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Mona Mansour’s wryly funny play about the Contemporary quirks of our American Spirit is in The Downstairs Theatre, April 3 – June 8, 2014

CHICAGO, IL – Chicago audiences depart for the country’s western edge to experience the reality of the modern-day American dream in the world premiere of Mona Mansour’s funny and insightful new play, The Way West, at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Ensemble member Amy Morton is at the helm following her Tony Award-nominated portrayal of Martha in Steppenwolf’s production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? on Broadway. The cast of six features Ira Amyx, ensemble member Martha Lavey, Caroline Neff, Deirdre O’Connell, Zoe Perry and Gabe Ruiz. The Way West begins previews April 3, 2014 (opening night is April 13; press performances are April 12 at 3pm and April 15 at 7:30pm) and runs through June 8, 2014 in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Tickets ($20 – 78) are on sale now at steppenwolf.org.

In a modern-day California town that’s seen better days, Mom (O’Connell) shares death-defying tales of pioneer crossings with her two squabbling adult daughters (Neff, Perry) as she waits for her bankruptcy to come through. This hilarious and heartbreaking play about today’s American family explores the mixed blessing of our great frontier spirit, which has fueled both self-delusion and survival.

“I think what most moved us about The Way West—which is a curious form: a play with songs, a spiky humor, and a dead-serious theme—is its relevance to how we live now,” comments Artistic Director Martha Lavey. “I think Mona is asking us to look more closely at our American myth of manifest destiny, which is fueled by an image that Americans possess special virtues that make our situation exceptional.”

The cast of The Way West features Deirdre O’Connell (Mom), Caroline Neff (Meesh), Zoe Perry (Manda), Gabe Ruiz (Manny), ensemble member Martha Lavey (Tress) and Ira Amyx (Pizza Delivery Guy).

The production team for The Way West includes: Kevin Depinet (scenic design), Nan Cibula-Jenkins (costume design), David Weiner (lighting design), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound design, original music and arrangements) and Malcolm Ruhl (musical director). Additional credits include: Erica Daniels (casting), Deb Styer (stage manager) and Michelle Medvin (assistant stage manager).

Tickets to The Way West ($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.

Major Foundation Support provided by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation. Additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Way West is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.

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.

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