Four Free Events Announced for THE DOPPELGANGER (an International Farce)

Four Free Events Announced for THE DOPPELGANGER (an International Farce) In conjunction with the world premiere of The Doppelgänger (an international farce) by Matthew-Lee Erlbach, Steppenwolf Theatre Company is offering four free events on select Sundays during the run of the show. Each discussion is a fun and casual chance for audience members to engage with experts on topics associated with the production. Space is limited. RSVP through Audience Services at 312.335.1650 or at

The Doppelgänger (an international farce) runs April 5 - May 27, 2018 in the Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St.

The Doppelgänger (an international farce) Engagement Events Lineup

Dates and Locations of Events Vary

A Conversation with Playwright Matthew-Lee Erlbach

Sunday, April 8


1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted St.

What began as an idea for a play about workers' rights is now a sprawling comedy having its world premiere under the direction of ensemble member Tina Landau. Meet playwright Matthew-Lee Erlbach, and hear him talk candidly about the development of the play, its political message, and his own fascinating career.

Moderated by Dramaturg Polly Hubbard

How to Make a Farce in 2018

Sunday, April 22


Merle Reskin Garage Theatre, 1624 N. Halsted St.

Farce has for centuries been a theatrical genre which skewered reality and entertained audiences by presenting crude characterizations of characters in improbable and absurd situations. What does farce uniquely offer audiences and artists wishing to examine our world today? And for the artists tasked with remounting classic farce (or staging a world premiere), how does one remain true to a form that may challenge our current standards for representing lived realities and identities on stage?

Panelists include Bobby Kennedy (Director of New Work & Dramaturgy, Writers Theatre) and Tania Richard (Actress, Writer and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant).

Moderated by Lavina Jadhwani

The History & Politics of Farce in Cinema, with special guest Charles Coleman, programmer at Facets Cinémathèque

Sunday, May 6


1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted St.

If you're watching a piece of live theater with broad comedic characters, lots of opening and closing doors, probably a case of mistaken identities, and maybe a body double or two, you're probably watching a farce. But what does farce typically look like on film? In this conversation, watch clips from notable international film farces and learn about how farce made the jump from stage to screen, its key characteristics, and its political impact.

Moderated by Lavina Jadhwani

Behind the Scenes of The Doppelgänger (an international farce)

Sunday, May 20


Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St.

A core tenet of theatrical farce is improbability, so hopefully at least once while watching The Doppelgänger (an international farce) you will find yourself asking in wonder, "How did they do that???" This is your opportunity to learn how, in a presentation led by members our Production team.

The Doppelgänger (an international farce) by Matthew-Lee Erlbach (Apr 5 - May 27, 2018)

Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents the highly anticipated world premiere comedy, The Doppelgänger (an international farce) written by Chicagoland native Matthew-Lee Erlbach (Showtime's Masters of Sex, Off-Broadway's Handbook for an American Revolutionary). Directed by ensemble member Tina Landau (SpongeBob Squarepants: The Broadway Musical), this hilarious farce features an 11-member cast led by actor and comedian Rainn Wilson, well-known for his role as "Dwight Schrute" on NBC's award-winning comedy The Office, in the role of Thomas Irdley/Jimmy Peterson. Steppenwolf's newest ensemble member Celeste M. Cooper joins the cast of fellow ensemble members-Audrey Francis, Ora Jones, Sandra Marquez and James Vincent Meredith-alongside acclaimed actors Michael Accardo, Kagan Brewer, Rodney Jones III, Whit K. Lee, Andy Nagraj, Dan Plehal and Karen Rodriguez.

In the dangerous back channels of international resource politics, a wealthy British businessman suffers an untimely accident just before a critical African copper deal is signed. So when his unwitting (and witless) American doppelgänger is thrust into negotiations to avert intercontinental disaster, chaos erupts, leaving us wondering: whose side are we supposed to be on...and who will save Africa?? The Doppelgänger (an international farce) is a hilarious, irreverent and timely look at the back-room deals that shape our world and the unlikely cast of characters who make them.

Previews begin April 5 (opening is Sunday, April 15) and runs through May 27, 2018 in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St. Press performances are Sunday, April 15 at 6pm and Tuesday, April 17 at 7:30pm. Single tickets ($20 - $109) are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 or

About the Playwright

Matthew-Lee Erlbach is an actor/playwright from Chicago and New York, his plays include Off-Broadway's critically acclaimed Handbook for an American Revolutionary (Gym at Judson) and Eager to Lose, a Burlesque Farce in Rhyming Verse (Ars Nova). His work has been developed with The New Group, Vineyard, Ars Nova, MCC, Williamstown, NYTW, and Orchard Project. A recipient of the Humanitas Prize New Voices Award, his work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Puffin Foundation, Laurents/ Hatcher Foundation, and was a member of Ars Nova's 2014/15 Play Group. TV credits include Masters of Sex (Showtime), Gypsy (Netflix), Nickelodeon, and WWE. A proud graduate of the public school system from K through college, he volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and runs a writing program he created for single mothers transitioning out of homelessness and prison.

About the Director

Tina Landau is a writer, director, and teacher whose work includes directing/conceiving SpongeBob Squarepants: The Broadway Musical (currently on Broadway), Tarell McCraney's Head of Passes (Steppenwolf, The Public and the Mark Taper Forum), WIG OUT! (Vineyard Theatre), and In the Red and Brown Water (The Public), Bill Irwin/David Shiner's Old Hats and Chuck Mee's Big Love and Iphigenia 2.0 (all Signature Theatre), Paula Vogel's A Civil War Christmas (New York Theatre Workshop), and her musical Floyd Collins (also bookwriter/additional lyrics, Playwrights Horizons.) On Broadway, Landau has also directed Tracy Letts's Superior Donuts and the revival of Bells Are Ringing. At Steppenwolf, where she is an ensemble member, directing credits include The Wheel, Hot L Baltimore, The Brother/Sister Plays, The Tempest, The Time of Your Life (also Seattle Rep, ACT), The Diary of Anne Frank, The Cherry Orchard, The Ballad of Little Jo, Berlin Circle, and her own play Space (also Mark Taper Forum, the Public.) Landau has co-authored The Viewpoints Book with Anne Bogart and has taught regularly at such schools as Yale, Columbia, Harvard, and Northwestern. Upcoming projects include a follow-up book with Bogart, Viewpoints on Viewpoints, and the premiere of the new musical Dave this spring at Arena Stage.

The Doppelgänger (an international farce) production team includes Todd Rosenthal (scenic design), Clint Ramos (costume design), Scott Zielinski (lighting design), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound design). Additional credits include Malcolm Ewen (stage manager), Christine D. Freeburg (assistant stage manager), JC Clementz (casting director), Polly Hubbard (dramaturg), Gigi Buffington (company vocal coach), Jonathan Berry (artistic producer) and Patrick Zakem (artistic co-producer).

Casting note: The role of Thomas/Jimmy will be played by Eric Slater, in place of Rainn Wilson, for the following performances: April 22, 7:30pm; April 24, 7:30pm; May 6, 3pm and 7:30pm; May 20, 3pm; May 22, 7:30pm.

Tickets & Membership Info

Single tickets ($20-$109) are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650, Black Card Memberships are still available for the remainder of the 17/18 season. They are designed for audiences interested in extreme flexibility with six tickets for use any time for any production. Perks include easy and free exchanges, access to seats before the general public, savings on single ticket prices and bar and restaurant discounts for pre- and post-show socializing. Red Card memberships are available for theatergoers under 30. To purchase a Flex Card Membership, visit Audience Services at 1650 N Halsted St, call 312-335-1650 or visit

Remaining 2017/18 Season

The final shows of the season are Guards at the Taj by Rajiv Joseph, a story about the search for beauty in desperate circumstances (May 31 - June 22, 2018) directed by ensemble member Amy Morton who returns to direct the cast from the acclaimed Off-Broadway production; and The Roommate, by Jen Silverman, directed by Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show, A Raisin In The Sun, Tracy Letts's August: Osage County). In The Roommate, a comically mismatched pair of roommates leads to a surprising and touching friendship (June 21 - August 5, 2018).


Committed to making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to everyone, performances featuring American Sign Language Interpretation, Open Captioning and Audio Description are offered during the run of each play. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance, and the Downstairs and 1700 Theatres are each equipped with an induction hearing loop. All theaters feature wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms, and Front Bar features a push-button entrance, all-gender restrooms and accessible counter and table spaces.

Visitor Information

Steppenwolf is located at 1650 N Halsted St near all forms of public transportation, bike racks and Divvy bike stands. The parking facility ($12 or $14, cash or card) is located just south of our theater at 1624 N Halsted. Valet parking service ($14 cash) is available directly in front of the main entrance at 1650 N Halsted St starting at 5pm on weeknights, 1pm on weekends and at 12 noon before Wednesday matinees. Limited street and lot parking are also available. For last minute questions and concerns, patrons can call the Steppenwolf Parking Hotline at 312.335.1774.

The Doppelgänger (an international farce) is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as United Airlines and PwC. United Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Steppenwolf and ComEd is the Official Lighting Sponsor for the 17/18 season.

Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks

Connected to the main lobby is Steppenwolf's own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks, offering a warm, creative space to grab a drink, have a bite, or meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night. Open Tuesdays - Sundays from 8am to midnight, Front Bar serves artisanal coffee and espresso is provided by La Colombe and food prepared by Goddess and Grocer. The menu focuses on fresh, accessible fare, featuring grab-and-go salads and sandwiches for lunch and adding shareable small plates and desserts for evening and post show service.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation's premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble represents a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead to August: Osage County-and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony Awards-have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programming includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multi-genre performances series. Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago's diverse communities; the esteemed School at Steppenwolf; and Professional Leadership Programs for arts administration training. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf's Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit,, and

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