Photo Flash: First Look at Steppenwolf's World Premiere of THE WAY WEST

Chicago audiences depart for the country's western edge to experience the reality of the modern-day American dream in the world premiere of Mona Mansour's funny and insightful new play, The Way West, at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Ensemble member Amy Morton is at the helm following her Tony Award-nominated portrayal of Martha in Steppenwolf's production of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? on Broadway. The cast of six features Ira Amyx, ensemble member Martha Lavey, Caroline Neff, Deirdre O'Connell, Zoe Perry and Gabriel Ruiz. The Way West opens April 13 and runs through June 8, 2014 in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Scroll down to see some photos from the production!

In a modern-day California town that's seen better days, Mom (O'Connell) shares death-defying tales of pioneer crossings with her two squabbling adult daughters (Neff, Perry) as she waits for her bankruptcy to come through. This hilarious and heartbreaking play about today's American family explores the mixed blessing of our great frontier spirit, which has fueled both self-delusion and survival.

"I think what most moved us about The Way West-which is a curious form: a play with songs, a spiky humor, and a dead-serious theme-is its relevance to how we live now," comments Artistic Director Martha Lavey. "I think Mona is asking us to look more closely at our American myth of manifest destiny, which is fueled by an image that Americans possess special virtues that make our situation exceptional."

The production team for The Way West includes: Kevin Depinet (scenic design), Nan Cibula-Jenkins (costume design), David Weiner (lighting design), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound design, original music and arrangements) and Malcolm Ruhl (musical director). Additional credits include: Erica Daniels (casting), Deb Styer (stage manager) and Michelle Medvin (assistant stage manager).

Tickets to The Way West ($20 - $78) are on sale now through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org. Twenty $20 tickets are available through Audience Services beginning at 11am on the day of each performance (1pm for Sunday performances). Half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show. A limited number of $15 student tickets are available online. Limit 2 tickets per student; must present a valid student ID for each ticket. For additional student discounts, visit steppenwolf.org/students. All groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance throughout the season. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org/groups.

Photo Credit: Michael Brosilow

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Photo Flash: First Look at Steppenwolf's World Premiere of THE WAY WEST
Zoe Perry (Manda), Ira Amyx (The Pizza Guy), and Caroline Neff (Meesh)

Photo Flash: First Look at Steppenwolf's World Premiere of THE WAY WEST
Gabriel Ruiz (Manny) and Deidre O'Conell (Mom)

Photo Flash: First Look at Steppenwolf's World Premiere of THE WAY WEST
Zoe Perry (Manda) and Gabriel Ruiz (Manny)

Photo Flash: First Look at Steppenwolf's World Premiere of THE WAY WEST
Caroline Neff (Meesh), Dierdre O'Conell (Mom), and Zoe Perry (Manda)

Photo Flash: First Look at Steppenwolf's World Premiere of THE WAY WEST
Zoe Perry (Manda) and Gabriel Ruiz (Manny)

Photo Flash: First Look at Steppenwolf's World Premiere of THE WAY WEST
Zoe Perry (Manda), Dierdre O'Conell (Mom), and Martha Lavey (Tress)

Photo Flash: First Look at Steppenwolf's World Premiere of THE WAY WEST
Caroline Neff (Meesh) and Zoe Perry (Manda)

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