Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ 2012/13 Season kicks off with One Book, One Chicago Selection, The Book Thief

Hallie Gordon directs Heidi Stillman’s World-Premiere Adaptation of the Novel By Markus Zusak, as part of the Now Is The Time Initiative, October 16 – November 9, 2012

CHICAGO, IL  – Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ 2012/13 season kicks off with The Book Thief, based on the novel by Markus Zusak, adapted by Heidi Stillman and directed by Hallie Gordon in Steppenwolf’s Upstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Presented as part of the citywide Now Is The Time initiative, and in partnership with Chicago Public Library’s One Book, One Chicago program, The Book Thief features ensemble member Francis Guinan with Patrick Andrews, Amy J. Carle, Rob Fagin, Rae Gray, Dennis William Grimes, Nikki Klix, Ian Knox, Anthony-Jon LeSage, Clancy McCartney, Andy Monson, Mark Ulrich and Nicole Wiesner. The Book Thief runs October 16 – November 9, 2012 in Steppenwolf’s Upstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St); the press performance is on October 21 at 3pm. Matinees Tuesday through Friday are reserved for school groups only, with Saturday and Sunday performances available to the public. Single tickets and tickets for school groups are currently on sale.

Leisel Meminger is a young girl struggling to survive in Nazi Germany. Her life is filled with risk and danger but her love of books guides her through a brutal world. Death watches over her, fascinated by humankind’s will to live. The Book Thief looks at the terrible cost of violence, bearing witness to our compassion and complicity. When Death tells a story, you listen.

Since the fall of 2001, One Book, One Chicago has encouraged Chicagoans of all backgrounds and ages to read the same book at the same time, and come together to discuss a great piece of literature. This marks the third Steppenwolf production of a One Book, One Chicago selection, following The House on Mango Street (2009) and The Crucible (2007).

Now Is The Time is a year-long citywide conversation about how young people can make positive change in their communities and stop the trend of youth violence and intolerance. Through major projects taking place throughout 2012/13, Chicago Public Library, Facing History and Ourselves, and Steppenwolf Theatre Company join forces to activate this conversation in our city’s many neighborhoods. They are joined by dozens of other organizations and institutions around the city, including a coalition of Chicago’s finest theater companies, for Now is the Time to ACT. Learn more at

The production team for The Book Thief includes: Lizzie Bracken (scenic design), Sally Dolembo (costume design), J. R. Lederle (lighting design), Rick Sims (sound design and original music) and Mike Tutaj (projection design). Additional credits include: Erica Daniels (casting) and Deb Styer (stage manager).


Title                                         The Book Thief

Author                                      Markus Zusak

Adaptor                                    Heidi Stillman

Director                                    Hallie Gordon

Featuring                                 Ensemble member Francis Guinan with Patrick Andrews, Amy J. Carle, Rob Fagin, Rae Gray, Dennis William Grimes, Nikki Klix, Ian Knox, Anthony-Jon LeSage, Clancy McCartney, Andy Monson, Mark Ulrich and Nicole Wiesner


Location                                   Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St

Dates                                        October 16 – November 9, 2012

Public Performances                Saturdays at 3pm and 7:30pm (no 7:30pm performance on October 20)

and Sundays at 3pm

School Performances               Tuesday – Friday at 10am

Press Performance                   October 21 at 3pm


Public Ticket Price                   $20 on Saturdays, 2-for-1 on Sundays

$15 student tickets available via Audience Services/phone only

Audience Services                   1650 N Halsted St, 312-335-1650

Online ticketing available at

For information about Steppenwolf for Young Adult school performances,         

contact SYA Education Assistant Lauren Sivak at 312-654-5643.


Accessible Performances         Audio-described performance and touch tour: October 27 at 1:30pm (3pm performance)

Open-captioned performance: October 28 at 3pm

Sign language-interpreted performance: November 4 at 3pm

Steppenwolf is located near all forms of public transportation and is wheelchair accessible. Street and lot parking are available. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance.

Target is the sponsor of the Target 2-for-1 Sunday Matinees.

 Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ unique approach combines play production with educational components to enhance arts education for young audiences, as well as their teachers and families.  SYA creates two full-scale professional productions each season specifically for teens. Working closely with the Chicago Public and metropolitan area schools and other community partners, SYA annually ensures access to the theater for more than 12,000 participants from Chicago’s diverse communities. The initiative also includes post-show discussions with artists; classroom residencies led by Steppenwolf-trained teaching artists in more than 30 classrooms in 12 public high schools; professional development workshops for educators; and the Young Adult Council, an innovative year-round after school initiative that uniquely engages high school students in all areas of the theater’s operations.

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

Currently on stage is Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, adapted by ensemble member Tracy Letts, directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro (through August 26, 2012) in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St).

The 2012/13 subscription season includes Good People by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire, directed by ensemble member K. Todd Freeman (September 13 – November 11, 2012) in the Downstairs Theatre; The Motherf**ker with the Hat by Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro (December 27, 2012 – March 3, 2013) in the Downstairs Theatre; The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter, directed by ensemble member Austin Pendleton (January 24 – May 19, 2013) in the Upstairs Theatre; Head of Passes by ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by ensemble member Tina Landau (April 4 – June 9, 2013) in the Downstairs Theatre; and Belleville by Amy Herzog, directed by Anne Kauffmann (June 27 – August 25, 2013) in the Downstairs Theatre.

The 2012/13 Steppenwolf for Young Adults season also includes How Long Will I Cry?: Voices of Youth Violence by Miles Harvey, directed by Edward Torres, artistic consulting by Kelli Simpkins (February 26 – March 9, 2013) in the Upstairs Theatre.