In April, Steep will open the Midwest premiere of Rita Kalnejais’ First Love is the Revolution. Though Kalnejais’ writing has been produced extensively in Australia for the better part of the last decade and her work has been taking London by storm of late, Steep’s production will mark her Chicago debut as a playwright. First Love is the Revolution premiered at Soho Theatre in London 2015 to much acclaim, and her play This Beautiful Future premiered at The Yard in London in 2017 to critical accolades across the board. Devon de Mayo, whose recent directorial credits include work with Rivendell Theatre, Steppenwolf, Court, and Theatre Wit, makes her Steep debut with this production.
First Love is the Revolution will feature Isa Arciniegas, Jordan Arredondo, Destini Huston, Curtis Edward Jackson, Jose Nateras, Jin Park, and Steep Company Members Lucy Carapetyan (Linda, Birdland) and Alex Gilmor (Earthquakes in London, Posh). Destini Huston was last seen on Steep’s stage in 2018 in Penelope Skinner’s Linda, and Curtis Edward Jackson was in Steep’s 2015 production of Alistair McDowall’s Brilliant Adventures.
About the Playwright
Rita Kalnejais is a London-based writer. Her work has been performed extensively in Australia and she was a resident playwright at Sydney Theatre Company in 2011/12. Rita’s first play, BC, directed by Simon Stone, had a sell-out season at Melbourne Arts Centre’s Black Box in 2009. Her short plays, Whistling in Bed and How To Get Very Clean were performed at Sydney Theatre Company in 2010 and 2011. In 2012 her play Babyteeth had a successful season at Belvoir Theatre and was produced and performed by the State Theatre Company of South Australia the following year. It was optioned for film by WhiteFalk Films with Rita as screenwriter and starts production in December 2018 with Ben Mendelsohn and Essie Davis attached. Rita was one of the Soho 6 in 2014, during which she wrote First Love Is The Revolution, which played at the Soho Theatre in October 2015. Her most recent play This Beautiful Future opened at the Yard Theatre in 2017 and returned later that year for a second run. She is under commission from Bell Shakespeare Company and Belvoir Theatre in Australia as well writing a co-commission for the National Theatre and the Kenyon Institute, Ohio.
About the Director
Devon de Mayo is making her Steep Theatre debut with First Love is the Revolution. Most recently, she directed the world premiere of The Scientific Method by Jenny Connell Davis at Rivendell Theatre. Other Directing credits include: Women Laughing Alone With Salad (Theatre Wit); The Burn (Steppenwolf Theatre), Harvey (Court Theatre), Sycamore (Raven Theatre), You on the Moors Now (The Hypocrites), Animals Out of Paper (Shattered Globe Theatre), You Can’t Take it With You and Lost in Yonkers (Northlight Theatre), Jet Black Chevrolet (side project); Compulsion and Everything is Illuminated (Next); Roadkill Confidential, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, and Clouds (Dog & Pony). Directing and devising credits: Don’t Look Back/Must Look Back (Pivot Arts); Guerra: A Clown Play (La Piara, Mexico); The Whole World is Watching, As Told by the Vivian Girls, and The Twins Would Like to Say (Dog & Pony). She received her MFA from Middlesex University in London and did further studies at the Russian Academy of Dramatic Arts in Moscow and the Indonesian Institute for the Arts in Bali, Indonesia.
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
April 18 – May 25, 2019
Previews: April 13 – 17, 2019
Press Opening: Thursday, April 18, 2019
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8pm
Sunday matinees at 3pm on April 28, May 5, 12, and 19, 2019
-Audio Description: Saturday, May 18, 8pm
-Open Captioning: Sunday, May 19, 8pm
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/firstlove.
Curtis Edward Jackson
Director – Devon de Mayo
Stage Manager – Lauren Lassus*
Set Designer – Arnel Sancianco
Lighting Designer – Heather Sparling
Sound Design & Original Music – Jeffrey Levin
Costume Designer – Mieka van der Ploeg
Props Designer – Emma Cullimore
Dramaturg – Sarah Slight
Intimacy Director – Sasha Smith*
Violence Director – Rachel Flesher
Associate Violence Director – Zach Payne
Production Manager – Catherine Allen**
*Denotes Steep Company Member
**Denotes Steep Artistic Associate
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