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updated: 3/6/2013 4:21 PM

Steppenwolf planning a season of premieres

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  • Joan Allen

    Joan Allen

  • Bruce Norris

    Bruce Norris

  • Austin Pendleton

    Austin Pendleton

  • Video: Joan Allen


Steppenwolf Theatre Company on Wednesday announced its 2013-14 season consisting of premiere productions, including two world premieres and a U.S. premiere that also features the return of ensemble member and Academy Award nominee Joan Allen to Steppenwolf's main stage.

Allen co-stars with fellow ensemble members Tim Hopper, Ora Jones and Yasen Peyankov in the season-opening U.S. premiere of Zinnie Harris' "The Wheel" (Sept. 12-Nov. 10, downstairs theater). Set in war-torn Spain during the 19th century, the play is about a woman who becomes guardian of a young girl after the woman's house is overrun by soldiers. Tina Landau ("The Brother/Sister Plays," "Superior Donuts") directs.

Next up is the Chicago premiere of Nina Raine's "Tribes" (Dec. 5-Feb. 9, 2014, downstairs theater), about a young, deaf man struggling to establish his identity and break away from his family. Ensemble member Austin Pendleton ("The Birthday Party," "Detroit") directs Alana Arenas and Francis Guinan.

Erika Sheffer's "Russian Transport" (Feb. 6-May 11, 2014, upstairs theater) is about an immigrant family eager to obtain the American dream who have to decide just how far they're willing to go to achieve it after a Russian relative proposes a questionable business venture. Peyankov directs Hopper, Mariann Mayberry and Alan Wilder.

Amy Morton, who recently concluded an acclaimed Broadway run of Steppenwolf's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," directs the world premiere of "The Way West" (April 3-June 8, 2014, downstairs theater), Mona Mansour's comedy about a California mother awaiting bankruptcy approval who mediates the squabbles between her adult daughters by sharing the family's pioneer tales.

The season concludes with the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winner Bruce Norris' "The Qualms" (July 3-Aug. 31, 2014, downstairs theater). The comedy is about a group of friends who regularly gather to eat, drink and swap partners. Pam MacKinnon ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?") directs. Season subscriptions are available by phone at (312) 335-1650 or online at

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