Joel Reitsma (Birdland) and Nate Faust (Earthquakes in London). Aurora Adachi-Winter, who will also appear in the final installment of the Rightlynd Saga, Lottery Day at the Goodman Theatre this spring, was last seen on Steep’s stage in the world premiere of Calamity West’s Hinter. Debo Balogun recently appeared at Steep in Amelia Roper’s Zürich, and Chris Chmelik was nominated for a Jeff Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Steep’s production of Cordelia Lynn’s Lela & Co.
About the Playwright
Ike Holter is a 2017 winner of the Windham-Campbell Prize, one of the highest awards for writing in the world. Resident playwright at Victory Gardens, commissioned by The Kennedy Center, South Coast Rep and The Playwrights’ Center, his work has been produced around the country in spaces like New York’s Barrow Street and Cherry Lane theaters, The Lily Tomlin Center in Los Angeles, and A Red Orchid, The Inconvenience, Jackalope, and Steppenwolf in Chicago. He’s the Artistic Director of The Roustabouts, and a writer for the new FX television show, Fosse/Verdon.
About the Director
Steep Ensemble Member Jonathan Berry is a director and teacher in Chicago and is the Artistic Producer at Steppenwolf Theatre. His Steep productions include Simon Stephens’ Birdland, Mike Bartlett’s Earthquakes in London, Laura Wade’s Posh, Ross Dungan’s The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle, Nick Payne’s If There Is I Haven’t Found it Yet, John Donnelly’s The Knowledge, David Eldridge’s Festen, Deirdre Kinahan’s Moment, Howard Korder’s The Hollow Lands and Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. For Steppenwolf, he directed Clare Barron’s You Got Older, Nick Payne’s Constellations, the SYA production of The Crucible, the SYA production of A Separate Peace, the world premiere of Melinda Lopez’s Gary, and the staged reading of Suicide, Incorporated, which he later directed at The Gift Theatre. He was also the Assistant Director for Anna D Shapiro’s Broadway productions of Of Mice and Men and This is Our Youth. Jonathan is also an Artistic Associate with Griffin Theatre, where his productions include Samuel D Hunter’s Pocatello, Odets’ Golden Boy, Miller/Tysen’s The Burnt Part Boys, Sheik/Sater’s Spring Awakening, the North American premieres of Simon Stephens’ Punk Rock (Jeff award Director, Lead Actor, and Ensemble), Port, and On the Shore of the Wide World, Stephen Sondheim’s Company, William Inge’s Picnic, JB Priestely’s Time and the Conways, Sidney Kingsley’s Dead End, Brendan Behan’s The Hostage and R.C. Sheriff’s Journey’s End. At the Gift Theatre, he has directed the world premieres of both Dirty and Suicide, Incorporated by Andrew Hinderaker, as well as Will Nedved’s 6. His Goodman Theatre productions include The Solid Sand Below and The World of Extreme Happiness for their New Stages Festival. His other work includes Redtwist’s Look Back in Anger and Reverb; Chicago Dramatists’ I am Going to Change the World; Jackalope Theatre’s The Casuals; Strawdog’s Conversations on a Homecoming; Remy Bumppo’s The Marriage of Figaro; Theatre Mir’s Bond’s The Sea and Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle; and Lifeline Theater’s The Piano Tuner (Afterdark Award – Best Production).
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. Currently in its 18th season, 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
January 24 – March 2, 2019
Previews : January 19 – 23, 2019
Press Opening: Thursday, January 24, 2019
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8pm
Sunday matinees at 3pm on February 3, 10, 17, and 24
-Open Captioning: Sunday, February 17 at 3:00pm
-Audio Description: Saturday, February 23 at 8:00pm
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/redrex.
Jessica Dean Turner
Director – Jonathan Berry*
Stage Manager – Jon Ravenscroft**
Set Designer – Joe Schermoly
Lighting Designer – Pete Dully*
Sound Designer – Sarah D. Espinoza
Costume Designer – Stefani Azores-Gococo
Props Designer – Emily Hartig
Dramaturg – Kendra Miller
Production Manager – Ellen Willett**
*Denotes Steep Company Member
**Denotes Steep Artistic Associate