Philip Dawkins' THE BURN to Debut with Steppenwolf for Young Adults in 2017-18; Lineup Announced!

Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) has announced its 2017/18 season: The Crucible, the Tony Award-winning American classic by Arthur Miller directed by Steppenwolf Artistic Producer Jonathan Berry, and the world premiere of The Burn by Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins directed by Devon de Mayo. SYA's 2017/18 Season explores the question, When you Say it Enough, Does a Lie Become the Truth?

"Written in response to the spread of McCarthyism, Arthur Miller's classic work The Crucible explores a paranoid witch hunt and its very real consequences; in conversation with this epic drama, we are proud to present an SYA commission, the world premiere of Philip Dawkins's The Burn, a modern telling of the way social media blurs the lines of truth and fiction and paves the way for new kinds of witch hunts in 2018," shares SYA Artistic Director Hallie Gordon.

Tickets to both productions are now on sale. Single tickets ($20; $15 with student I.D.) are available through Audience Services (1650 N. Halsted) at 312-335-1650 and To book a group of 10 or more to a public performance, email or call 312-932-2422. For more information, visit

Also announced-Steppenwolf expands to create a new department, Steppenwolf Education, under which Steppenwolf for Young Adults will be housed and continue its tradition of creating world-class productions for teen audiences. In addition to these productions, Steppenwolf Education will oversee educator training, teen programming and an expanded model for community partnerships, allowing Steppenwolf to reach neighborhoods and communities in new ways.

Hallie Gordon, who has served as Artistic Director for SYA for more than 15 years, will continue to curate the season for SYA. Megan Shuchman, who has worked with Steppenwolf's education team for the past seven seasons, has stepped into the new role of Director of Education, alongside Education Coordinator, Jared Bellot.

Says Executive Director David Schmitz of this change, "The creation of Steppenwolf Education puts education in the heart of all we do at Steppenwolf and better aligns our vision for the mission of this theatre with our vital education programs. We look forward to expanding and deepening our partnerships in schools and communities through Steppenwolf Education and all that can come from this exciting change."

Steppenwolf for Young Adults' 2017/18 Season:

(All plays, artists and dates are subject to change)

The Crucible

Written by Arthur Miller

Directed by Jonathan Berry

October 4 - October 21, 2017

In the Downstairs Theatre

Since its premiere in 1953, Arthur Miller's The Crucible, a masterful and chilling portrayal of the historic Salem Witch Trials and an allegory for the rise of McCarthyism in the late 1940s, has rightfully become an American classic serving as both a cautionary tale and provocation that compels each generation to reflect upon the harrowing world it portrays.

The people of Salem are whipped into a bloodthirsty frenzy by a series of escalating misinterpretations after a group of teenage girls are accused of dancing devilishly in the woods. Rather than face consequences for their actions, the girls begin a chain of finger-pointing until neighbor turns against neighbor, whispers become testimony, fabrications become facts, and a once powerless teenage girl suddenly has the ability to decide the fate of all those around her. As the hearts of the townsfolk become poisoned, even virtuous farmer and family man John Proctor is falsely accused of witchcraft and must fight a corrupt court to protect his good name.

Public performances for The Crucible are Sat, 10/7 3pm & 7:30pm; Sun, 10/8 3pm; Fri 10/13 7:30pm; Sat 10/14 3pm & 7:30pm; and Sat 10/21 3pm & 7:30.

Arthur Miller (Playwright) was a prominent figure in American literature for more than 61 years, writing a wide variety of plays, including The Crucible, All My Sons, and Death of a Salesman. Miller was the recipient of the New York Drama Critics Circle award, multiple Tony awards, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Jonathan Berry joined the Steppenwolf staff as Artistic Producer and Director of The School at Steppenwolf in June 2015. A prolific director, he began his work in Chicago as Steppenwolf's Artistic Office intern in 1998, and has continued a strong relationship with the company since. His Steppenwolf directing credits include Nick Payne's Constellations, MeLinda Lopez's Gary for First Look and A Separate Peace for Steppenwolf for Young Adults, as well as assisting on The Weir, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Mother Courage and Her Children and This is Our Youth. Since 2009, Berry has taught Viewpoints for the School at Steppenwolf. A company member of both Steep and Griffin Theatres, Berry has also directed for many Chicago companies, including Goodman Theatre, Steep, Griffin, Remy Bumppo, Redtwist, Lifeline, and The Gift. He recently direcTed Griffin's critically acclaimed production of Winterset, and Steep's production of Earthquakes in London.

The Burn

A new play by Philip Dawkins

Directed by Devon de Mayo

February 14 - March 3, 2018

In the Upstairs Theatre

Mercedes is an outsider. Tara makes sure she knows it. When a high school production of The Crucible forces them together, tensions escalate into acts of bullying-both online and IRL. This world premiere play explores what happens to a teacher and his students when a classroom conflict turns into an online witch-hunt.

The Burn was commissioned by Steppenwolf for Young Adults.

Public performances for The Burn are Sat, 2/17 3pm & 7:30p; Fri 2/23 7:30pm; Sat 2/24 3pm & 7:30; Fri 3/2 7:30pm; Sat 3/3 3pm & 7:30pm.

Philip Dawkins is a Chicago playwright and educator. His plays include The Happiest Place on Earth (Side Show Theatre/Greenhouse Theater Center); Le Switch (About Face Theatre, The Jungle), Charm (Northlight Theatre), Miss Marx: Or The Involuntary Side Effect of Living (Strawdog Theatre), The Homosexuals (About Face Theater), and the musical adaptation of Dr.Seuss's The Sneetches with composer David Mallamud (Children's Theater Company, Minneapolis). His play Charm, will receive its NY premiere at MCC this fall, 2017. He teaches playwriting at Northwest University, Loyola University Chicago and through the Victory Gardens ACCESS Program.

Devon de Mayo is a Chicago director, devisor and educator. Directing credits include Sycamore (Raven Theatre), You on the Moors Now (The Hypocrites), Animals Out of Paper (Shattered Globe Theatre), You Can't Take it With You and Lost in Yonkers (Northlight Theatre), Jet Black Chevrolet (side project);

Compulsion and Everything is Illuminated (Next); Roadkill Confidential, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, Clouds (Dog & Pony). In 2015, Devon worked as the Resident Director under Stephen Daldry on the Broadway production of The Audience. Directing and devising credits include Guerra: A Clown Play (La Piara); The Whole World is Watching, As Told by the Vivian Girls (Dog & Pony) and The Twins Would Like to Say (Dog & Pony, Steppenwolf Garage Rep). She currently serves as a Lecturer at Loyola University and the University of Chicago. She received her MFA from Middlesex University in London and did further studies at the Russian Academy of Dramatic Arts in Moscow and the Indonesian Institute for the Arts in Bali, Indonesia.

Single tickets ($20) to public performances of The Crucible and The Burn are currently available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted), at 312-335-1650 or at Student tickets are available for $15 with valid student I.D.

Group tickets for student and public performances in the SYA 2017/18 Season are on sale now. Group tickets (10 or more) to public performances are available by emailing or by calling 312-932-2422. For additional information, visit

School group tickets to the 2017/18 Season are available by visiting Performances Tuesday - Friday at 10am are reserved for school groups only.

Major foundation support for Steppenwolf Education is provided by the Polk Bros. Foundation and Alphawood Foundation. Steppenwolf Education is also supported in part by contributions from The Crown Family, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Sage Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Northern Trust Company, Field Foundation of Illinois, Dr. Scholl Foundation, the Helen Brach Foundation, ITW Foundation, Siragusa Foundation, Robert and Isabelle Bass Foundation, Inc. and Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation; as well as the Steppenwolf Associates, a community of dynamic young professionals.

Steppenwolf Education is a citywide partner of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) School Partner Program.

Steppenwolf Education's unique approach combines play production with educational components to enhance arts education for young audiences, as well as their teachers and families. Every season Steppenwolf for Young Adults creates two full-scale professional productions specifically for teens. Working closely with the Chicago Public and metropolitan area schools and other community partners, Steppenwolf's Education department annually ensures access to the theater for more than 15,000 participants from Chicago's diverse communities. The initiative also includes post-show discussions with artists; classroom residencies led by Steppenwolf-trained teaching artists in almost 100 classrooms in 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, as well as other teen and community based programs.

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 programing 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. Steppenwolf's own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks serves coffee, cocktails and light fare 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,, and

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