Photos: Phylicia Rashad Directs the World Premiere of PURPOSE By Branden Jacobs- Jenkins At Steppenwolf Theatre Company

The world premiere production will run March 14 – April 21, 2024 in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theater.

By: Feb. 20, 2024
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Steppenwolf Theatre Company will continue its 48th season with the world premiere of Purpose, an epic family drama by two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by two-time Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad. See photos of the company below!

Purpose features ensemble members Alana Arenas (David Makes Man, The Brother/Sister Plays), Glenn Davis (King James, Downstate) and Jon Michael Hill (Elementary, Pass Over) with Ayanna Bria Bakari (Last Night and the Night Before, The Chi), Harry Lennix (The Blacklist, The DC Universe) and Tamara Tunie (Law & Order: SVU, I Wanna Dance with Somebody).

For decades, the influential Jasper family has been a pillar of Black American Politics: civil rights leaders, pastors and congressmen. But like all families, there are cracks and secrets just under the surface. When the youngest son Nazareth returns home to Illinois with an uninvited friend in tow, the family is forced into a reckoning with itself, its faith and the legacies of Black radicalism. Spirited, hilarious and filled with intrigue, Purpose is an epic family drama – a long-awaited world premiere from one of the country’s most celebrated voices.

The creative team includes Todd Rosenthal (Scenic Design), Dede Ayite (Costume Design), Amith Chandrashaker (Lighting Design), Rob Milburn & Michael Bodeen (Sound Design), Tyrone Phillips (Associate Director), Matthew Hawkins (Fight Choreographer), Kate DeVore (Vocal Coach), Jonathan L. Green (Dramaturg), Patrick Zakem (Creative Producer), Tom Pearl (Producing Director), JC Clementz, CSA (Casting), Laura D. Glenn (Production Stage Manager) and Jaclynn Joslin (Assistant Stage Manager). 


Purpose will play March 14 – April 21, 2024 in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theater, 1650 N. Halsted St. in Chicago Single tickets for starting at $20 are now on sale at or the Box Office at (312) 335-1650. 

Photo Credit: Joel Moorman