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MONSTER's Namir Smallwood Joins Steppenwolf Theatre Company Ensemble

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro announced today the addition of Namir Smallwood to the world-renowned ensemble.

Namir Smallwood is currently in the world premiere adaptation of Walter Dean Myers's Monster, running through March 4 in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre. Smallwood has also performed at Steppenwolf in Man In Love, Hot L Baltimore and in Philip Dawkins's Charm produced by Northlight Theatre at Steppenwolf.

"I have been a fan of Namir's since the first time I saw him onstage, here at Steppenwolf. His ability to completely transform, inhabit and magnify each moment is truly astonishing and we are excited for all that he will bring to the company," says Anna D. Shapiro.

Named as one of the Chicago Tribune's 2016 "Hot New Faces," Smallwood has garnered critical acclaim for his work with several Chicago theaters, most recently, The Grapes of Wrath (Gift Theatre) and East Texas Hot Links (Writers Theatre). Regionally, he has worked with Marin Theatre Company, Pillsbury House Theatre, Ten Thousand Things and Guthrie Theater with TV credits on Chicago Fire and Betrayal.

On joining the ensemble Namir Smallwood shares, "I get a chance to expand my unique gifts and perspective and add something to this particular tapestry. For that, I am deeply honored."

Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the Steppenwolf ensemble has grown to 48 members who represent the best in American Theatre. Since Anna D. Shapiro began as Artistic Director in 2015, Audrey Francis, Sandra Marquez and Caroline Neff have also been welcomed into the ensemble.

Remaining public performances of Monster are March 3 at 7:30pm and March 4 at 3pm in the Downstairs Theatre. A New York Times bestselling novel and National Book Award nominee, Monster tells the story of Steve Harmon, a 16-year-old aspiring filmmaker in juvenile detention. Of Namir Smallwood's performance in Monster, Time Out Chicago calls him "a master of hidden pain and anger" and the Chicago Tribune hails his "emotional complexity." Tickets ($20) are available at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.

Steppenwolf ensemble members include: Joan Allen, Kevin Anderson, Alana Arenas, Randall Arney, Kate Arrington, Ian Barford, Robert Breuler, Gary Cole, Kathryn Erbe, Audrey Francis, K. Todd Freeman, Frank Galati, Francis Guinan, Moira Harris, Jon Michael Hill, Tim Hopper, Tom Irwin, Ora Jones, Terry Kinney, Tina Landau, Martha Lavey, Tracy Letts, John Mahoney, John Malkovich, Sandra Marquez, MariAnn Mayberry, Tarell Alvin McCraney, James Vincent Meredith, Laurie Metcalf, Amy Morton, Sally Murphy, Caroline Neff, Bruce Norris, Austin Pendleton, Jeff Perry, William Petersen, Yasen Peyankov, Martha Plimpton, Rondi Reed, Molly Regan, Anna D. Shapiro, Eric Simonson, Gary Sinise, Namir Smallwood, Lois Smith, Rick Snyder, Jim True-Frost and Alan Wilder.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation's premier ensemble theater-redefining the landscape of acting and performance. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble has grown to 48 members who represent 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. Additional 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. Steppenwolf's own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks serves coffee, cocktails and a menu curated in partnership with the Boka Restaurant Group day and night. 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 steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre, twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr and instagram.com/steppenwolfthtr.



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