Steppenwolf's DOWNSTATE Extended By Popular Demand Through 11/18
Due to popular demand, Steppenwolf Theatre Company extends its critically acclaimed world premiere production of Downstate by Pulitzer Prize-winning ensemble member Bruce Norris, directed by Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon. A co-commission and co-production with The National Theatre of Great Britain, Downstate transfers to London in spring 2019 and features an American and British cast and creative team.
In a 4 star review, The Chicago Tribune calls the play, "a must-see...one of the more incendiary and thus important productions in the illustrious history of the Steppenwolf" and The New York Times makes Downstate a Critic's Pick, calling it "a great, squirmy moral-thrill-ride of a play."
Downstate now runs through November 18, 2018 in the Upstairs Theatre. Tickets to the extension ($20-$109) are now on sale at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.
The cast features Steppenwolf ensemble members Glenn Davis (Gio); K. Todd Freeman (Dee); Tim Hopper (Andy); and Francis Guinan (Fred) along with Cecilia Noble (Ivy), Eddie Torres (Felix), Aimee Lou Wood (Effie) and Matilda Ziegler (Em). Elyakeem Avraham, Maura Kidwell and Nate Whelden (Cops). For performances November 16-18, the role of Em will be played by Maura Kidwell and the role of Effie will be played by Cydney Moody.
In downstate Illinois, four men convicted of sex crimes against minors share a group home where they live out their lives in the shadow of the crimes they committed. A man shows up to confront his childhood abuser-but does he want closure or retribution? This gripping, provocative new play by Pulitzer Prize-winning ensemble member Bruce Norris zeroes in on the limits of our compassion as it questions what happens when society deems anyone beyond forgiveness.
Known for his darkly comic takes on contemporary issues, Bruce Norris asks to whom we are willing to give compassion. Norris shares, "In the case of this group of people who've committed crimes and served their time, we're not trying to take the easy out and say, 'These are monsters. We're done with them. We can dispose of them.' They are humans, and they are alive. And they're in a bad situation from the mistakes they've made. Now what do we do?'"
Director Pam MacKinnon on what drew her to the production: "I was very taken by the play, I read it and felt vastly for every character. I feel as though it's Bruce project to demand big empathy from the audience. The characters are so specifically drawn it lends itself to very lively, and actually very funny moments."
Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro comments, "Bruce's contract with the audience never changes: he has always wanted to make us uncomfortable and he has always gone right for the jugular. We support the work because it also continues to be written in the spirit of trying to understand the ugliness of our world so that we have a real chance of changing it."
Director of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris shares, "We are delighted to once again be collaborating with Steppenwolf in co-producing Bruce Norris' compelling, provocative play. It's terrific that both UK and US audiences will get to experience this production, which is in the extraordinary hands of Pam MacKinnon and a brilliant transatlantic cast."