TRUE WEST To Be Directed By Ensemble Member Randall Arney
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is thrilled to announce that longtime ensemble member Randall Arney will direct the highly anticipated Steppenwolf revival of Sam Shepard's True West-the production that catapulted Steppenwolf onto the American Theatre scene in 1982. Reimagined through the eyes of the new generation of Steppenwolf artists, the 2019 production of True West features ensemble members Jon Michael Hill and Namir Smallwood. True West runs July 5 - August 18, 2019 in the Downstairs Theatre. Tickets ($20 - $96) go on sale April 26, 2019 at 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org
"One of the goals of our upcoming production of True West is to bridge the gap between Steppenwolf's storied past and our bold and exciting future. To that end, we are thrilled to have ensemble member Randall Arney signed on to direct Jon Hill and Namir Smallwood in the final play of our 43rd Season," shares Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro.
"Randy brings not only his long-time institutional knowledge, but also a deep passion and excitement for True West and an exciting vision that brings the play to the current moment."
Randall Arney joined the company in 1984 right in the midst of the first real wave of national attention that came from Steppenwolf's productions of Balm in Gilead and the original True West. After the success of Steppenwolf's initial production of True West, later that year the company remounted the show at the Apollo Theater Chicago for an extended run before it transferred to New York. For the Apollo run, Randall Arney joined the True West cast as "Saul" alongside ensemble members Jeff Perry (Austin) and ensemble member John Malkovich (Lee), with Gary Sinise directing.
Randall served as Steppenwolf Artistic Director from 1987 - 1995 during which time he established the current Steppenwolf space at 1650 N. Halsted and oversaw the Broadway transfers of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Song of Jacob Zulu (six Tony Award nominations) and The Grapes of Wrath (1990 Tony Award, Best Play).
In the past years, Randall Arney has directed Steppenwolf's wildly successful productions of The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Slow Girl and The Seafarer.
In 1982, Steppenwolf exploded onto the American Theatre scene with its now legendary production of Sam Shepard's True West. This American classic traces the sometimes violent and always volatile relationship of Austin and Lee, estranged brothers who find themselves trapped together in their mother's empty house with not much more than a typewriter and a set of golf clubs. In its first Steppenwolf revival, we re-imagine Shepard's masterpiece through the eyes of our new generation of Steppenwolf artists, with a little help from those who came before.
Steppenwolf's original production of True West opened in 1982 with then fairly unknown actors Jeff Perry (Austin) and John Malkovich (Lee) playing the leads, alongside ensemble members Francis Guinan and Laurie Metcalf, directed by Gary Sinise. With Sam Shepard's approval, Steppenwolf's production transferred to Off-Broadway, where it opened at Cherry Lane Theatre in October 1982 with Gary Sinise taking on the role of 'Austin.' It closed on August 4, 1984 after 762 performances. A television movie of the stage play, featuring Sinise and Malkovich, aired on the PBS series "American Playhouse" in January 1984.