Steppenwolf Theatre Company and LookOut announce conversations and events designed to enrich the experience of audiences around MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT, a new work by ensemble members Tina Landau and Tarell Alvin McCraney. This series of events celebrates the real-life inspiration for this thrilling new work, Ms. Joan Jett Blakk aka Terence Alan Smith, the activists who were a part of the queer political movement of the era and those who carry on Ms. Blakk’s legacy today through performance, celebration and activism.
All LookOut shows, including special late-night events featuring Joan Jett Blakk herself are on sale through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted) at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org. Half the proceeds from each late-night event goes to About Face Youth Theatre in recognition of their support of LGBTQIA youth. For information, visit steppenwolf.org/lookout
Joan Jett Blakk Herself in Conversation with Tina Landau and Tarell Alvin McCraney
Friday, June 14 at 10pm
Inspired by the true story of America’s first black drag queen presidential candidate, Steppenwolf’s MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT tells the story of Ms. Joan Jett Blakk’s exhilarating and dangerous journey to drag queer politics out of the closet and into a future where ALL are visible and ALL have a place at the table. At this special late-night event, Joan Jett Blakk (aka Terence Alan Smith) returns to Chicago for the first time in full regalia to interview Tina Landau (co-author and director) and Tarell Alvin McCraney (co-author and performer) as they discuss art-making, performance as activism, honoring LGBTQIA+ history, and Queer as a mode of existence. Fifty percent of all proceeds will be donated to About Face Youth Theatre.
Late Night with Joan Jett Blakk
A Most Fabulous Live Entertainment Talk Show and Musical Potpourri
Saturday, June 15 at 10pm
In celebration of Steppenwolf's production MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT, Ms. Joan Jett Blakk returns to Chicago with co-host Babette, bringing back their legendary late-night talk show for one night only, featuring special appearances from the cast and creative team of MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT. Celebrate Pride, run for office, sing, dance, protest – join us at the Party! Fifty percent of all proceeds will be donated to About Face Youth Theatre.
Ms. Joan Jett Blakk for President: From Those Who Were There
Sunday, July 7 immediately following the 3pm matinee performance
Immediately following the matinee performance of MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT, audiences are encouraged to remain in the theater for a special post-show conversation with Tracy Baim, Gabriel Gomez, and Joe E. Jeffreys, moderated by Owen Keehnen. Hear the true stories of those who were there for Ms. Joan Jett Blakk's historic 1992 campaign for President of the United States. Audiences who are not planning on attending this matinee performance, but would like to attend the panel, are welcome. Plan on arriving at Steppenwolf no later than 4:30pm to check in with our friendly front of house staff in the Downstairs Lobby.
Steppenwolf holds regular post-show discussions after every performance.
DJ Series Curated by SLO’ MO
Front Bar hosts DJ’s every Friday night during the run of MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT. The DJ series is curated by SLO’ MO: SLOW JAMS FOR QUEER FAM. slomoparty.com
Plus check out the summer LookOut Series line-up for more great events. Visit Steppenwolf.org/lookout for drag, music, cabaret, comedy and more!
Previews for MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT begin May 23, 2019 (opening is June 3 at 7pm) and the production runs through July 14, 2019 in the Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St. Press Performances are Monday, June 3 at 7pm and Wednesday, June 5 at 7:30pm. Single tickets ($20-$94) are on sale now through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.
Meet America’s first drag queen presidential candidate—Ms. Joan Jett Blakk—as she announces her bid to run for President of the United States. It’s Chicago, 1992, and with the AIDS crisis at its height, Joan and the newly formed Queer Nation Chicago have an urgent agenda. Joan sets off on an exhilarating and dangerous journey to drag queer politics out of the closet and into a future where ALL are visible and ALL have a place at the table. Inspired—but not bound by true events, MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT takes us into the heart and mind of one of Chicago’s most singular and radical citizens. Infused with music and hilarity, MS. BLAKK is part campaign rally, part nightclub performance, part confessional—and all party!
LookOut is Steppenwolf’s performance series that presents the work of artists and companies across genre and form, emerging artists and performance legends, quintessential Chicago companies and young aspiring ensembles, familiar Steppenwolf faces and new friends. Greta Honold and Patrick Zakem are the producers for LookOut. For more information, visit steppenwolf.org/lookout.
Steppenwolf is located at 1650 N Halsted St near all forms of public transportation, bike racks and Divvy bike stands. The parking facility ($13 or $15, cash or card) is located just south of our theater at 1624 N Halsted. Valet parking service ($15 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.
The 1700 Theatre features wheelchair-accessible seating, an Induction Hearing Loop, and assistive listening devices. Front Bar features a push-button entrance, all-gender accessible restrooms and accessible counter and table spaces.
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, Front Bar serves locally roasted coffee and espresso by Passion House Coffee Roasters and features food by The 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.frontbar.com
Year of Chicago Theatre
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is proud to be part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, presented by the City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. Home to a community of creators, risk-takers, and big hearts, Chicago theatre is a hotbed for exciting new work and hundreds of world premieres every year. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there’s always a seat waiting for you at one of our 200+ theatres. Book your next show today at ChicagoPlays.com.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble members represent a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead and August: Osage County to Pass Over and Downstate—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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