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Steppenwolf NOW Virtual Stage to Present World Premiere of WHAT IS LEFT, BURNS

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What is Left, Burns begins Streaming November 11, 2020.

Steppenwolf NOW Virtual Stage to Present World Premiere of WHAT IS LEFT, BURNS

The world premiere of What Is Left, Burns, the first of six works that are a part of Steppenwolf NOW virtual stage, will be released for streaming beginning November 11, 2020. Written by James Ijames and directed by Whitney White, the play was commissioned for the Steppenwolf virtual stage and features ensemble members K. Todd Freeman (Keith) and Jon Michael Hill (Ronnie) with stunning video and photography design by Lowell Thomas and Joel Moorman with an original soundtrack composed by Justin Ellington. Virtual Memberships ($75) are on sale now to Steppenwolf NOW, which grant access to all six productions on the virtual stage, including What Is Left, Burns. Press are invited to review; RSVP here.

Two poets separated by age and distance engage in a video call rendezvous after fifteen years. Keith, a distinguished poet and professor of literature is moving towards retirement after a recent divorce from his wife. Ronnie, his younger former lover and mentee, has a New York Times bestselling book and a burgeoning career ahead of him. The two men wade through the connection they once had as they struggle with the desires that still bind them.

Associate Artistic Director Leelai Demoz shares, "James Ijames has written this beautiful short play that feels like a complete experience. You are taken on a journey through an emotional mine field of two lovers connecting after a long time. It feels so completely about the time we are living through now. Whitney White's unifying vision of this filmed world has elevated the play in a unique way. Watching their process so closely has been a privilege."

James Ijames and Whitney White are the same team behind The Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington, which had to postpone its Steppenwolf debut this past April due to the pandemic.

What Is Left, Burns creative team features Justin Ellington (Sound Design & Original Music), Joel Moorman (Creative Director), Lowell Thomas (Director of Photography & Video Editor), JC Clementz and Leelai Demoz (Artistic Producers), Claire Haupt (Production Manager), JC Clementz (Casting Director), Laura D. Glenn (Stage Manager) and Christine D. Freeburg (Assistant Stage Manager).

For cast and creative team bios, visit steppenwolf.org/whatisleftburns.


Virtual Memberships ($75) are on sale now to Steppenwolf NOW, which grant access to all six breakthrough stories on the virtual stage, including What Is Left, Burns. Productions will be released throughout the year and members are able to stream all Steppenwolf NOW content through August 31, 2021. Single tickets to Steppenwolf NOW shows are not available.

Discounted memberships ($50) are available to students, teachers and essential workers, which includes artists. To purchase a discounted membership, call Audience Services at 312-335-1650. Note: Steppenwolf NOW is free to all Classic Members, Black Card or RED card members of the 2020/21 Season. For more information or to purchase a membership, visit steppenwolf.org/now.

"From Page to Virtual Stage" Online Event-FREE

Wednesday, October 21 at 6pm CDT

Get a sneak peek of What Is Left, Burns and details on all six stories coming up on the virtual stage, Wednesday, October 21 from 6-7pm CDT. All our welcome. The event is free; RSVP recommended.

Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro, Executive Director E. Brooke Flanagan and Associate Artistic Director Leelai Demoz will share an insider's look into the making of Steppenwolf NOW, and the featured playwrights and artists will share their experiences creating and working together on the virtual platform. In addition to these behind-the-scenes artist conversations, the event will conclude with a Q&A with Shapiro and Demoz.

Steppenwolf NOW Virtual Stage Lineup

On Sale Now

Productions will be released throughout the year and members are able to stream all Steppenwolf NOW content through August 31, 2021.

What Is Left, Burns

Written by James Ijames

Directed by Whitney White

Featuring ensemble members K. Todd Freeman and Jon Michael Hill

Streaming November 2020

Run time: 20 minutes

Two poets separated by age and distance engage in a video call rendezvous after fifteen years. Keith, a distinguished poet and professor of literature is moving towards retirement after a recent divorce from his wife. Ronnie, his younger former lover and mentee, has a New York Times bestselling book and a burgeoning career ahead of him. The two men wade through the connection they once had as they struggle with the desires that still bind them.

Wally World

By Isaac Gómez
Co-directed by Isaac Gómez and Lili-Anne Brown
Featuring ensemble members Cliff Chamberlain, Audrey Francis, Sandra Marquez and Karen Rodriguez with Danny Bernardo, Sydney Charles, Kevin Curtis, Leslie Sophia Perez, Marvin Quijada and Jacqueline Williams
Streaming December 2020
Run time: 2 hours and 20 minutes

It's Christmas Eve and a group of Wally World employees are about to lose it. On the one day of the year the mega-department superstore is supposed to close its doors, secrets come to life that may destroy more than their holiday cheer. Their manager Andy is doing everything in her power to keep her store in line and her employees in check. But can hard truths from her past ruin everything she's ever worked for? Wally World is a festive, poignant examination of finding magic in the mundane as ten employees do everything, they can to find purpose in a place that has never seen purpose in them.

Red Folder

Written and directed by ensemble member Rajiv Joseph
Featuring ensemble member Carrie Coon
Streaming January 2021
Run time: 10 minutes

The red folder belongs to a first grader. It is the source of all his woes. Years later, he seeks vengeance.

Duchess! Duchess! Duchess!

By Vivian J.O. Barnes
Streaming February 2021
Run time: 35 minutes

A Royal Wedding is looming. The Duchess and The Soon-to-be-Duchess are meeting face to face for the first time to go over everything you ever needed to know to become a duchess. There are rules. There's a way of doing things. Remember, everybody is watching. And you don't want to know what happens if you step out of line. Duchess! Duchess! Duchess! looks at the hidden costs of being the "luckiest girl in the world."

Where We Stand

By Donnetta Lavinia Grays
Directed by Tamilla Woodard
Featuring Donnetta Lavinia Grays
Streaming April 2021
Run time: 70 minutes

What does community mean? And what do we owe to one another? When a man who has been shunned by his town makes a deal on behalf of it with a mysterious stranger, he must stand before his community to ask for forgiveness in hopes that they might answer these enduring questions as they determine his fate. Through poetic verse and music, this work challenges our capacity to forgive and our ideas of mercy and who might deserve it.

Ages of the Moon

By Sam Shepard
Directed by ensemble member Ian Barford
Featuring ensemble members Randall Arney and William Petersen
Streaming June 2021
Run time: 55 minutes

Byron and Ames are old friends, reunited by mutual desperation on a hot summer day. As day turns into night and the bourbon keeps flowing, they sit, reflect and bicker about fifty years of love, friendship and their rivalry.

Executive Director E. Brooke Flanagan shares, "This moment reinforces that old adage that out of limitation comes creativity. This moment of disruption for our industry has led Steppenwolf's artistic and education teams to break the mold of theatrical form and evolve the ways in which we are connecting with audiences and serving students. In the months ahead, we will offer a stunning radio play production of George Orwell's Animal Farm to schools worldwide, while our series of six brilliantly creative virtual plays will connect our with audiences in Chicago-and beyond. This expansion of service through artistic excellence will continue when we open our expanded campus, still under construction through this time of forced closure, featuring a new state-of-the-art theater in the round and education loft."

Also Happening at Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf for Young Adults Presents

Radio Play Production of

George Orwell's Animal Farm for Schools

Beginning October 19

More than 17,000 students have already registered from four continents-and counting!

With schools facing unprecedented challenges this fall, Steppenwolf Education continues its commitment to breaking down barriers to ensure access and equity for all. Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) will help keep teens connected and creative with its first-ever radio play-an original production of George Orwell's Animal Farm, available for FREE streaming to all students grades 8 through 12-locally, nationally and internationally-with a reservation. This offering is not available to the general public.

To date, more than 17,000 students from four continents (and counting) will be joining for the radio play. In addition to captioning and a version of the show available in American Sign Language, a Spanish-language transcript will be available for those who would benefit from this service. More information at steppenwolf.org/education.

Half Hour: The Steppenwolf Podcast

Half Hour is a Steppenwolf Theatre produced interview-style podcast that uses the most magical amount of time there is in the theatre-the half hour before a show begins-to sit down and make connections between artists in the Steppenwolf family. Half Hour is immediately available at steppenwolf.org/halfhour and on all podcast platforms. The next episode to be released October 20 features a candid conversation with ensemble member Carrie Coon.

Membership is more than a ticket-it is an investment that buoys Steppenwolf's mission, furthers the crucial work of Steppenwolf Education and uplifts the company's community partners. Steppenwolf NOW is included for free to all Classic Members, Black Card or RED card members of the 2020/21 Season.

Given the uncertainty of this time, the theater is continuing its Risk Free Membership-a guarantee that should the theater not be able to perform, or patrons don't feel comfortable attending due to COVID-19, it will be easy to receive a refund. The best way to support Steppenwolf is to renew or purchase a membership now. For more information, visit steppenwolf.org/membership.

To allow for the most flexibility as Steppenwolf follows recommended guidelines from local government and health officials, play run dates for the mainstage season will be solidified closer to the new year.


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