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Mike Birbiglia to Present THE OLD MAN AND THE POOL at Steppenwolf Theatre

With his unique form of comedic storytelling, Birbiglia's The Old Man and the Pool chronicles a coming-of-middle-age story that asks the big questions.

Mike Birbiglia to Present THE OLD MAN AND THE POOL at Steppenwolf Theatre

On the heels of his award-winning Broadway show, The New One, comedian and storyteller Mike Birbiglia is coming to the Steppenwolf stage with a tale of life, death, and a highly chlorinated YMCA pool. With his unique form of comedic storytelling, Birbiglia's The Old Man and the Pool chronicles a coming-of-middle-age story that asks the big questions: Why are we here? What's next? And what happens when the items at the doctor's office that you thought were decorative become quite useful?

Directed by Seth Barrish, The Old Man and the Pool runs for four weeks only, April 28 - May 22, 2022, in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theater (1650 N. Halsted St.). Tickets are still available, by visiting steppenwolf.org/TheOldManandThePool or by calling 312-335-1650. Tickets range from $55 - $75 (prices subject to change); discounted tickets available for Steppenwolf members. The Old Man and the Pool runs 85 minutes without an intermission.

"I've been performing in Chicago since the early 2000s and feel so close to the people of the city. It's a theater-loving and improv-loving and comedy-loving town and I always feel at home when I'm there, especially when I stay at people's homes and politely ask them to leave. Joking aside, the idea of performing my own solo show at Steppenwolf literally feels like a dream. Between Sam Shepard's True West and Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile it's got a lineage that is second to none," shares Mike Birbiglia.

"What can Chicagoans expect? Well, my last show was called The New One and my director Seth Barrish and I constructed it to be a hybrid of comedy and emotionality in a single evening of theatre. The Old Man and The Pool has the exact same goal. We want you to laugh. We want you to feel. We try to delve into some big themes: life, death, and mortality. But with jokes. And stories. A lot of them. I've been writing this show for three years and developing it on my Working It Out podcast with guests like Ira Glass and Tig Notaro and others, and Chicago will be one of the first places where people first get to see it formed as a single evening of theatre. I'm thrilled to bring it to Chicago. Selfishly, I can't wait to spend four weeks in a city where I always want to stay longer. So thanks for having me. You can see me perform at Steppenwolf or you can also see me eating hot dogs at Wrigley Field," adds Birbiglia.

About Mike Birbiglia

Mike Birbiglia is a comedian, storyteller, director, podcaster, producer, and actor who has performed in front of audiences worldwide. His solo shows Sleepwalk With Me, My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, Thank God For Jokes, and The New One enjoyed successful Off Broadway runs and his most recent show, The New One moved to Broadway where he received the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance. The New One and Thank God For Jokes became critically acclaimed Netflix specials. Birbiglia also wrote, directed. and starred in the films Sleepwalk with Me and Don't Think Twice. His books, Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories and The New One are both national bestsellers. He's appeared in the films Trainwreck, The Fault in Our Stars and Popstars as well as TV roles in Orange Is the New Black and Billions. He hosts a podcast, Mike Birbiglia's "Working It Out," and is currently touring with his newest show The Old Man and The Pool.

The Expanded Steppenwolf Campus

Steppenwolf Theatre Company's trailblazing new 50,000 square foot theater building and education center, the Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center, was designed by world-renowned architect Gordon Gill FAIA of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, with construction by Norcon. The centerpiece of the new Arts and Education Center is the new 400-seat in-the-round Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell-one of its kind in Chicago-with theater design and acoustics by Charcoalblue. The inaugural production in the Ensemble Theater will be ensemble member Yasen Peyankov's extraordinarily funny and magical adaptation of Seagull, stacked with a cast of ensemble members (April 28-June 12, 2022).

The expanded Steppenwolf campus is a cultural nexus for Chicago, offering bold and ambitious opportunities for creative expression, social exchange, unparalleled accessibility, and arts-driven learning for Chicago youth in The Loft, Steppenwolf's first-ever dedicated education space. The campus expansion also features bright new lobbies and two new full-service bars for socializing designed by fc STUDIO, inc. The $54 million new building is part of Steppenwolf's multi-phase $73 million Building on Excellence expansion campaign. Learn more about Steppenwolf's campus expansion at steppenwolf.org/buildingonexcellence.

A Safe Return

Steppenwolf is part of the growing coalition of more than 70 Chicagoland performing arts venues and producers that have agreed upon COVID-19 vaccination and mask requirements for all audiences, artists and staff. Audience members must provide proof of vaccination in addition to wearing masks. Learn more about Steppenwolf's guidelines at steppenwolf.org/welcomeback.

Steppenwolf has worked over the past year with our operations team, public health advisors and HVAC consultants to prepare its facility to safely welcome patrons back for performances. The addition of the new Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center has expanded the square footage of the lobbies to nearly twice the previous amount of space offered to guests. Two additional elevators and multiple stairways have also been added to Steppenwolf's campus for ease of transition between seating levels. The HVAC systems have undergone upgrades to allow for increased filtration and a higher percentage of circulated fresh air across all three theaters.

Accessibility

Steppenwolf offers accessible services to ensure all audience members have access to our work, including American Sign Language interpretation (available for student matinees as scheduled with education staff or per public performances below), Spanish Language captions, wheelchair accessible seating and more. With questions, email access@steppenwolf.org.

Steppenwolf's Mission: Steppenwolf strives to create thrilling, courageous and provocative art in a thoughtful and inclusive environment. We succeed when we disrupt your routine with experiences that spark curiosity, empathy and joy. We invite you to join our ensemble as we navigate, together, our complex world. steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre, twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr and instagram.com/steppenwolfthtr.

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