Cast Announced for Steppenwolf for Young Adults' THIS IS MODERN ART, Running 2/25-3/14

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Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) is thrilled to announce casting for the second production of its 2014/15 season, the world premiere of This Is Modern Art (based on true events) by acclaimed playwright Idris Goodwin and "Louder Than A Bomb" founder Kevin Coval. Directed by Lisa Portes, the cast of professional actors features Brittani Arlandis Green, Jerry MacKinnon, J. Salomé Martinez Jr., Kelly O'Sullivan, Jessie D. Prez and Chris Rickett.

This Is Modern Art (based on true events) runs February 25 - March 14, 2015; the press performance is on Saturday, February 28 at 3pm. School group performances are offered during the week at 10am; full schedule enclosed below. School group tickets are available by contacting Education and Community Programs Coordinator Lauren Sivak at 312-654-5643. Public performances are scheduled for Friday at 7:30pm (except February 27) and Saturday at 7:30pm. Single tickets ($20) to public performances are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and

The crew of Made U Look (MUL) is willing to risk anything for their art. Called vandals, criminals, even creative terrorists, these Chicago graffiti artists set out night after night to make their voices heard and alter the way people view the world. But when the crew finishes the biggest graffiti bomb of their careers, the consequences get serious and spark a public debate asking, where does art belong? Written by acclaimed playwright Idris Goodwin and "Louder Than A Bomb" founder Kevin Coval, This Is Modern Art (based on true events) provides a glimpse into the lives of anonymous graffiti artists and asks us to question the true purpose of art.

This play was first presented as a rehearsed reading in May 2014 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as a part of New Visions/New Voices 2014.

Idris Goodwin is a playwright, spoken word performer and essayist recognized across mediums by The National Endowment for the Arts and The Ford and Mellon Foundations. His play How We Got On, developed at The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, premiered at The 2012 Humana Festival of New Plays. How We Got On (Playscripts, 2013) is being remounted in theaters across the country and was nominated for an ATCA Steinberg New Play award. His play Blackademics, also nominated for a Steinberg award, was named best play of 2012 by the Chicago Tribune. He is currently developing new stage works with Denver Center Theatre Company, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, StageOne and Actors Theater of Louisville. He has enjoyed writing residencies with Berkeley Rep Theatre and New Harmony Project. Goodwin is a Core Writer with The Playwrights' Center. These Are The Breaks (Write Bloody, 2011), his debut collection of essays and poetry, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has performed on HBO, The Discovery Channel, Sesame Street and National Public Radio. He teaches performance writing and hip hop aesthetics at Colorado College.

Kevin Coval is a writer, performance artist and educator. He is the author of numerous poetry collections and chapbooks, including the American Library Association Book-of-the-Year finalist Slingshots: A Hip-Hop Poetica and L-vis Lives! Racemusic Poems, described as a "stunning, and very personal, piece of literary work that should be required reading in every high school in America" by Impose magazine.

In his early twenties, Coval founded "Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival," now one of the largest youth gatherings on the planet, recently the subject of an award-winning documentary of the same name. Coval currently serves as Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors, the non-profit home of "Louder Than A Bomb," and numerous other youth writing and hip hop programs. He is a native of Chicago, teaches at the School of the Art Institute and is a frequent contributor to WBEZ: Chicago Public Radio. His latest critically acclaimed collection is Schtick: Jewish Assimilation and Its Discontents.

Lisa Portes is a Chicago-based director and educator. Past projects for Steppenwolf include: Ski Dubai by Laura Jacqmin and Spare Change by Mia McCullough (First Look, Steppenwolf Theatre) and Elliot, A Soldiers Fugue by Quiara Alegría Hudes (Teatro Vista and Rivendell at Steppenwolf Garage). Other directing credits include: Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West (Timeline Theatre), Ghostwritten (Goodman Theatre) and After a Hundred Years (Guthrie Theatre) all by Naomi Iizuka, Highway 47 by KJ Sanchez (Yo Solo Festival, H.E.R.E.), Night Over Erzinga by Adriana Sevahn-Nichols (Silk Road Rising), Permanent Collection by Thomas Gibbons (Northlight Theatre), and Wilder by Erin Cressida Wilson and The Red Clay Ramblers (Playwrights Horizons), among others. Primarily a director of new American plays and musicals, Portes has developed new work at Goodman's Latino Theatre Festival and First Stages, New York Theatre Workshop, the Public Theatre, Soho Rep and the Sundance Theatre Lab, among others. She serves as Head of the MFA Directing Program at the Theatre School at DePaul University and Artistic Director for Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences.

The production team for This Is Modern Art (based on true events) includes Brian Sidney Bembridge (scenic design), Elsa Hiltner (costume design), J.R. Lederle (lighting design), Thomas Dixon (sound design) and Liviu Pasare (video design). Additional credits include Erica Daniels (casting) and Jonathan Nook (stage manager).

Title This Is Modern Art (based on true events)

Author Kevin Coval and Idris Goodwin

Director Lisa Portes

Cast Brittani Arlandis Green, Jerry MacKinnon, J. Salomé Martinez Jr.,

Kelly O'Sullivan, Jessie D. Prez and Chris Rickett

Location Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St

Dates February 25 - March 14, 2015

Public Performances Friday at 7:30pm (except February 27)

Saturday at 7:30pm

School Performances Wednesday - Friday at 10am (Feb 25 - Feb 27)

Tuesday - Thursday at 10am (March 2 - March 12)

Press Performance February 28 at 3pm

Public Ticket Price $20

$15 student tickets available via Audience Services and online

Audience Services 1650 N Halsted St, 312-335-1650

Online ticketing available at

School group tickets are available by contacting Education and Community Programs Coordinator Lauren Sivak at 312-654-5643.

Accessible Performances Audio Description ONLY - No Touch Tour: Saturday, February 28 at 3pm

ASL Interpretation: Saturday, February 28 at 3pm (public performance). ASL Interpretation for student performance TBA.

Open Captioning: Saturday, February 28 at 3pm

The Steppenwolf for Young Adults' 2014/15 explores the theme, "Create a Movement: The Art of Revolution."

"Join us this year as we investigate what makes us create movements and start revolutions. Today, in our technology-driven landscape, anyone can generate ideas that travel quickly around the world: any individual, any politician, any community organizer, any tech innovator, any artist," notes SYA Artistic and Educational Director Hallie Gordon. "But what does it take to create a movement? A desire for change is required for something to become more than an idea. So how does that happen? What is the art of a revolution?"

Steppenwolf for Young Adults' unique approach combines play production with educational components to enhance arts education for young audiences, as well as their teachers and families. SYA creates two full-scale professional productions each season specifically for teens. Working closely with the Chicago Public and metropolitan area schools and other community partners, SYA annually ensures access to the theater for more than 12,000 participants from Chicago's diverse communities. The initiative also includes post-show discussions with artists; classroom residencies led by Steppenwolf-trained teaching artists in more than 30 classrooms in 14 public high schools; professional development workshops for educators; and the Young Adult Council, an innovative year-round after-school initiative that uniquely engages high school students in all areas of the theater's operations.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is America's longest standing, most distinguished ensemble theater, producing nearly 700 performances and events annually in its three Chicago theater spaces-the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat Garage Theatre. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an ensemble of 44 actors, writers and directors. Artistic programming at Steppenwolf includes a five-play Subscription Season, a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season and two repertory series: First Look Repertory of New Work and Garage Rep. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Off-Broadway, Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Steppenwolf has the distinction of being the only theater to receive the National Medal of Arts, in addition to numerous other prestigious honors including an Illinois Arts Legend Award and twelve Tony Awards. Martha Lavey is the Artistic Director and David Hawkanson is the Executive Director. Nora Daley is the Chair of Steppenwolf's Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit, and

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