Friday, August 31, 2018

OPENING: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Launches Steppenwolf for Young Adults' 2018-19 Season

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Steppenwolf for Young Adults Kicks Off the 2018-19 Season with
The 2015 Tony Award Winner for Best Play

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the 
Adapted by Simon Stephens
Directed by Jonathan Berry
October 5 – October 27, 2018 in the Downstairs Theatre

Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly Performance October 27 at 3pm

Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows, we're beyond excited about SYA's season opener. My daughter read the book for school and I joined her and read it too. We both loved it and can't wait to see Steppenwolf's take on this compelling story. I'll be out for the press opening on October 6th, so check back shortly after for my full review. 

Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) begins rehearsals next week for its first play of the 2018-19 season, which asks, “When you feel lost, how do you find your way?” Steppenwolf Artistic Producer Jonathan Berry directs SYA’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, featuring ensemble memberCaroline Neff.  Public performances of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time begin Friday, October 5, 2018 and run through Saturday, October 27, 2018 in the Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St. 

Single tickets ($20-$30) are now on sale through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 Weekday performances are reserved for school groups; more than 15,000 Chicago Public School students will experience the production. More info at

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time features Steppenwolf ensemble member Caroline Neff as Siobhan. Also featured are Terry Bell (Christopher), Scott Allen Luke (Roger /Policeman/Ensemble), Cedric Mays (Ed), Rebecca Spence (Judy/Ensemble), Meg Thalken (Mrs. Alexander/Ensemble), Christopher M. Walsh (Uncle Terry/Station Policeman/Ensemble) and Eunice Woods (Mrs. Shears/Ensemble).

Based on the critically acclaimed book by Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time focuses on Christopher, a young boy with an extraordinary brain and an exceptional talent for mathematics. When the neighbor’s dog Wellington is found dead, Christopher launches an investigation into the mystery surrounding the dog’s murder. As he searches for the truth on his first ever excursion by himself, he uncovers surprises about himself and his family, exploring the hidden secrets and challenges in everyday life.

“The beautiful beating heart of this story, for me, has always been the journey of a broken family struggling through a remarkably difficult moment and discovering how to be whole again.  The Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) production allows for us to be fully in conversation with the rewards and challenges inherent in these relationships, journeying with the remarkable Christopher as his world breaks apart and then reforms anew.  I’m so thrilled to be working on this play with this incredible team of actors and designers, and can’t wait to share it with the SYA audiences,” comments director Jonathan Berry.

Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly Performances
Steppenwolf is pleased to present a Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly performance for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on Saturday, October 27 at 3pm. Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly performances feature a relaxed performance environment and minor adjustments to sensory effects such as lighting and sound cues. House lights will be left up at a low level, and it’s okay for audience members to make noise, move, and leave the theater. Social narratives and character guides will be shared in advance of guests’ visit, and a quiet area will be designated in a section of the lobby. For more information, please email

Jonathan Berry (Director) is an Artistic Producer at Steppenwolf and a director and teacher in Chicago. Steppenwolf productions include You Got Older, Constellations, The Crucible, Gary and A Separate Peace. Berry is a Steep Theatre ensemble member where productions include Birdland, Earthquakes in London, Posh, If There Is I Haven’t Found it Yet, The Knowledge, Festen, Moment and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. He’s also an ensemble member at Griffin Theatre where productions include the Harvest, Winterset, Pocatello, Balm in Gilead, Golden Boy, Spring Awakening, Punk Rock, Port and On the Shore of the Wide World. He has served as the Assistant Director for Anna D. Shapiro’s Broadway productions of Of Mice and Men and This Is Our Youth. Other theatre credits include Dirty, Suicide, Incorporated, Othello(Gift Theatre); The Solid Sand Below, The World of Extreme Happiness for New Stages (Goodman Theatre); Kill Floor (American Theater Company); Little Shop of Horrors, Sideman (American Blues Theater); I am Going to Change the World(Chicago Dramatists); and The Casuals (Jackalope Theatre Company). He pursued his MFA in directing from Northwestern University. He has taught at University of Michigan, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Columbia College and The School at Steppenwolf.

Simon Stephens (Playwright) is an English playwright whose plays have been widely produced in the UK, Europe, Australia and the US. Stephens is an Artistic Associate at the Lyric Hammersmith and has been an Associate Playwright of Steep Theatre since 2013, where the successful Jonathan Berry helmed production of Birdland played this spring. In addition to his Olivier and Tony Award for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Stephens has received the 2001 Pearson Award for Best Play for Port; the 2005 Olivier Award for Best New Play for On the Shore of the Wide World; Theater Heute's Award for Motortown in 2007, Pornography in 2008 and Wastwater in 2011; and the 2009 Manchester Evening News Award for Best Production for Punk Rock.  His play Heisenberg premiered in New York in 2015, opened on Broadway in 2016, and is currently enjoying productions all over the globe.  Stephens visited Steep in 2012 and 2016, during which he performed public readings of his work Sea Wall and Song from Faraway, and Steep presented the first ever public reading of his play Blindsided, a new work commissioned by the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, England.

Stephens' other works include Birdland, Bluebird, Herons, One Minute, Country Music, Harper Regan, I am the Wind, Three Kingdoms, Morning, a new version of Ibsen's A Doll's House, Carmen Disruption, The Funfair, a new version of Ödön von Horváth's Kasimir and Karoline, his version of Brecht and Weill's The Threepenny Opera, Nuclear War, Fatherland, his English language version of Obsession, and his new adaptation of Chekhov's The Seagull.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time production team includes Brandon Wardell (scenic and lighting design), Stephanie Cluggish (costume design), Pornchanok Kanchanabanca (sound design and original music), Joseph Burke (projection design) and Dan Plehal (Movement Consultant). Additional credits include Michelle Medvin (stage manager), JC Clementz (casting director) and Hallie Gordon (artistic producer).

Public performances of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time are: 
Friday, October 5 at 7:30pm; Saturday, October 6 at 3pm and 7:30pm; Sunday, October 7 at 3pm; Friday, October 12 at 7:30pm; Saturday, October 13 at 3pm and 7:30pm; Friday, October 19 at 7:30pm; Saturday, October 20 at 3pm and 7:30pm; Friday, October 26 at 7:30pm; Saturday, October 27 at 3pm and 7:30pm. *The October 27 3pm performance will be a Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly performance.

Weekday performances are reserved for school groups; more than 15,000 Chicago Public School students will experience the production. More info at

Major foundation support for Steppenwolf Education is provided by the Polk Bros. Foundation and Alphawood Foundation. Steppenwolf Education is also supported in part by contributions from The Crown Family, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Sage Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Northern Trust Company, Field Foundation of Illinois, Dr. Scholl Foundation, the Helen Brach Foundation, ITW Foundation, Siragusa Foundation, Robert and Isabelle Bass Foundation, Inc. and Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation; as well as the Steppenwolf Associates, a community of dynamic young professionals.

Steppenwolf Education is a citywide partner of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) School Partner Program.

Visitor Information
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.

Committed to making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to everyone, performances featuring American Sign Language Interpretation, Open Captioning and Audio Description are offered during the run of each play. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance, and the Downstairs and 1700 Theatres are each equipped with an induction hearing loop. All theaters feature wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms, and Front Bar features a push-button entrance, all-gender restrooms and accessible counter and table spaces.

Steppenwolf Education’s unique approach combines play production with educational components to enhance arts education for young audiences, as well as their teachers and families, as well as a professional leadership program for early-career professionals. Every season Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) creates two full-scale professional productions specifically for teens. Working closely with the Chicago Public and metropolitan area schools and other community partners, Steppenwolf Education annually ensures access to the theater for more than 15,000 participants from Chicago’s diverse communities. The initiative also includes post-show discussions with artists; classroom residencies led by Steppenwolf-trained teaching artists in almost 100 classrooms in public high schools; professional development workshops for educators; and the Young Adult Council, an innovative year-round after-school initiative that uniquely engages high school students in all areas of the theater’s operations, as well as other teen and community based programs.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble represents a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead to August: Osage County—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 programming 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,, and 

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