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Steppenwolf Theatre Company
The Beginning: In January of 1974, in Highland Park, Illinois, Gary Sinise was approached by high school classmates Rick Argosh and Leslie Wilson about putting on a production of Paul Zindel's And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little. Sinise had recently graduated from high school and Rick and Leslie had one semester remaining. Highland Park High School was where co-founders Jeff Perry and Gary Sinise had met and became fast friends having done several plays together. Jeff was now attending college at Illinois State University where he had met co-founder Terry Kinney.

Gary agreed to be in the production of Zindel's play and proceeded to seek out a space where Rick, Leslie and Gary could produce the play. Gary's parents had a very good friend who had designed a beautiful Unitarian church on Half Day Road in Deerfield, Illinois and it was through this family friend that he was able to secure the right to use the church for this inaugural production of The Steppenwolf Theatre Company. The name Steppenwolf came from the book by Herman Hesse which Argosh happened to be reading at the time.

Three more plays were produced under this very first incarnation of Steppenwolf. Grease, which Sinise would produce, direct and act in with Argosh in the band and Wilson acting on stage, The Glass Menagerie, which Argosh directed with Sinise appearing as Tom, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, also directed by Argosh, which would reunite high school pals Sinise and Perry and be the first teaming of Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, and Gary Sinise, our three founders. It was during this production, in June of 1974, that the three founders decided that when Kinney and Perry were finished with college they would find a permanent space and would attempt to start a professional resident ensemble theatre company.

Steppenwolf was incorporated in 1975 and in the summer of 1976 they took up residence in the basement of a Catholic school in Highland Park and expanded the ensemble to include six other friends from Illinois State University. Steppenwolf has now grown into a company which includes thirty-five theater artists whose strengths include acting, directing, playwriting, and textual adaptation.

Now in its third decade as a professional theater company, Steppenwolf has received unprecedented national and international recognition from media, theater critics, and audiences alike. While Steppenwolf continues to live up to its many accolades, the company has not lost sight of its original vision. Today Steppenwolf remains committed to producing dynamic and exciting theater. The company's subscription base of over 20,000 is an indicator of the Chicago community's enthusiasm for Steppenwolf Theatre.

 

Fawn Johnstin and ensemble members Jeff Perry and Amy Morton in August: Osage County. Credit Michael Brosilow

 
STEPPENWOLF THEATRE COMPANY OPENS 2007/08 SEASON OF AMERICAN PLAYS WITH ARTHUR MILLER'S THE CRUCIBLE

STEPPENWOLF PRESENTS AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

STEPPENWOLF’S TRAFFIC PRESENTS BLUES/HIP-HOP INTERSECTION, A FREE PERFORMANCE IN MILLENNIUM PARK JULY 30, 2007, AT 6:30 P.M.

 

+ CBS News 09.23.07
+ Variety 09.17.07
+ The New York Times 08.13.07
+ Time Out Chicago 08.02.07
+
Chicago Reader 07.13.07
+
Chicago Tribune 07.09.07
+ Variety 07.09.07
+ Chicago Tribune 07.09.07

 
 

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