Steppenwolf Announces New Ensemble Members

Steppenwolf Announces New Ensemble MembersSteppenwolf Theatre Company Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro announced today the addition of Celeste M. Cooper and Cliff Chamberlain to the world-renowned Steppenwolf ensemble. Cooper, an in-demand Chicago-based actor, recently performed in Steppenwolf's production of BLKS and Chamberlain, a regular on the Steppenwolf stage, was recently featured in The Minutes by ensemble member Tracy Letts.

"We are thrilled to add Cliff and Celeste to the Steppenwolf ensemble. Both of these actors bring a commitment to excellence in their work that already has brought so much to our stages," shares Steppenwolf Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro. "We are honored that they will now be able to call Steppenwolf their artistic home and we are all so excited to see what the future holds for them both."

Celeste M. Cooper shares, "WOW, this is amazing. I am so humbled, excited, and honored to join an ensemble of artists I deeply admire. I have prayed and dreamed about this moment ever since I saw Steppenwolf's outstanding production of The Bluest Eye. This blessing seriously means the world to me. Thank you Papa God! Thank you Steppenwolf! I share this honor with anyone who needs confirmation that dreams really can come true."

Cliff Chamberlain shares, "When I moved to Chicago in 2003, simply walking into the Steppenwolf lobby for the first time took my breath away. Since then, I've been an audience member in its seats, a student in its classrooms, and an actor on its stages; heck, I've even been a volunteer usher in its lobby (August: Osage County, deep into the run, only way to get tickets, a wonderful memory). To add "ensemble member" to that list, to join an artistic family that has meant so much to me, is unbelievably exciting and an incredible honor."


Celeste M. Cooper made her Steppenwolf Theatre Company debut in BLKS. She most recently appeared in Strawdog Theatre Company's production of Barbecue presented in Steppenwolf's 1700 Theatre. Some theatre credits include Blues for an Alabama Sky (Court Theatre/Jeff Awarded Best Production); The Hard Problem (Court Theatre); Measure for Measure (Goodman Theatre); Stick Fly (Windy City Playhouse); Never the Sinner (Victory Gardens Theater); The Hammer Trinity (The House Theatre of Chicago, Adrienne Arsht in Miami); The Mecca Tales (Chicago Dramatists); Our Lady of 121st Street (Eclipse Theatre Company); How We Got On (Citadel Theatre Company); You On The Moors Now (The Hypocrites, Theater on the Lake remount); Ruined (Eclipse Theatre Company, BTAA Most Promising Actress recipient); and her original one woman shows Fight 4 Your Life and The Incredible Cece (MPAACT & Stage 773). Television and film credits include a recurring role on Chicago PD, Spike Lee's Chiraq, Sense8, and in Fatal Funnel Films' upcoming feature-length thriller, Range Runners. Ms. Cooper has a BA in Speech Communications and Theatre from Tennessee State University and an MFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University.

Cliff Chamberlain was most recently in The Minutes at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Additional Steppenwolf credits include The Herd, Belleville, Clybourne Park, Theatrical Essays and Superior Donuts. Chicago credits include The Seagull (Goodman Theatre) and The Sparrow (The House Theatre of Chicago; company member). Broadway credits include Steppenwolf's production of Superior Donuts. Television and film credits include Netflix's newly released series Altered Carbon, Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, State of Affairs, Grey's Anatomy, Chicago PD, The Wise Kids, The Keeping Hours and Win it All. Cliff trained at UCSB and The School at Steppenwolf.

Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the Steppenwolf's ensemble features the best in American Theatre. Since Anna D. Shapiro began as Artistic Director in 2015, Glenn Davis, Audrey Francis, Sandra Marquez, Caroline Neff and Namir Smallwood have also been welcomed into the ensemble.

Steppenwolf ensemble members include: Joan Allen, Kevin Anderson, Alana Arenas, Randall Arney, Kate Arrington, Ian Barford, Robert Breuler, Cliff Chamberlain, Gary Cole, Celeste M. Cooper, Glenn Davis, 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. *In Memoriam

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. 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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