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Steep Theatre snags premieres by Ayad Akhtar, Calamity West, Simon Stephens and Penelope Skinner

Written by
Kris Vire

Steep Theatre Company revealed plans Monday morning for its 2017–2018 season, the Edgewater company’s 17th year.

The four-play slate opens with the Chicago premiere of The Invisible Hand (October 5 to November 11), by Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar (Disgraced). In this 2014 work, the capture of an American banker by Pakistani extremists turns into an explainer on the link between global markets and ideology. Audrey Francis makes her Steep directing debut.

Steep ensemble member Brad DeFabo Akin will stage Hinter (January 25 to March 3), a world premiere by Chicago playwright Calamity West, centering on the discovery of a murder scene at a remote German farm in the aftermath of World War I; it’s inspired by true events.

Director Jonathan Berry will helm the U.S. premiere of Simon Stephens’s Birdland (April 5 to May 12), about a rock star struggling with the trappings of fame. The production continues Steep’s decade-long association with the British playwright, who won the Tony Award in 2015 for his stage adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The season closes with the Midwest premiere of Linda (July 12 to August 18), English playwright Penelope Skinner’s portrait of a female executive at a beauty corporation facing pressure to stay relevant in a youth-obsessed industry. Robin Witt directs.

The final play of Steep’s 2016–2017 season, the U.S. premiere of Cordelia Lynn’s Lela & Co., opens this Thursday.

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