Steppenwolf Theatre Company has announced five titles for its 2015–16 subscription season, the company's 40th and the last to be chosen by outgoing artistic director Martha Lavey. Among the slate are the highly anticipated Chicago premiere of Annie Baker's Pulitzer Prize winner The Flick, a world premiere by ensemble member Tracy Letts and the Steppenwolf directing debut of ensemble member Bruce Norris, on his own Domesticated.
The season opens with Frank Galati's new adaptation of John Steinbeck's East of Eden (September 17–November 15 in the Downstairs Theatre), directed by Terry Kinney. Galati's adaptation of Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath famously transferred from Steppenwolf to Broadway in 1990, winning that year's Tony Award for best play.
Next in the Downstairs is Norris's Chicago premiere of Domesticated (December 3–February 7), his 2013 dark comedy (aren't they all?) about a disgraced politician and his wronged wife. In the play's premiere at New York's Lincoln Center Theater, the leads were played by Jeff Goldblum and Steppenwolf ensemble member Laurie Metcalf, and the production staged by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro, who takes the reins as Steppenwolf's new artistic director this summer.
The Flick (February 4–May 8), Baker's much-talked-about, intentionally languid three-hour portrait of employees at a movie theater, will be staged in the Upstairs Theatre by Dexter Bullard, who memorably directed Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation at Victory Gardens Theater in 2011.
Letts's Mary Page Marlowe (March 31—May 29)—an episodic portrait of the title character, a seemingly ordinary accountant from Ohio—will premiere in the Downstairs Theatre; no director is yet attached. No word yet if this is the play Letts told me a few years ago "no one's going to like."
The season concludes with the Chicago premiere of Between Riverside and Crazy (June 23–August 21), Stephen Adly Guirgis's rough-edged comedy about an ex-cop suing the NYPD and struggling to hang onto his rent-controlled Upper West Side apartment. Steppenwolf has a history with Guirgis: Shapiro directed his The Motherf**ker with the Hat on Broadway and here, and Riverside's 2014 debut at New York's Atlantic Theater Company, currently in a remount at Second Stage, was helmed by ensemble member Austin Pendleton. Steppenwolf's production will be staged by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov.Share the story