Steppenwolf for Young Adults to Present THIS IS MODERN ART, 2/25-3/14

Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) presents This Is Modern Art (based on true events) written by acclaimed playwright and hip-hop artist Idris Goodwin (Blackademics, How We Got On) and "Louder Than A Bomb" founder Kevin Coval. Directed by Lisa Portes, this world premiere production concludes SYA's 2014/15 season, which explores the theme, "Create a Movement: The Art of Revolution."

This Is Modern Art (based on true events) runs February 25 - March 14, 2015 in the Downstairs Theatre. The press performance is on Saturday, February 28 at 3pm. A Sticker Writing Event with local graffiti artists will take place in the lobby between the 3pm and 7:30pm performances on February 28. School group performances are offered during the week at 10am; full schedule enclosed below. School group tickets are available by contacting Education and Community Programs Coordinator Lauren Sivak at 312-654-5643. Public performances are scheduled for Friday at 7:30pm (except February 27) and Saturday at 7:30pm. Single tickets ($20) to public performances are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and Steppenwolf also offers $15 student tickets to every public performance with valid ID.

"I believe young people are systematically denied voice and agency. This is a story about fighting back against invisibility and dehumanization. Especially in light of what continues to happen to young people of color in this city and around the country - stories like these are essential," shares co-writer Kevin Coval. "I hope this show inspires audiences young and old to get excited about something in their own lives, and follow it regardless of who sanctions it or not."

The crew of Made U Look (MUL) is willing to risk anything for their art. Called vandals, criminals, even creative terrorists, these Chicago graffiti artists set out night after night to make their voices heard and alter the way people view the world. But when the crew finishes the biggest graffiti bomb of their careers, the consequences get serious and spark a public debate asking, where does art belong? This Is Modern Art (based on true events) provides a glimpse into the lives of anonymous graffiti artists and asks us to question the true purpose of art.

"This year we investigate what makes us create movements and start revolutions. In working on This Is Modern Art, I came to understand that graffiti art is part of a larger cultural movement, one that encompasses hip-hop culture and includes music, dance and poetry. Just like other artistic movements, graffiti art reflects and responds to the times in which it takes place - it is in dialogue with its cultural moment. What's interesting about This is Modern Art is that it uses graffiti to help us think and talk about art. Help us make art a priority and a more inviting canvas for young people to participate in. Join the revolution, create art with us!" shares SYA Artistic and Educational Director Hallie Gordon.

The cast of features Brittani Arlandis Green (ensemble), Jerry MacKinnon (Seven), J. Salomé Martinez Jr (Jose/JC), Kelly O'Sullivan (Selena), Jessie D. Prez (Dose) and Chris Rickett (ensemble).

The production team includes Brian Sidney Bembridge (scenic design), Elsa Hiltner (costume design), J.R. Lederle (lighting design), Thomas Dixon (sound design) and Liviu Pasare (video design). Additional credits include Erica Daniels (casting) and Jonathan Nook (stage manager).

Tickets to public performances of This Is Modern Art (based on true events) are $20 and available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and Student Discounts: a limited number of $15 student tickets are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St) or by calling 312-335-1650. Must present a valid student ID for each ticket.

A special post-show discussion between Playwright Kevin Coval and a panel of graffiti artists will take place Friday, March 6 at 7:30pm in the Downstairs Theatre. Steppenwolf hosts The Scene, an event specifically for teens, and curated by the Young Adult Council on Saturday, May 7 after the 7:30pm performance.

School Performances are currently on sale: performances Tuesday through Friday at 10am are reserved for school groups only (contact Education and Community Programs Coordinator Lauren Sivak at 312-654-5643). Public performances are scheduled Fridays at 7:30pm (except February 27) and Saturdays at 7:30pm. Adult Groups: all groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance throughout the season. For additional information, visit

Accessible performances are as follows: Audio-described performance only (no touch tour): Saturday, February 28 at 7:30pm; Sign language-interpreted performance: Saturday, February 28 at 7:30pm (public performance),student performance date TBA; and Open-captioned performance: Saturday, February 28 at 3pm.

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