Steep Theatre Names First Associate Playwright: Simon Stephens
SteepTheatre Company has announced that it will welcome Simon Stephens as the company's inaugural Associate Playwright. Mr. Stephens is a two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright whose work has been produced extensively throughout the U.K., Europe, Australia, and the U.S. The announcement formalizes the close relationship that has developed between the Chicago theater company and theLondon-based playwright over the last few years. The title of Associate Playwright recognizes Steep's admiration for Mr. Stephens' work, their appreciation for all he has done on their behalf, and their commitment to further collaboration.
"Simon has been an invaluable friend to our company for some time now," said Steep Artistic Director and co-founder Peter Moore. "In addition to being incredibly generous with his work, he has gone out of his way to champion our company and introduce us to the work of others. We think the world of him and we're honored and delighted to officially count him as a part of the Steep family." For his part, Mr. Stephens was "thrilled and touched and flattered" to be associated with Steep.
Steep is currently presenting the North American premiere of Mr. Stephens' Motortown, marking the third Stephens play that Steep has produced. Steep's critically acclaimed 2010 U.S. premiere of Harper Regan was the company's first collaboration with Mr. Stephens, followed the next year by an equally powerful production of his play Pornography. All three Stephens pieces were directed by Steep Artistic Associate Robin Witt. Mr. Stephens visited Steep in 2012, during which time he performed a public reading of his piece Sea Wall, and Steep presented the first public reading of his playBlindsided, a new work commissioned by the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, England. Blindsided is slated to make its world premiere at the Royal Exchange on January 23, 2014. Steep's production of Motortown is scheduled to run through November 9.
Mr. Stephens' other work includes Bluebird; Herons; Port (Pearson Award for Best New Play); Country Music; On the Shore of the Wide World (Olivier Award for Best New Play); Punk Rock; The Trial of Ubu; A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky written in collaboration with David Eldridge and Robert Holman; Marine Parade, a play with songs, written with Mark Eitzel; Wastwater; an adaptation of Jon Fosse's I am theWind; Three Kingdoms; Morning; a new version of A Doll's House; and an adaptation of Mark Haddon's novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Olivier Award for Best New Play).
Steep Theatre has become known as a home for hard-hitting, finely tuned ensemble work. With each production, the company has shepherded a growing community of audiences andstakeholders into bold new territories of story and performance. Over the years, Steep productions have been named in TimeOut Chicago's Top Ten Shows of the Year list five times, the Tribune's Top Ten List once, the Tribune's Best of the Fringe list twice, the SunTimes' best of the year list twice, and WBEZ's Top Ten Shows of the Decade. In six years of Jeff Eligibility, Steep has received 11 Jeff Nominations and has won the 2009 Jeff Award for Best Ensemble, the 2010 Jeff Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and the 2011 Jeff Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Steep was named the 2010 Broadway in ChicagoEmerging Theatre Award Winner.
SteepTheatre is located at 1115 West Berwyn, Chicago, IL 60640. For more information, visit www.steeptheatre.com