Steppenwolf Theatre Company is a Chicago theatre company founded in 1974 by Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, and Gary Sinise in the Unitarian church on Half Day Road in Deerfield, Illinoisand is now located in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood on Halsted Street. Its name comes from the 1927 novel Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse which original member Rick Argosh was reading during the company's inaugural production, And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little , in January 1974.
The name Steppenwolf Theatre Company was first usedin 1974 at a Unitarian church on Half Day Road in Deerfield. The company presented And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little by Paul Zindel, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard, and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, with Rick Argosh directing, and Grease by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, with Gary Sinise directing.
The founding members are Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, and Gary Sinise. The founders recruited six additional members: H. E. Baccus,Nancy Evans, Moira Harris, John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf, and Alan Wilder.
In 1975, Steppenwolf incorporated as a nonprofit organization, saving money by taking the name of a failed theater company that had already incorporated.In the summer of 1976, Steppenwolf took up residence in a vacant basement space of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Highland Park, Illinois and produced its first full season of plays.
In 1980, the theater company moved into a 134-seat theater at the Jane Addams Hull House Center on Broadway Avenue in Chicago. Two years later, the company moved to a 211-seat facility at 2851 N. Halsted Street, which was their home until 1991, when construction was completed on the current theater complex at 1650 N. Halsted Street (with administrative offices at 1700 N. Halsted Street.) The theatre has three theatres: the Downstairs Theatre that seats 515; the Upstairs Theatre that seats 299; and, the 1700 Theatre a casual, intimate and flexible theatre that seats 80.
In 1982, the Sam Shepard play True West , starring Sinise and John Malkovich, was the first of many Steppenwolf productions to travel to New York City.
In 1994, the company made its Los Angeles debut with Steve Martin's first play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile .
In 1996, after successful runs in Chicago and New York, Lyle Kessler's Orphans, directed by Gary Sinise, was the first Steppenwolf production to go international, debuting in London.
The MacArthur Foundation awarded Steppenwolf Theatre Company $2.26 million between 1978 and 2017, in support of general operations, and growth of artistic and educational programs.
Steppenwolf is an ensemble cast theatre company with actors, playwrights, producers, and directors in its membership. Notable past and present ensemble members include:
Through its New Plays Initiative, the company maintains ongoing relationships with writers of international prominence while continuing to support the work of aspiring and mid-career playwrights. In 1988, Steppenwolf presented the world premiere of Frank Galati's adaption of The Grapes of Wrath , based on the John Steinbeck novel, which eventually went on to win the Tony Award for Best Play. In 2000 Steppenwolf presented the world premiere of Austin Pendleton's Orson's Shadow , which subsequently was staged off-Broadway and by regional theatres throughout the country.
Tracy Letts' Broadway drama August: Osage County (2007) was ranked number one in Time's Top Ten Theatre Performances of 2007.After moving from the Imperial Theatre next door to The Music Box Theatre for an open-ended run, August: Osage County won five Tony Awards including Best Play of 2007, Best Director (Anna D. Shapiro), Best Leading Actress (Deanna Dunagan), Best Featured Actress (Rondi Reed), and Best Scenic Design (Todd Rosenthal). Letts went on to win the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play.
Among the theater's many honors are the Tony Award for Regional Theatre Excellence (1985)[ citation needed ] and the National Medal of Arts (1998).[ citation needed ]
John Gavin Malkovich is an American actor, director, producer and fashion designer. He received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Places in the Heart (1984) and In the Line of Fire (1993).
Laura Elizabeth Metcalf is an American actress. Over the course of her four-decade career, she has been the recipient of numerous acting awards and nominations. She has won three Primetime Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, and has been nominated for an Academy Award and British Academy Film Award.
Gary Alan Sinise is an American actor, director, musician, producer and philanthropist. Among other awards, he has won a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was nominated for multiple Tony Awards and an Academy Award.
Balm in Gilead is a 1965 play written by American playwright Lanford Wilson.
Kevin Anderson is an American stage and film actor. He is also a singer and drummer.
Jeffrey Perry is an American actor of stage, television, and film. He is known for his role as Richard Katimski on the teen drama My So-Called Life, Thatcher Grey on the medical drama series Grey's Anatomy, Cyrus Beene on the political drama series Scandal, all for ABC, and as Inspector Harvey Leek on the CBS crime drama Nash Bridges.
Terry Kinney is an American actor and theatre director, and is a founding member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, with John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf, Gary Sinise, and Jeff Perry. Kinney is best known for his role as Emerald City creator Tim McManus on HBO's prison drama Oz.
Sheldon Arthur Patinkin was a chair of the Theater Department of Columbia College Chicago, Artistic Director of the Getz Theater of Columbia College, Artistic Consultant of The Second City and of Steppenwolf Theatre and Co-Director of the Steppenwolf Theatre Summer Ensemble Workshops.
The Grapes of Wrath is a 1988 play adapted by Frank Galati from the classic 1939 John Steinbeck novel of the same name, with incidental music by Michael Smith. The play debuted at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, followed by a May 1989 production at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego and a June 1989 production at the Royal National Theatre in London. After eleven previews, the Broadway production, directed by Galati, opened on March 22, 1990 at the Cort Theatre, where it ran for 188 performances. The cast included Gary Sinise, Kathryn Erbe, Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, Lois Smith, Francis Guinan, and Stephen Bogardus. The play was adapted for television in 1990 for the PBS series American Playhouse.
Tracy S. Letts is an American actor, playwright, and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play for his production, August: Osage County (2007), and the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his portrayal of George in the revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2013).
Anna Davida Shapiro is an American theater director, the artistic director of the Steppenwolf Theater Company, and a professor at Northwestern University. Throughout her career, she has directed both the Steppenwolf Theater Company production of August: Osage County (2007) along with its Broadway debut (2008-2009), the Broadway debuts of The Motherfucker with the Hat (2011) and Fish in the Dark (2014), and Broadway revivals of This Is Our Youth and Of Mice and Men, both in 2014. She won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for her direction of August: Osage County.
Frank Galati was an American director, writer and actor. He was a member of Steppenwolf Theatre Company and an associate director at Goodman Theatre. He taught at Northwestern University for many years.
The Indian Wants the Bronx is a one-act play by Israel Horovitz.
August: Osage County is a tragicomedy play by Tracy Letts. It was the recipient of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago on June 28, 2007, and closed on August 26, 2007. It had its Broadway debut at the Imperial Theater on December 4, 2007, and the production transferred to the Music Box Theatre on April 29, 2008. The Broadway show closed on June 28, 2009, after 648 performances and 18 previews.
Justin Tanner is a Los Angeles playwright.
Bruce Norris is an American character actor and playwright associated with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company of Chicago. His play Clybourne Park won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Dennis Letts was an American college professor, and later, in a second career, an actor. As the latter, he originated the critically successful role of Beverly Weston in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of the Tony-winning play August: Osage County in the summer of 2007, the writing of which had earned his son, Tracy Letts, a Pulitzer prize.
Amy Morton is an American actress and director, best known for her work in theatre. Morton was nominated two times for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performances in August: Osage County and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. On screen, she is known for her performances in films Rookie of the Year (1993), Up in the Air (2009), The Dilemma (2011) and Bluebird (2013). In 2014, Morton began starring as Sergeant Trudy Platt in the NBC drama series Chicago P.D.
Mariann Mayberry was an American television and stage actress.
Carrie Alexandra Coon is an American actress. In television, she is known for her starring roles as grieving mother Nora Durst in the HBO drama series The Leftovers (2014–2017) and as Gloria Burgle in the third season of the FX anthology series Fargo (2017). She won the TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Drama for both performances and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for Fargo. She also had a leading role in the second season of the anthology crime drama series The Sinner (2018).