Phylicia Rashad Will Direct World Premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Purpose | Playbill

Regional News Phylicia Rashad Will Direct World Premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Purpose

Steppenwolf Theare Company's spring 2024 lineup will also include Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play.

Phylicia Rashad

Steppenwolf Theatre Company has announced its spring 2024 programming. The ensemble theatre company will present the world premiere of Branden Jacobs-JenkinsPurpose and the Chicago bow of Larissa FastHorse's The Thanksgiving Play, which was recently seen on Broadway.

Two-time Tony winner Phylicia Rashad will direct the world premiere of Purpose, Jacobs-Jenkins’ play about family, faith, and Black American politics. The production, which will run March 14–April 24, will feature Alana Arenas, Glenn Davis and Jon Michael Hill.

FastHorse's satire will open almost exactly a year after its opening night on Broadway, running April 25–June 2. Jess McLeod will direct the comedy about four white people trying to devise a traditional Thanksgiving pageant for children that honors Native Americans. Audrey Francis and Tim Hopper have signed on, with further casting information to be revealed at a later date.

Artistic Directors Glenn Davis and Audrey Francis said in a statement, “A successful production requires an exceptional director, and we’re thrilled to have hired two incredible leaders to helm these projects next year. First, we are ecstatic to welcome the legendary Phylicia Rashad back to Steppenwolf, where she last directed 2018’s The Roommate. Phylicia is an honored friend of the theatre, and we’re looking forward to her partnership with the brilliant Branden Jacobs-Jenkins on his new play. And for our production of The Thanksgiving Play, who better than Jess McLeod, a highly skilled and thoughtful director who brings a passion for social justice and a healthy sense of humor to Larissa Fasthorse’s shrewd and biting comedy.”


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