THE DOPPELGANGER Extends Through June 2
Due to popular demand, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has extended the world premiere comedy, The Doppelgänger (an international farce) written by Matthew-Lee Erlbach (Showtime's Masters of Sex, Off-Broadway's Handbook for an American Revolutionary), through June 2 with the original cast.
Directed by ensemble member Tina Landau (SpongeBob Squarepants: The Broadway Musical), this hilarious farce features an 11-member cast led by actor and comedianRainn Wilson, well-known for his role as "Dwight Schrute" on NBC's comedy The Office, in the role of Thomas Irdley/Jimmy Peterson. The cast includes Steppenwolf's ensemble members Celeste M. Cooper, Audrey Francis, Ora Jones, Sandra Marquez and James Vincent Meredith with acclaimed actors Michael Accardo, Whit K. Lee, Andy Nagraj, Dan Plehal and Karen Rodriguez.
Tickets to the extension ($20-$114) go on sale today, Friday, April 20 at 11am through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org. Flex memberships are still available; for more information, visit www.steppenwolf.org/memberships.
Added performances of The Doppelgänger (an international farce) include:
- Tuesday, May 29, 7:30pm
- Wednesday, May 30, 7:30pm
- Thursday, May 31, 7:30pm
- Friday, June 1, 7:30pm
- Saturday, June 2, 3pm and 8pm
In the dangerous back channels of international resource politics, a wealthy British businessman suffers an untimely accident just before a critical African copper deal is signed. So when his unwitting (and witless) American doppelgänger is thrust into negotiations to avert intercontinental disaster, chaos erupts, leaving us wondering: whose side are we supposed to be on...and who will save Africa?? The Doppelgänger (an international farce) is a hilarious, irreverent and timely look at the back-room deals that shape our world and the unlikely cast of characters who make them.
Rainn Wilson (Thomas Irdley/Jimmy Peterson) is an Emmy nominated and SAG award-winning actor with Chicagoland roots (he graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill.) who has found himself in a variety of comedic and theatrical roles throughout his career. His first breakthrough role came when he played assistant mortician "Arthur Martin" in HBO's Six Feet Under, winning him and the cast a Screen Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series." Wilson is best known for playing the inimitable "Dwight Schrute" for nine seasons on NBC's Emmy award-winning comedy The Office. Among Wilson's film credits are the Netflix feature Shimmer Lake; Hesher, opposite Natalie Portman and Joseph Gordon-Levett; Super, with Kevin Bacon, Liv Tyler, and Ellen Page; and the acclaimed comedies Juno and Almost Famous, among others. Next up, Wilson co-stars in Warner Bros adventure feature The Meg opposite Jason Statham. Wilson has an MFA from NYU's Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School of the Arts, and spent 10 years doing theatre in New York before moving to Los Angeles. He was on Broadway in The Tempest with Patrick Stewart, and the Tony nominated London Assurance. Wilson worked off-Broadway at The Public Theater and Playwrights Horizons, and performed regularly at The Arena Stage, The Guthrie, and with the touring repertory theater The Acting Company. The comedy show he created, The New Bozena, had a successful Off-Broadway run at The Cherry Lane, and later played in Los Angeles at The Hudson Guild and The Tiffany. Most recently, Wilson performed the critically acclaimed one-person monologue Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) at The Geffen. He founded the YouTube channel Soul Pancake, which has 2.5 million subscribers. In 2015 he published his memoir, The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy.
Casting note: The role of Thomas Irdley/Jimmy Peterson will be played by Eric Slater, in place of Rainn Wilson, for the following performances: April 22, 7:30pm; April 24, 7:30pm; May 6, 3pm and 7:30pm; May 20, 3pm; May 22, 7:30pm.
Ensemble member Celeste M. Cooper (Rosie Guerekoyame) returns to the Steppenwolf stage after her acclaimed performance as "Imani" in Aziza Barnes's BLKS this past December. The cast also features ensemble member Audrey Francis (Beatrix Geddes-Renwick) who was most recently in You Got Older at Steppenwolf and Kill Floor at American Theatre Company; ensemble member Ora Jones (Lolade Kolingo-Másarágba) who was last seen at Steppenwolf in The Wheel, also directed by Tina Landau, and recently in the Broadway revival of Les Liasons Dangereuses. Jones will be in the comedy The Roommate this June at Steppenwolf alongside ensemble member Sandra Marquez to be directed by Phylicia Rashad. Sandra Marquez (Theresa Irdley), was last in Mary Page Marlowe at Steppenwolf, and in addition to The Roommate this June she will be featured next season in A Doll's House, Part 2 and will direct La Ruta. Ensemble member James Vincent Meredith (Michel Másarágba) was in the acclaimed production of Tracy Letts's The Minutes at Steppenwolf this past November. Michael Accardo (General Stanley Harcourt) was recently seen onstage in Drury Lane Theatre's production of Chicago and onscreen in Shameless and Chicago P.D.; Whit K. Lee (Wen Xiaoping) was in Off-Broadway productions of Attack of the Elvis Impersonators and Junie B. Jones' Essential Guide to School and the Netflix series Orange is the New Black; Andy Nagraj (Prince Amir Abdullah) recently played Ed Knight/Isaac Jaggard in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts production of The Book of Will and was recently in Court Theatre's production of Harvey as Duane Wilson; Dan Plehal (Beau D'ouble), who is a movement coach as well as actor in Chicago and regionally, makes his Steppenwolf debut; and Karen Rodriguez (Marina) was most recently seen on Steppenwolf's stage in The Rembrandt and in Antoinette Nwandu's Breech at Victory Gardens Theater and in the critically acclaimed one-woman show The Way She Spoke at Greenhouse Theater Center.
About the Playwright
Matthew-Lee Erlbach (Playwright) is honored to be collaborating with Steppenwolf Theatre Company. An actor/ playwright from Chicago and New York, his plays include Off-Broadway's critically acclaimed Handbook for an American Revolutionary (Gym at Judson) and Eager to Lose, a Burlesque Farce in Rhyming Verse (Ars Nova). His work has been developed with The New Group, Vineyard, Ars Nova, MCC, Williamstown, NYTW, and Orchard Project. A recipient of the Humanitas Prize New Voices Award, his work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Puffin Foundation, Laurents/Hatcher Foundation, and was a member of Ars Nova's 2014/15 Play Group. TV credits include Masters of Sex (Showtime), Gypsy (Netflix), Nickelodeon, and WWE. A proud graduate of the public school system from K through college, he volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and runs a writing program he created for single mothers transitioning out of homelessness and prison.
About the Director
Tina Landau is a writer, director, and teacher whose work includes directing/conceiving SpongeBob Squarepants: The Broadway Musical (currently on Broadway), Tarell McCraney's Head of Passes (Steppenwolf, The Public and the Mark Taper Forum), WIG OUT! (Vineyard Theatre), and In the Red and Brown Water (The Public), Bill Irwin/David Shiner's Old Hats and Chuck Mee's Big Love and Iphigenia 2.0 (all Signature Theatre), Paula Vogel's A Civil War Christmas (New York Theatre Workshop), and her musical Floyd Collins (also bookwriter/additional lyrics, Playwrights Horizons.) On Broadway, Landau has also directed Tracy Letts's Superior Donuts and the revival of Bells Are Ringing. At Steppenwolf, where she is an ensemble member, directing credits include The Wheel, Hot L Baltimore, The Brother/Sister Plays, The Tempest, The Time of Your Life (also Seattle Rep, ACT), The Diary of Anne Frank, The Cherry Orchard, The Ballad of Little Jo, Berlin Circle, and her own play Space (also Mark Taper Forum, the Public.) Landau has co-authored The Viewpoints Book with Anne Bogart and has taught regularly at such schools as Yale, Columbia, Harvard, and Northwestern. Upcoming projects include a follow-up book with Bogart, Viewpoints on Viewpoints, and the premiere of the new musical Dave this spring at Arena Stage.
The Doppelgänger production team includes Todd Rosenthal (scenic design), Clint Ramos (costume design), Scott Zielinski (lighting design), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound design). Additional credits include Malcolm Ewen (stage manager), Christine D. Freeburg (assistant stage manager), JC Clementz (casting director), Gigi Buffington (company vocal coach) and Jonathan Berry (artistic producer).
Tickets & Membership Info
Single tickets ($20-$114) are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650, steppenwolf.org. Black Card Memberships are still available for the remainder of the 17/18 season. They are designed for audiences interested in extreme flexibility with six tickets for use any time for any production. 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. Red Card memberships are available for theatergoers under 30. To purchase a Flex Card Membership, visit Audience Services at 1650 N Halsted St, call 312-335-1650 or visit steppenwolf.org/memberships.
Photo Credit: Michael Brosilow