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Steep Theatre announces 2016–17 season

Written by
Kris Vire

Edgewater’s Steep Theatre Company today announced a four-play slate for its upcoming 16th season, to include two U.S. premieres by British playwrights, a Midwest premiere by a rising West Coast writer and a world premiere by a playwright with Chicago ties.

The Chicago-connected playwright is Alex Lubischer, who has served as literary manager for the Route 66 Theatre Company. Steep will open its season with the first production of Lubischer’s Bobbie Clearly, a dark comedy about the aftermath of an act of violence in a small Nebraska community. Lubischer’s frequent collaborator Josh Sobel directs (September 29–November 5).

Jonathan Berry will helm the first U.S. production of Earthquakes in London by Mike Bartlett (whose Tony-nominated King Charles III will be staged at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in November). A sprawling piece about fathers and daughters, climate change and the future of the planet, Earthquakes premiered at London’s National Theatre in 2010, where our friends at Time Out London wrote that “there's more than enough flair, imagination and theatrical audacity here to make it unmissable” (January 26–March 4).

Bay Area playwright Lauren Yee, who will have a world premiere at the Goodman next spring with King of the Yees, will also have an overlapping Chicago premiere at Steep of her Hookman, a slasher comedy riffing on the ubiquitous scary story. A director remains to be announced (April 20–May 27).

Finally, recent Jeff Award winner Robin Witt will stage Lela & Co. (July 13–August 19, 2017), the first stateside production for 27-year-old British playwright Cordelia Lynn. As innocent young Lela becomes ensnared in war and cruelty, the play is “suffused with a burning sense of injustice at the ills that originate from male entitlement,” wrote Time Out London critic Andrzej Lukowski of its 2015 Royal Court Theatre premiere.

Steep’s current season concludes this summer with the U.S. premiere of Tony Award winner Simon Stephens’s Wastwater, directed by Witt and opening July 7.

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