Steppenwolf For Young Adults announces 2013/14 Season

CHICAGO, IL – Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) announced its 2013/14 season: William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, adapted for the stage by Nigel Williams, directed by The Hypocrites Artistic Director Halena Kays; and the Chicago premiere of Leveling Up by Deborah Zoe Laufer, directed by Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) Artistic and Educational Director Hallie Gordon. Tickets to William Golding’s Lord of the Flies are on sale now.
“This season, Steppenwolf for Young Adults presents two works that consider the question ‘When the game turns deadly, how will you play?’ These two fascinating stories, one new and one classic, show young people navigating a moral landscape, one where each choice can have lasting, and sometimes even devastating consequences,” notes SYA Artistic and Educational Director Hallie Gordon. “Join Steppenwolf for Young Adults as we continue our conversation around youth violence and our personal accountability for the choices we make.”
Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ 2013/14 Season
When the game turns deadly, how will you play?
(All plays, artists and dates are subject to change)
William Golding’s
Lord of the Flies
Adapted for the stage by Nigel Williams
Directed by Halena Kays
October 16 – November 10, 2013 in the Upstairs Theatre
A plane wreck strands a group of English boys on a deserted island during wartime. As they slowly explore their newfound freedom, what starts out as fun and games turns into a vicious battle for power when the boys split into two opposing tribes: one that strives for civility and another that delights in savage violence. The competition escalates into a dangerous, frightening climax, as this thrilling classic looks into the darker parts of human nature where it’s civilization vs. savagery and the mob vs. morality.
Author William Golding was awarded both the prestigious Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983 and the coveted Booker Prize in 1980. His writing continues to touch every country in the world and is today read in more than 35 languages. He was knighted by the Queen in 1988, and his you-must-have-read-this classic novel Lord of the Flies is a global phenomenon. Playwright Nigel Williams was born in Cheshire in 1948, educated at Highgate School and Orel College, Oxford and is married with three sons. He has written for stage and television, as well as several novels, including the bestselling Wimbledon Poisoner, They Came from SWI9, East of Wimbledon and Scenes from a Poisoner’s Life.
Director Halena Kays is Artistic Director of The Hypocrites where she was recently seen in The Fall of the House of Usher and directed Ivywild and Six Characters in Search of an Author. She is the co-founder and former artistic director of Barrel of Monkeys where she created and directed the majority of their public performances including the critically acclaimed long-running show, That’s Weird, Grandma. With the Neo-Futurists she directed Burning Bluebeard, co-created and directed Daredevils and Daredevils Hamlet and the sight specific extravaganza, Fake Lake. Other acting credits include: The Kid Thing (About Face Theatre/Chicago Dramatists); Oedipus, Mud, 4.48 Psychosis (The Hypocrites); The Children’s Hour (TimeLine Theatre Company); The Golden Truffle (Redmoon Theater); Fair Use and Theatrical Essays (Steppenwolf Theatre Company).
Leveling Up
By Deborah Zoe Laufer
Directed by Hallie Gordon
February/March 2014 in the Downstairs Theatre
Chicago Premiere
Three twenty-something roommates are glued to their video games. They are masters of the virtual worlds behind the computer screens in their Las Vegas basement. Unwilling to face the real world, one of them uses his gaming skills to land a job with the National Security Agency launching actual drones and missiles, and online battles begin to have real consequences. Leveling Up is a fresh, contemporary look at how we navigate the blurry line between worlds both virtual and real and what it means to grow up.
Playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer is a recipient of the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award and the Lilly Award. Her play End Days was awarded The American Theatre Critic’s Steinberg Citation and has received more than 40 productions world-wide. Sirens, The Last Schwartz, The Gulf of Westchester and Out of Sterno have premiered at Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Florida Stage and Portland Stage Company. Her latest play, Informed Consent, will premiere at Geva Theatre and Cleveland Playhouse this winter. Deborah is a graduate of the Juilliard School and a member of The Dramatists Guild.
Director Hallie Gordon has created and facilitated a variety of educational programs for Steppenwolf Theatre Company, including the Young Adult Council. As Educational Director, Hallie has worked closely with the Chicago Public Schools to create an environment in which all students and teachers have access to the theater. Her directing credits include The Book Thief, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, To Kill A Mockingbird, The House on Mango Street, The Bluest Eye (Black Excellence Award), Harriet Jacobs (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); and Eclipsed (Northlight Theatre). She has directed staged readings for Goodman Theatre, TimeLine Theatre Company and Chicago Dramatists. Hallie is the recipient of The Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Arts Achievement Award.
Tickets to Lord of the Flies for student groups and public performances are on sale now. School group tickets are available by contacting Steppenwolf for Young Adults Education Assistant Lauren Sivak at 312-654-5643. Public performance tickets ($20) are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted), at 312-335-1650 or at Performances Tuesday – Friday at 10am are reserved for school groups only. Public performances are on Fridays at 7:30pm (except October 18), Saturdays at 3pm and 7:30pm, and Sundays at 3pm. Sundays are Target 2-for-1 tickets.
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 14 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.
Target is the sponsor of the Target 2-for-1 Sunday Matinees.
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