Monday, February 5, 2024

World Premiere of a home what howls via Steppenwolf Theatre February 7 – March 2, 2024

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Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents the world premiere of

a home what howls (or the house what was ravine)

By Matthew Paul Olmos

Directed by Laura Alcalá Baker 


Featuring ensemble member Tim Hopper with Charín Álvarez,

Leslie Sophia Pérez, Isabel Quintero and Eddie Torres

 February 7 – March 2, 2024 in the Ensemble Theater

The cast of Steppenwolf Theatre’s world premiere of a home what howls (or the house what was ravine)

includes (left to right) Eddie Torres, Isabel Quintero, Leslie Sophia Pérez,

Charín Álvarez and ensemble member Tim Hopper. Photo by Joel Moorman.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the nation’s premier ensemble theater company, is pleased to present Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ (SYA) world premiere of a home what howls (or the house what was ravine) by Matthew Paul Olmos and directed by Laura Alcalá Baker. This powerful and poetic look at displacement and youth activism will play February 7 – March 2, 2024 in Steppenwolf’s stunning in-the-round Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell, 1646 N. Halsted St. in Chicago. 

The cast includes ensemble member Tim Hopper (Downstate, Chicago, New York & London) with Charín Álvarez (I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, ¡Bernarda!), Leslie Sophia Pérez (I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter), Isabel Quintero (La Osa Menor) and Eddie Torres (Downstate, Chicago, New York & London).

A coyote howling. A home in disarray. A young woman alone. In Matthew Paul Olmos’ world premiere, Soledad Vargas is in the city, fighting for her family’s right to live on their land. When hope starts to dwindle, how far will she go, and what will she be forced to leave behind? A modern myth drawn from the real-life struggles of displaced communities around the globe, a home what howls is a lyrically-rendered quest of youth activism standing against forces of injustice.

$5 Tickets for High School Students and School Groups

Tickets Starting at $20 for all Public Performances

Ticket Information

a home what howls will feature both public performances and student matinees, inviting all audiences to experience this world premiere. Regular tickets are $5 for high school students, $15 for college students and begin at $20 for the general public. Single tickets to a home what howls are now on sale at and (312) 335-1650.

Student Matinees

Student matinees will take place at 10 am on weekdays from Wednesday, February 7 – Friday, March 1, 2024. Tickets are only $5 for students and chaperones are free. Recommended for grades eight and up. To register your school, click here.

The a home what howls production team includes Lauren Nichols (Scenic Design), Uriel Gómez (Costume Design), Lindsey Lyddan (Lighting Design), Peter Clare (Sound Design), April Dawn Guthrie (Original Music), Maya Vinice Prentiss (Fight Choreographer & Intimacy Consultant), Kate DeVore (Vocal Coach), Mike Przygoda (Music Consultant), Bryar Barborka (Dramaturg), Patrick Zakem (Creative Producer), Elise Hausken (Production Manager), JC Clementz, CSA (Casting), Michelle Medvin (Production Stage Manager) and Kathleen Barrett (Assistant Stage Manager).



Cast: Charín Álvarez (abrana vargas), Tim Hopper (frank, male conductor), Leslie Sophia Pérez (soledad), Isabel Quintero (coyotl/syera loma) and Eddie Torres (manuel vargas).

Location: Steppenwolf’s Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell, 1646 N. Halsted St., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Friday, February 9 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, February 10 at 3 pm

Press Performance/Opening: Saturday, February 10 at 7:30 pm

Public Run: Saturday, February 17 – Saturday, March 2, 2024

Public Performance Curtain Times: Saturdays at 3 pm & 7 pm. Please note: there will be an added 7:30 pm performance on Friday, February 23 at 7:30 pm.

Tickets: Single tickets for a home what howls ($20 - $30) are now on sale at and the Box Office at (312) 335-1650. Regular tickets are $5 for high school students and $15 for college students.


Accessible Performance Dates:

Spanish Language-Captioned Student Matinee: Friday, February 16 at 10 am

Open-Captioned Public Performance: Saturday, February 17 at 3 pm

Relaxed Sensory Friendly Public Performance: Saturday, February 17 at 3 pm

Audio-Described and Touch Tour Public Performance: Saturday, February 24 at 3 pm (1:30 pm touch tour, 3 pm curtain)

ASL-Interpreted Student Matinee: Friday, March 1 at 10 am

ASL-Interpreted Public Performance: Saturday, March 2 at 3 pm


Artist Biographies:

Matthew Paul Olmos (Playwright) is a Mexican-American playwright who focuses on the creation of space for marginalized, underrepresented communities and gives them poetics and theatricality. While his work is always personal, it is aimed at reaching across sociopolitical boundaries, showing the ridiculous of how separate we are, and illuminating hope for future generations.

He is a three-time Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency recipient, inaugural Dramatists Guild Foundation Catalyst Fellow, Echo Theater Company Resident Playwright, lifetime Ensemble Studio Theatre member and Sloan Commission recipient, Playwrights’ Center Core Writer and two-time Venturous Playwright Fellowship nominee. Previous Actors’ Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival Commission, Arizona Theatre Company’s National Latine Playwriting Awardee, Baryshnikov Arts Center Resident Artist, Brooklyn Arts Exchange Resident Artist, Center Theatre Group LA Playwright, Drama League nominee, Geffen Playhouse Writers Room, Ingram New Works at Nashville Repertory, INTAR H.P.R.L., a proud Kilroys nominator, New York Theatre Workshop Fellow, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan Lab, two-time Ojai Playwrights Conference, inaugural Primary Stages Creative Development Grantee and Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, Princess Grace Awardee in Playwriting, Repertorio Español Miranda Family Nuestra Voces Playwriting Awardee. 

He spent two years as a Mabou Mines/SUITE Resident Artist being mentored by Ruth Maleczech, was chosen/mentored by Taylor Mac for Cherry Lane’s Mentor Project, and was La MaMa e.t.c.'s Ellen Stewart Emerging Playwright Awardee as selected by Sam Shepard. His work has been presented nationally and internationally, taught in university and is published by Concord Theatricals/Samuel French and NoPassport Press.

Laura Alcalá Baker (Director, she/they) is a Chicago-based director and new work developer specializing in unearthing the missing canon and reimagining the existing one. She lives in the intersection of a mixed child, one and both – Mexican American. Chicago directing credits include: Anna in the Tropics (Remy Bumppo), The Leopard Play, or sad songs for lost boys (Steep Theatre); The Way She Spoke (DCASE, Greenhouse Theater Center); Nancy García Loza’s BRAVA (Make-Believe Association); BULL: a love story (Paramount Theatre); and The Pillowman (The Gift Theatre). Regional directing credits include Somewhere Over the Border (City Theatre/People’s Light), Equivocation, The Giver, 11:11 and Collapse (B Street Theater). New play workshops and readings include work with Steep Theatre, The New Colony, Paramount Theatre and the Goodman Theatre New Stages Festival. She is a Steep Theatre ensemble member and a proud former member of the Alliance of Latinx Theatre Artists. She was nominated for “Best Casting Director” and “Best Director: Brava” at the ALTA Awards.

Charín Álvarez (abrana vargas) Steppenwolf Theatre Company: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, La Ruta, Infidel, Ordinary Yearning, Fermi. Chicago: Anna in the Tropics, Passage, Skin of Our Teeth, Clean House (Remy Bumppo); Lettie, Mojada, Oedipus El Rey, Anna in the Tropics, A Park in the House (Victory Gardens Theater); The Scene (Writers Theatre); 2666, Pedro Paramo, El Nogalar, Dollhouse, Electricidad (Goodman Theatre); In The Time of the Butterflies, Our Lady of the Underpass, I Put the Fear of Mexico in ‘em, Dreamlandia, Another Part of the House (Teatro Vista); Water by the Spoonful (Court Theatre); What We Once Felt (About Face Theatre); Kita & Fernanda (16th Street Theatre); Esperanza Rising (Chicago Children’s Theatre); Two Sisters and a Piano (Apple Tree Theatre); Generic Latina (Teatro Luna); La Casa de Bernarda Alba (Aguijon Theatre). Film/TV: Rooftop Wars, Arc of a Bird, Were the World Mine, Chicago Overcoat, First and Only Lesson, Dogwalker, Olympia: An Instruction Manual For How Things Work, Signature Move, En Algun Lugar, Somebody Somewhere, Paper Girls, Ripple Effects, Chicago Med, Easy, Shameless, Chicago Fire, Mob Doctor, Boss, Chicago Code, Approach Alone, Rogers Park, Princess Cyd, Single File, Teacher, Hala, Saint Frances, Rounding, Heartsong, Museum, Last Drop, Single Car Crashes and Adult Children.

Tim Hopper (frank/male conductor) is a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble. Recent roles at Steppenwolf include Andy in Downstate, which traveled to the National Theatre in London, and to Playwrights Horizons in New York. He also appeared at the Goodman Theatre in the title role of Uncle Vanya. Television appearances include Chicago Fire, the Amazon series Utopia, Fargo, The Americans, The Exorcist, Empire and Chicago Med. Film appearances include Perpetrator; Knives and Skin, School of Rock and To Die For, among others. Recipient of the 2018 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship. Broadway: Present Laughter. Off-Broadway: New York Theatre Workshop, Theatre for a New Audience, Vineyard Theatre and the Atlantic Theater. Regionally, at Long Wharf; Williamstown and La Jolla Playhouse. Internationally, the Edinburgh Festival and Antwerp's De Singel Theatre. 

Leslie Sophia Pérez (soledad) Class of ‘23 graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University. Steppenwolf Theatre Company: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter (also at Seattle Rep). Chicago: Project Potential (Theater on the Lake); Assumptions and Forgiveness (American Blues Theater). Television: Chicago PD, HBO Max Pilot: Computer School. Commercial: Visa commercial. @_leslie.sophia.

Isabel Quintero (coyotl/syera loma) Steppenwolf Theatre Company: The House On Mango Street (u/s), La Osa Menor (LookOut 2019, 2023). Chicago: In The Heights (Porchlight Music Theatre); The Sins of Sor Juana, Blood Wedding ad., Yasmina’s Necklace (u/s), Let the Eagle Fly, Boleros for the Disenchanted (u/s) (Goodman Theatre); Living Large in a Mini Kind of Way, Quita Mitos (Teatro Luna); La Posada Magica (Teatro Vista); Mark of Zorro (Lifeline Theatre) Regional: The Roommate (Renaissance Theaterworks); Mojada (Indianapolis Shakespeare Company); Quixote Nuevo (Roun House Theatre) Calabasas Street (Children’s Theater of Madison) Film: Holy Trinity, A Handful of Dirt, L.A.I.D.; Television: Chicago P.D.,The Chi. Awards: DCASE Esteemed Artist Award 2022;

Eddie Torres (manuel vargas) Steppenwolf Theatre Company: Downstate (2023 Lortel nomination/Best Featured Performer in a Play) at Playwrights Horizons, The National Theatre in London and Steppenwolf Theater Company. Directing: The Old Globe, productions of El Borracho, Familiar, Native Gardens and Water by the Spoonful. Geffen Playhouse, Second Stage, Goodman, The Public, Repetorio Espanol, and more. He directed the world premiere of Kristoffer Diaz's The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. (Victory Gardens Theatre & Teatro Vista), which was named Best Play and New York Times (2010).  Received Joseph Jefferson Awards, including Best Production and Director.  Awards: Latin ACE Award (Best Musical, Artist de Teatro Independient (Best Director). He is an Associate Professor in Theater at University of Illinois Chicago and is Artistic Director Emeritus at Teatro Vista.


As a commitment to make the Steppenwolf experience accessible to everyone, performances featuring American Sign Language Interpretation, Open Captioning and Audio Description are offered during the run of each STC production (see dates above). Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance and all our spaces are equipped with an induction hearing loop. Our building features wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms, push-button entrances, a courtesy wheelchair and all-gender restrooms, with accessible counter and table spaces at our bars. For additional information regarding accessibility, visit or e-mail

Sponsor Information

United Airlines is the Official and Exclusive Airline of Steppenwolf. Steppenwolf is also grateful for the significant season support from Northern Trust, Allstate Insurance Company, Amazon, Conagra Brands Foundation, Kirkland & Ellis, PNC, ArentFox Schiff, and Vinci Restaurant. Additional Steppenwolf Education support comes from the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, Polk Bros. Foundation, ADM and the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation. Steppenwolf also acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events. 

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is a Chicago theater that is home to America’s ensemble. The company began performing in the mid-1970s in the basement of a Highland Park, IL church—today Steppenwolf is the nation’s premier ensemble theater with 49 members who are among the top actors, playwrights and directors in the field. Deeply rooted in its ensemble ethos, the company is committed to equity, diversity, inclusion and making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to all. Groundbreaking productions from Balm in Gilead and August: Osage County to Downstate and Pass Over—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony® Awards—have made the theatre legendary. Artistic programming includes a membership series; a Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; and LookOut, a multi-genre performance series. The nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf Education engages more than 20,000 participants annually in Chicagoland communities promoting compassion, encouraging curiosity and inspiring action. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, more than 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. 2021 marked the opening of Steppenwolf’s landmark Lefkofsky Arts & Education Center—deepening the company’s commitment to Chicagoland teens and serving as a cultural nexus for Chicago. Glenn Davis and Audrey Francis are the Artistic Directors and E. Brooke Flanagan is Executive Director. Keating Crown is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees.

Steppenwolf’s Mission: Steppenwolf strives to create thrilling, courageous and provocative art in a thoughtful and inclusive environment. We succeed when we disrupt your routine with experiences that spark curiosity, empathy and joy. 

We invite you to join our ensemble as we navigate, together, our complex world.,, and

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