Steppenwolf Theatre Company showcases Chicago’s next generation of theater artists in Next UP

Second annual partnership with Northwestern University features three plays in rotating repertory in the Steppenwolf Garage, June 5-24, 2012


CHICAGO, IL – This June, Steppenwolf Theatre Company continues its commitment to Chicago’s next generation of theater artists with the second annual Next Up: three productions presented in rotating repertory, June 5 – 24, 2012 in The Steppenwolf Garage (1624 N Halsted St). Next Up is presented in collaboration with Northwestern University’s MFA programs in Direction and Design, and features the work of graduates of those programs with casts of professional Chicago actors: Life and Limb by Keith Reddin, directed by Emily Campbell; South of Settling by Emily Schwend, directed by Adam Goldstein; and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, directed by Laley Lippard. The directors and designers make their Steppenwolf debut under the mentorship of Steppenwolf staff and artists, including ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro and scenic designer Todd Rosenthal—both members of the Northwestern faculty—as well as Steppenwolf Associate Artistic Director Erica Daniels.

“In the Garage Theatre, Steppenwolf sets out to cultivate young artists and multigenerational audiences. Next Up offers a unique way for us to do this—in concert with theater’s roots as a guild-based craft in which emerging artists learn from experienced practitioners,” comments Steppenwolf Artistic Producer Rebecca Rugg. “For Steppenwolf, this project is a natural extension of a strong association with local universities, whose stream of graduates continually feeds Chicago’s vibrant theater ecology.”


Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Second Annual Next Up 

 Life and Limb by Keith Reddin, directed by Emily Campbell

June 5 – 24, 2012 in The Steppenwolf Garage (1624 N Halsted St)

 Life and Limb features Audrey Francis as Doina; Chris Froseth as Tod; Roman Harris-MacDonald as Chris; Tom Hickey as Sam, Eric and Jerry; Jürgen Hooper as Franklin; Leonard Kraft as Grandfather; and Grace Rex as Effie. The creative team includes Scenic Designer Courtney O’Neill, Costume Designer Sally Dolembo, Lighting Designer Will Kirkham, Props Master Katie McDermott, Casting Director Erica Daniels, Stage Manager Rose Packer and Assistant Directors Matthew Moynihan, Sophie Rich and Abby Williamson. 

Wounded in Korea, Franklin returns home minus an arm and a future. With zero prospects for work and a faltering marriage, he struggles to regain his life. When he finally lands a job, Franklin finds himself working for a sadistic manufacturer of artificial limbs. Deadpan, cold-blooded and comic, Life and Limb is not your typical veteran’s story.

“For my entire adult life our country has been at war. Men and women my age fight in battles I do not see, and endure wounds I hurt to imagine,” comments director Emily Campbell. “Life and Limb brings war home and into the lives of two young people brimming with hope and dreams. Like many of us, they are banking on the promise of a better future. But trauma touches them and their love strains under the burden. We live in a nation at war and I believe we must be aware of the price.”

South of Settling by Emily Schwend 

directed by Adam Goldstein
June 6 – 23, 2012 in The Steppenwolf Garage (1624 N Halsted St) 

South of Settling features Joey deBettencourt as Paulie Wheaton; Keith Kupferer as Irwin Deckhouse; Jeff Trainor as Randall; Janet Ulrich Brooks as Kate Deckhouse; and Nicole Wiesner as Amy. The creative team includes Scenic Designer Sarah Watkins, Costume Designer Kelsey Ettman, Lighting Designer Rebecca Jeffords, Props Master Sarah Burnham, Casting Director Erica Daniels, Stage Manager Jon Nook and Assistant Director Jeff Meyer.

Kate and Irwin Deckhouse’s quiet, orderly life turns topsy-turvy with the surprise arrival of Kate’s long estranged cousin Amy and her brand new husband Randall. Deckhouse hospitality is put to the test as family secrets are unlocked and hard truths confronted. South of Settling explores how much our dreams and desires are shaped by others, for better or worse.

“One of my biggest challenges is learning to accept and move on from things that I can’t fix. I suspect that many of us often let brokenness, damage, baggage, loss and suffering prevent us from truly living our lives. Or we endlessly attempt to stabilize that over which we actually have no control,” says director Adam Goldstein. “South of Settling encourages us to view the things that can damage us not just as something to fear or regret, but as opportunities to embrace a life fully lived.”

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

directed by Laley Lippard

June 7 – 24, 2012 in The Steppenwolf Garage (1624 N Halsted St)

 The Glass Menagerie features Leah Karpel as Laura Wingfield; Kathy Scambiatterra as Amanda Wingfield; Brett Schneider as Jim O’Connor; and Aaron Roman Weiner as Tom Wingfield. The creative team includes Scenic Designer William Boles, Costume Designer Sally Dolembo, Lighting Designer Rebecca Jeffords, Props Master Sarah Burnham, Casting Director Erica Daniels, Stage Manager Cassie Wolgamott, Assistant Director Jacob Watson and Dramaturg Joseph Pindelski. 

In Tennessee Williams’ classic autobiographical play, poet and dreamer Tom Wingfield weaves truth and imagination to conjure up his younger self and the family he escaped long ago. Life in the Wingfield household chafes: his overbearing mother Amanda yearns for the glamour of her past; his fragile, shy sister, Laura believes happiness is out of reach; and a young Tom fights to realize his dreamed-for future.

“The Glass Menagerie is a great American play that treats the working class with poetic nobility. It is also a story of family during an economic and spiritual crisis that is eerily mirrored in contemporary America,” notes director Laley Lippard. “The darker issues of sexuality, economic servitude and the illusions of ‘the dream,’ seen in a classic play, have a particular power to penetrate our imaginations.”

Performance Schedule

Next Up plays Tuesday through Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 1pm, 5pm and 9pm; and Sunday at 4pm and 8pm. The complete schedule is as follows:


Life and Limb                                             South of Settling                                     The Glass Menagerie        

Tuesday, 6/5 at 8pm*                                   Wednesday, 6/6 at 8pm*                           Thursday, 6/7 at 8pm*

Friday, 6/8 at 8pm                                       Saturday, 6/9 at 5pm**                              Saturday, 6/9 at 9pm**

Saturday, 6/9 at 1pm**                                 Sunday, 6/10 at 8pm                                Sunday, 6/10 at 4pm

Wednesday, 6/13 at 8pm                             Thursday, 6/14 at 8pm                              Tuesday, 6/12 at 8pm

Saturday, 6/16 at 5pm                                 Saturday, 6/16 at 9pm                              Friday, 6/15 at 8pm

Sunday, 6/17 at 8pm                                   Sunday, 6/17 at 4pm                                Saturday, 6/16 at 1pm

Thursday, 6/21 at 8pm                                 Tuesday, 6/19 at 8pm                               Wednesday, 6/20 at 8pm

Saturday, 6/23 at 9pm                                 Friday, 6/22 at 8pm                                  Saturday 6/23 at 5pm

Sunday, 6/24 at 4pm                                   Saturday, 6/23 at 1pm                              Sunday, 6/24 at 8pm


Tickets to Next Up ($15 – $20) are on sale now through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), by phone at

312-335-1650 and at Passes to all three plays are available for $45. Steppenwolf is located near all forms of public transportation and is wheelchair accessible. Street and lot parking are available.

Support for Next Up comes through the “Leading for the Future Initiative,” a program of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. OptionsHouse is the Garage Series Sponsor.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is America’s longest standing, most distinguished ensemble theater, producing nearly 700 performances and events annually in its three Chicago theater spaces—the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat Garage Theatre. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an ensemble of 43 actors, writers and directors. Artistic programming at Steppenwolf includes a five-play Subscription Season, a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season and three repertory series: First Look Repertory of New Work, Garage Rep and Next Up. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Off-Broadway, Broadway, London, Sydney and Dublin. Steppenwolf has the distinction of being the only theater to receive the National Medal of Arts, in addition to numerous other prestigious honors including an Illinois Arts Legend Award and nine Tony Awards. Martha Lavey is the Artistic Director and David Hawkanson is the Executive Director. Nora Daley is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit, and