Photo Flash: KAFKA ON THE SHORE at Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf Theatre Company launches its 2008-2009 season, an exploration of the imagination, with the world premiere of Kafka on the Shore, based on the book by Haruki Murakami, adapted for the stage and directed by ensemble member Frank Galati.  The production, featuring ensemble members Francis Guinan and Jon Michael Hill with Christine Bunuan, Gerson Dacanay, Mary Ann de la Cruz, Christopher Larkin, Aiko Nakasone, Andrew Pang, David Rhee and Lisa Tejero, runs September 18 – November 16, 2008 in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted Street, Chicago.

A young boy's coming of age parallels an old man's search for destiny in modern day Japan where the borders between everyday reality, dreams and imagination are constantly crossed.  In this world premiere adaptation of the popular novel, encounter talking cats on the streets of Tokyo, World War II soldiers trapped in time, Colonel Sanders and Johnnie Walker.  Experience the unexpected in this fantastical tale about waking up to your own life.

Tony Award-winner Frank Galati adapted and directed Haruki Murakami's after the quake during Steppenwolf's 2005-2006 Season.  This critically-acclaimed production went on to successful runs at Long Wharf Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Rep.  Haruki Murakami, author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles and other novels, is an award-winning writer whose work has been translated into 34 languages.

Kafka on the Shore is directed by ensemble member Frank Galati.  The design team includes:  James Schuette (sets), Mara Blumenfeld (costumes), James F. Ingalls (lights), Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman (original music and sound) and Joe Dempsey (Fight Choreography).  Malcolm Ewen is the Stage Manager and Lauren V. Hickman is the Assistant Stage Manager. 

Kafka on the Shore was developed as part of Steppenwolf's New Plays Initiative.  Steppenwolf is recognized as a national leader in the development and production of new work for the American canon. Through this initiative, the company maintains ongoing relationships with writers of international prominence and rigorously discovers and supports the work of early and mid-career playwrights.

Steppenwolf's New Plays Initiative is generously sponsored by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Zell Family Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and members of the Directors Circle.

Committed to the principle of ensemble performance through the collaboration of a company of actors, directors and playwrights, Steppenwolf Theatre Company's mission is to advance the vitality and diversity of American theater by nurturing artists, encouraging repeatable creative relationships and contributing new works to the national canon.  The company, formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, is dedicated to perpetuating an ethic of mutual respect and the development of artists through on-going group work.  Steppenwolf has grown into an internationally renowned company of forty-one artists whose talents include acting, directing, playwriting, filmmaking and textual adaptation.  For additional information, visit


KAFKA ON THE SHORE runs from September 30 through November 16, 2008. There is no performance on Tuesday, September 23. Curtain Times:  Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30 p.m. (Sunday eve. performances through October 26 only), Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3:00 p.m, Wednesday matinees on October 29, November 5 and November 12 at 2:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $20-$70. Twenty $20 tickets are available at Audience Services beginning at 11:00 a.m. on the day of each performance (1:00 p.m. for Sunday performances).  Half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show.  Student discounts available. For more information, call 312-335-1650, or visit online ticketing at


photo credit: Michael Brosilow

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