Steep Theatre's 14th Season to Feature Regional Premieres and Directors Jonathan Berrie, Joanie Schultz, and Robin Witt

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Steep Theatre's 14th Season to Feature Regional Premieres and Directors Jonathan Berrie, Joanie Schultz, and Robin Witt

Steep Theatre's upcoming Fourteenth Season features a slate of four premieres directed by a lineup of Chicago's hottest directors. Steep Artistic Associates Jonathan Berry, Joanie Schultz, and Robin Witt, who have accounted for some of Steep's most memorable shows in recent years, return home to direct this season. Shade Murray rounds out the season lineup and will be making his Steep directorial debut. Murray is responsible for some of the biggest hits in Chicago theatre in recent years, including A Red Orchid's Mud Blue Sky, Trevor, and The Aliens. The four directors will tackle a slate of U.S. and Midwest Premieres that continue Steep's tradition of producing bold, uncompromising new work.

"There's a magical element to this season, which has everyone on board incredibly excited," said Artistic Director Peter Moore. "There's a bit whimsy, a bit of fun, and a little bit of the spiritual. We're also excited to be presenting a group of playwrights who are largely unknown to Chicago audiences. These are four incredibly gifted writers, three of whom have never been produced in Chicago. We're all chomping at the bit to share these stories with our audiences."

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 and stakeholders 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 twice, the Tribune's Best of the Fringe list twice, the Sun Times' best of the year list twice, and WBEZ's Top Ten Shows of the Decade. Steep has received 21 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 Chicago Emerging Theatre Award Winner.

Steep Season 14 subscriptions are priced at $80 and are currently available on the company's website, www.steeptheatre.com, or can be purchased by calling 866-811-4111. Steep Theatre is located at 1115 West Berwyn, Chicago, Illinois, 60640.

THE MIDWEST PREMIERE OF THE VANDAL
By Hamish Linklater, Directed by Shade Murray
October 2nd - November 8th

On a freezing night at a bus stop in Kingston, NY, a pair of lost souls come to find solace and companionship in one another. Linklater's debut play is a startling and funny new work about how we carry on without the people we've loved.

"Fascinatingly quirky drama...Linklater demonstrates a Conor McPherson-esque way with spinning stories and a remarkable, all-too-rare willingness to take risks." - Entertainment Weekly

THE MIDWEST PREMIERE OF THE LIFE AND SORT OF DEATH OF ERIC ARGYLE
By Ross Dungan, Directed by Jonathan Berry
January 22nd - February 28th

Eric Argyle is having a bad Sunday. It's late, he's still in his pajamas, people are staring at him, and he died two days ago. Steep is thrilled to be the first U.S. company to present this heartwarming and magical play about lives lived without regret.

"An ingenious experience! Only those with a heart of stone could fail to be moved by a story that suggests no life is completely wasted." - The Guardian

THE U.S PREMIERE OF MARTYR
By Marius Von Mayenburg, Translated by Maja Zade, Directed by Joanie Schultz
April 16th - May 23rd

Benjamin's mother and teachers are alarmed when he begins espousing Fundamentalist Christian beliefs. Is it a ploy to ditch swimming class, or is it something more? Steep brings one of Germany's most widely produced playwrights to its audiences.

"A powerful drama which raises fundamental questions" - Un Fauteuil Pour L'Orchestre

THE U.S. PREMIERE OF BRILLIANT ADVENTURES
By Alistair McDowall, Directed by Robin Witt
Opening July 9th - August 15th

Tucked away in his dingy apartment, Luke has invented a device that could change the world - if only he thought the world was ready for it. When an opportunistic outsider arrives with designs on his invention and apartment, Luke's family and the universe itself are at risk of being torn apart.

"Sizzling exuberance and imagination" - The Guardian

The Steep Theatre is located at 1115 West Berwyn, Chicago, IL 60640. Single tickets are priced at $10-$35. Season tickets are $80. To purchase tickets, call (866) 811-4111 or visit www.steeptheatre.com.

General Information: 773-649-3186

THE DIRECTORS

SHADE MURRAY is an ensemble member at A Red Orchid Theater, where his directing credits include Mud Blue Sky, Trevor, The Aliens (Top Ten Shows of 2013 - Timeout Chicago), The Butcher of Baraboo, Abigail's Party and Kimberly Akimbo. Other credits include directing productions at Steppenwolf, Writers' Theatre, Second City, Next Theater, Wildclaw Theater, Strawdog Theatre, Roadworks Productions, and others. Shade's upcoming projects include Ecstasy with Cole Theater and Accidentally Like A Martyr at A Red Orchid. Shade teaches acting and directing at the University of Chicago.

JONATHAN BERRY is a Steep Theatre Artistic Associate who has delivered some of the biggest hits in the company's history, including If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, The Knowledge (Top Ten Shows of 2013 - Chicago Tribune), Moment, Festen (Top shows of 2011 - Chicago Sun Times, Timeout Chicago, Chicago Theatre Beat, theareinchicago.com), and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Top Ten Shows of 2007 - Timeout Chicago; Top Ten Shows of the Decade, Kelly Kleiman, WBEZ). Jonathan won the Jeff Award for Best Director for Griffin Theatre's Punk Rock in 2012, and he was nominated the past two years for Best Director for Steep's Moment and The Knowledge. His other credits include work with Steppenwolf, Goodman Theatre, The Gift, Chicago Dramatists, Lifeline Theatre, Remy Bumppo, Theatre Mir, and Red Twist.

JOANIE SCHULTZ is a Steep Theatre Artistic Associate whose work with the company has earned much critical acclaim and a host of Jeff nominations and awards. Her Steep credits include the Midwest Premieres of A Small Fire and Luther, as well the Jeff Award nominated/winning productions The Receptionist, A Brief History of Helen of Troy, and In Arabia We'd All Be Kings. Joanie recently directed the Goodman Theatre's critically acclaimed Midwest Premiere of Venus in Fur and Victory Gardens' Midwest Premiere of The Whale, which was named the top show of the 2013 by Timeout Chicago. Her other recent credits include work with Steppenwolf, Next Theatre, About Face, Chicago Dramatists, Remy Bumppo, and Strawdog Theatre.

ROBIN WITT has teamed with her artistic home Steep Theatre to deliver some of the more memorable shows in recent Chicago theatre history. Her credits with the company include Harper Regan (Top Ten Shows of 2010 - Chicago Tribune, Timeout Chicago), Motortown, Pornography, Love and Money, Parlour Song, and Breathing Corpses (Top Ten Shows of 2008). Robin recently directed Griffin Theatre's Men Should Weep, which is currently one of the best-reviewed shows in Chicago. She has worked in a variety of Chicago theaters including the Goodman Theatre, A Red Orchid, and Steppenwolf.

THE PLAYWRIGHTS

HAMISH LINKLATER's The Vandal was recently produced by the Flea Theatre in New York City. Theater acting credits include Broadway: Seminar, Off-Broadway: Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare in the Park) The School for Lies (Classic Stage Company, Obie); The Merchant of Venice, The Winter's Tale, Twelfth Night (Drama Desk nomination), Hamlet, The Square (NYSF/Public); The Busy World Is Hushed (Drama League nomination), Recent Tragic Events (Playwrights Horizons); Good Thing (New Group); Cyclone (Studio Dante); Romeo and Juliet, Love's Fire (Acting Company). Regional: Hamlet, The Violet Hour (South Coast Rep.); Hamlet (CT Critics Circle Award), Singing Forest (Long Wharf); A Midsummer Nights' Dream, Measure for Measure (Ahmanson, Paul Green Foundation Award). On television Hamish is currently starring in the comedy, The Crazy Ones and has appeared in 5 Days to Midnight and Live From Baghdad, as well as The Good Wife, The Newsroom, The Big C, The New Adventures of Old Christine. Films include 42, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, Lola Versus, Battleship, The Future (Berlin and Sundance Film Festivals), and Groove (Sundance Film Festival). Recent films include Lola Versus, Beyond Redemption and Battleship. He will also star Woody Allen's new film Magic in the Moonlight.

ROSS DUNGAN is a graduate of the Advanced Playwriting Course in Trinity College Dublin, taught by Marina Carr. He is also one-third of the hugely successful Irish sketch-comedy group A Betrayal of Penguins who have experienced hugely successful runs at the Edinburgh Fringe in the past two years. His play, Minute after Midday which follows three people affected by the Omagh bombing, won a Fringe First in 2011 and The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle was nominated for Best New Play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards in 2013 as well as the Stewart Parker Trust Award. The play had a successful run at Soho Theatre and transferred to 59E59 in New York in September 2014. Ross currently writes for RTE's Fair City and Roy and for a number of projects for Tilted Pictures and his latest play will premiere at the Dublin Fringe Festival in September 2014.

MARIUS VON MAYENBURG is a playwright, translator, dramaturg, director and one of the most widely produced German playwrights. His plays receive regularly productions at the Schaubühne/Berlin, the Royal Court Theater/ London, and other major theaters around the world. In 1992, Mayenburg began his studies in dramatic writing at the Academy of the Arts in Berlin. His first play Fireface (Feuergesicht), written in 1997, was an enormous success. It premiered at the Kammerspiele in Munich and was subsequently produced at the Kleist Theater in Frankfurt (Oder) and at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg. Since then the play has been successfully produced worldwide and translated into many languages. For Fireface, Mayenburg received the Award for Emerging Playwrights "Kleistförderpreis für junge Dramatiker" and the prize of the Frankfurt Writer's Foundation "Preis der Frankfurter Autorenstiftung". Mayenburg's oeuvre includes more than ten plays, all of them have been produced in Germany as well as worldwide. He is currently dramaturg and playwright in residence at the Schaubühne/Berlin.

ALISTAIR McDOWALL's play Brilliant Adventures won the Bruntwood Judge's award in 2011 and was subsequently produced at the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester and Live Theatre Newcastle 2013. It was shortlisted for the Writers' Guild 'Best Play' Award 2013 and was winner of the Manchester Theatre Best Studio Production 2014. His other plays include Pomona, Talk Show, Captain Amazing, Plain Jane, Some Scary Stories, 5:30, Eighteen Stupid Stories Why I Love You Lots and Lots, and Nettles. Alistair's work has been produced at the Royal Court, Manchester Royal Exchange, Finborough Theatre, Contact Theatre, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Buxton Fringe Festival, where he has won the Judges Award and the award for Best New Writing. His work has also been nominated for Best New Play and Best Fringe Production at the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards.

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