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Photo Flash: THE CHRISTIANS at Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Steppenwolf continues its 41st season with the Chicago premiere of Lucas Hnath's The Christians directed by ensemble member K. Todd Freeman. The cast features ensemble member Tom Irwin as Pastor Paul and ensemble member Robert Breuler as Elder Jay with Shannon Cochran as the Pastor's wife, Elizabeth, Glenn Davis as Joshua and Jacqueline Williams as Congregant. Set designer Walt Spangler transforms The Downstairs Theatre into a church where a live choir performs onstage. Under the musical direction of Jaret Landon, the choir features Faith Howard, Yando Lopez, Jazelle Morriss, Mary-Margaret Roberts, Charlie Strater and Michael Weatherspoon.

Previews begin December 1, 2016, and the production runs through January 29, 2017 in the Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. Tickets ($20 - $89) are available through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.

Pastor Paul has spent 20 years successfully growing his church from a small storefront to a gleaming church, but now he fears that there may be a crack in the theological foundation. As he shares his new belief in the nature of salvation, the message is met with surprise and then growing trepidation from his closest confidantes in the congregation, threatening to create a schism within the church. Hnath's fascinating new play looks with great complexity and compassion at the relationship between belief and behavior-and its evenhanded, unbiased take on faith in modern America can be appreciated no matter what you believe.

Single tickets ($20-$89) to The Christians are available at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org. Previews: $20 - $54 and Regular Run: $20 - $89. Prices subject to change. Rush Tickets: half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show. Student Discounts: a limited number of $15 student tickets are available online. Limit 2 tickets per student; must present a valid student ID for each ticket; steppenwolf.org/students. Group Tickets: all groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance throughout the season; steppenwolf.org/groups. Flex Card Memberships: Card memberships are for audiences interested in extreme flexibility with six tickets for use any time for any production. The tickets are valid for one year with the option to add additional tickets as needed. 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. To purchase a 2016/17 Card Membership, visit Audience Services at 1650 N Halsted St, call 312-335-1650 or visitsteppenwolf.org.

This holiday season, Steppenwolf offers a gift that is never boring-the Steppenwolf Black Card. An all-access pass with six tickets to any shows, anytime. If purchased during the holiday season, a $25 restaurant gift card is included. To purchase, visit steppenwolf.org/gift or 312-335-1650.

Accessible performances include an American Sign Language interpretation on Sunday, January 8 at 7:30pm, Open Captioning on Saturday, January 21 at 3pm, and a Touch Tour on Sunday, January 22 at 1:30pm touch tour, Audio-Described performance at 3pm. For more information, visit steppenwolf.org/access.

Full performance schedule included at end of the release. Curtain times are Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30pm; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3pm. There are no performances on December 11, 24 and 25.

Steppenwolf's 2016/17 Season opened with the world premiere of Visiting Edna by David Rabe, directed by Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro (playing now - November 6). Next up is The Fundamentals (November 10 - December 23, 2016), followed by the Chicago premiere of The Christians by Lucas Hnath, directed by ensemble member K. Todd Freeman (December 1, 2016 - January 29, 2017); the Chicago premiere of Straight White Men, written and directed by Young Jean Lee (February 2 - March 19, 2017); the world premiere of Linda Vista by ensemble member Tracy Letts, directed by Dexter Bullard (March 30 - May 21, 2017); and the Chicago premiere of Hir by Taylor Mac, directed by Hallie Gordon (June 29 - August 20, 2017); and an additional summer show, Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu (June 1 - July 9, 2017).

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 46 members who represent a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions fromBalm 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 14,000 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.

Check out phots of the cast below:



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