Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre has announced its 2022-2023 season, which will include four world premieres and three regional premieres.
The season kicks off with the Chicago premiere of James Ijames' The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington, playing the Downstairs Theater September 1-October 9. Directed by Whitney White, the production will feature ensemble member Celeste M. Cooper as the recently widowed "Mother of America" as she lies ill in her Mount Vernon home, attended to by enslaved people that will become free when she expires.
The world premiere of Vichet Chum's Bald Sisters follows December 1-January 15, 2023, in the Ensemble Theater. Directed by Patricia McGregor, the work follows two sisters settling the affairs of their mother while reconciling their family's Cambodian heritage with their American present. The work was developed by Steppenwolf via its new play development program.
Next is the Chicago premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Describe the Night, running March 2-April 9, 2023, in the Ensemble Theater. The work centers on Jewish writer Isaac Babel whose 1920 journal is found 90 years later in the wreckage of a suspicious plane crash.
The Chicago premiere of Donnetta Lavinia Grays' Last Night and the Night Before will play the Downstairs Theater April 6-May 14, 2023, directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton and starring ensemble member Namir Smallwood. The play follows Monique, who suddenly appears at her sister's Brooklyn brownstone bringing memories of the siblings' abandoned life in Georgia and a cycle of despair.
Steppenwolf ensemble member Kate Arrington's Another Marriage follows in the Ensemble Theater June 15-July 23, 2023, in a world premiere directed by ensemble member Terry Kinney. The new play revolves around an ever-changing relationship that may never be quite finished.
The season closes with a new production of Harold Pinter's No Man's Land, directed by Les Waters and starring ensemble members Austin Pendleton and Jeff Perry, running in the Downstairs Theater July 13-August 20, 2023.
The Steppenwolf for Young Adults series will also return, with performances held weekday mornings for school groups and on weekends for the general public. Productions planned for the series include two world premieres.
1919 by Eve L. Ewing, adapted by J. Nicole Brooks and directed by Gabrielle Randle-Bent and Tasia A. Jones, will run October 4-29 in the Ensemble Theater. The work tells the story of the aftermath of the 1919 killing of a Black teenager that laid bare the city's continued struggles with inequality and racism.
Mahogany L. Browne's Chlorine Sky, directed by Ericka Ratcliff, will follow, February 14-March 11, 2023 in the Downstairs Theater, following two friends whose relationship is changing as they get older.
“Chicago formed who I am as an artist, and my goal is to do for Chicago what Chicago has done for us,” shares Artistic Director Audrey Francis. “The newly expanded Steppenwolf campus was created as a love letter to our city—a space where audiences from across our 77 neighborhoods can share in the work on our stages and engage in conversations about it. The 2022-2023 season honors that commitment with wide-ranging programming that will activate not only our stages, but the spaces between. We can’t wait to see how these plays catalyze conversation and inspire self-reflection and learning across our café and bars and throughout The Loft. This is the work of the modern American Theatre—to knit back together the threads of a divided society and illuminate that there is more that unites us than divides us.”