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Chicago Premiere features Ensemble Members Tim Hopper, Mariann Mayberry and Alan Wilder, February 6 – May 11 in the Upstairs Theatre


CHICAGO, IL – Rehearsals are underway for Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Chicago-premiere production of Russian Transport by Erika Sheffer, “a gritty but often humorous portrait of the immigrant nuclear family” (Time Out New York). Bulgarian-born ensemble member Yasen Peyankov is at the helm of what Variety declared a “thoughtful, well-written domestic drama with something original to say about immigrant families living by old world values in a new world culture.” The cast of five features ensemble members Tim Hopper, Mariann Mayberry and Alan Wilder with Aaron Himelstein and Melanie Neilan. Russian Transport begins previews February 6, 2014 (opening night is February 16; press performances are February 15 at 3pm and February 18 at 7:30pm) and runs through May 11, 2014 in Steppenwolf’s Upstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Tickets ($20 – 78) are on sale now at steppenwolf.org.

A rowdy Russian family in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn is on a daily hustle to achieve the American Dream. When Uncle Boris (Hopper) arrives from the old country, his mysterious business ventures force the family to decide just how far they are willing to go to come out on top. A funny, passionate family drama that slyly transforms into a heart-pounding thriller, Russian Transport is a fascinating look at the contemporary American immigrant experience.

“Our season theme, Getting Ahead: How Far Will You Go? is brilliantly explored in Russian Transport. It’s fitting that our theme should be given such relevance in the reflection of an immigrant story.” comments Artistic Director Martha Lavey. “We have great admiration in America for the ‘pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps’ but what does that look like really? What does it mean to have nothing, to want everything, and to know that money is the ultimate measure of success? Are our personal ethics a luxury of prosperity?”

The cast of Russian Transport features ensemble members Tim Hopper (Boris), Mariann Mayberry (Diana) and Alan Wilder (Misha) with Aaron Himelstein (Alex) and Melanie Neilan (Mira, Sonya, Vera and Girl).

The production team for Russian Transport includes: Joey Wade (scenic design), Ana Kuzmanic (costume design), Scott Zielinski (lighting design), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound design and original music), and Stephan Mazurek (projection design). Additional credits include: Erica Daniels (casting), Scott Weinstein (assistant director), Dassia Posner (dramaturgy), Eva Breneman (dialect coach), Malcolm Ewen (stage manager) and Cassie Calderone (assistant stage manager).

Tickets to Russian Transport ($20 – $78) are on sale now through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org. 20 for $20: twenty $20 tickets are available through Audience Services beginning at 11am on the day of each performance (1pm for Sunday performances). Rush Tickets: half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show. Student Discounts: a limited number of $15 student tickets are available online. Limit 2 tickets per student; must present a valid student ID for each ticket. For additional student discounts, visit steppenwolf.org/students. Group Tickets: all groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance throughout the season. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org/groups.

OptionsHouse is the Corporate Production Sponsor of Russian Transport.

Free post-show discussions are offered after every performance in the Subscription Season. 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.

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 two repertory series: First Look Repertory of New Work and Garage Rep. 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 12 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 steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre and twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr.

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