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Hir, a subversive comedy, opening at Steppenwolf Theatre
From a press release
2017-05-04

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CHICAGO ( May 5, 2017 ) — Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents the Chicago premiere production of Hir, a subversive comedy by celebrated playwright, actor, singer-songwriter and performance artist Taylor Mac. Directed by Steppenwolf Artistic Producer Hallie Gordon, the cast features ensemble members Francis Guinan ( Arnold ) and Amy Morton ( Paige ) with Em Grosland ( Max ) and Michael Holding ( Isaac ).

Previews begin June 29, 2017 and the show runs through August 20, 2017 in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St. Press Performances are Saturday, July 8 at 3pm and Tuesday, July 11 at 7:30pm; Opening night is Sunday, July 9. Tickets ( $20 - $89 ) are available through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org .

The classic dysfunctional family story has just crashed through into a wholly original place. Meet Paige, a wife and mother liberated from an oppressive and abusive marriage; Max, her newly out transgender child; and Isaac, Max's PTSD-addled older brother, who discovers a brand new war zone when he comes home from Afghanistan. Hir's crusade to shake up the patriarchy is disarmingly funny, absurd and surprising as it looks at an American family forced to build a new world out of the pieces of the old.

Taylor Mac ( who uses "judy", lowercase sic, not as a name but as a gender pronoun ) is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer. Named "one of the most exciting theater artists of our time" by Time Out NY, judy is the author of 17 full-length plays and performance pieces including A 24-Decade History of Popular Music ( Kennedy Prize in Drama ), Hir ( placed on the top ten theater of 2015 lists of The New York Times, New York Magazine and Time Out NY; published by North Western University Press and in American Theater Magazine ), The Lily's Revenge ( Obie Award ), The Walk Across America for Mother Earth ( named One of the Best Plays of 2011 by The New York Times ), The Young Ladies Of ( Chicago's Jeff Award nomination for Best Solo ), Red Tide Blooming ( Ethyl Eichelberger Award ) and The Be( a )st of Taylor Mac ( Edinburgh Festival's Herald Angel Award ). Mac is the recipient of multiple awards including the Kennedy Prize, Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim Award, the Herb Alpert Award in Theater, the Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award and an Obie. An alumnus of New Dramatists, judy is currently a New York Theater Workshop Usual Suspect and the Resident playwright at the Here Arts Center.

Hallie Gordon ( director ) serves as Artistic Director of Steppenwolf for Young Adults ( SYA ) and an artistic producer at Steppenwolf. For Steppenwolf, she has directed Monster, George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm, as well as Leveling Up, The Book Thief, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, To Kill a Mockingbird, the world premiere of a new adaptation by Tanya Saracho of The House on Mango Street and Harriet Jacobs, adapted for the stage by Lydia R. Diamond. Along with selecting the young adult productions each SYA season, Gordon has created the Young Adult Council, a group of high school students who collectively help to create innovative programming for their peers. Previously as SYA's Educational Director, Gordon worked closely with the Chicago Public Schools to create an environment in which all students and teachers have access to the theater. SYA's world premiere of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, also adapted by Lydia R. Diamond, won a Black Excellence Award from the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago and also transferred Off-Broadway to The New Victory Theatre. She is the recipient of The Helen Coburn Meier & Time Meier Achievement Award.

About the Cast

Ensemble member Francis Guinan has appeared in more than 30 shows, most recently John Steinbeck's East of Eden last season. Amy Morton has been a Steppenwolf ensemble member since 1997 and received Tony nominations for her roles in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and August: Osage County. Em Grosland makes his Steppenwolf debut in Hir and most recently appeared Off-Broadway in A Midsummer Night's Dream with Masterworks Theatre Company. Michael Holding also makes his Steppenwolf debut in this production and was most recently seen in Posh with Steep Theatre.

The Hir production team includes Collette Pollard ( scenic design ), Jenny Mannis ( costume design ), Ann G. Wrightson ( lighting design ), Richard Woodbury ( sound design and original music ) and Gigi Buffington ( company vocal coach ). Other credits include Anna D. Shapiro ( artistic producer ), JC Clementz ( casting director ), Laura D. Glenn ( stage manager ) and Mary Hungerford ( assistant stage manager ).

Production Details

Dates: June 29 — August 20, 2017

Previews: June 29 — July 8, 2017

Press Performances: July 8, 2017 at 3pm and July 11, 2017 at 7:30pm

Opening: July 9, 2017

Regular Run: July 11, 2017 — August 20, 2017

Accessible Performances: American Sign Language Interpretation: Sunday, July 30 at 7:30pm. Open Captioning: Saturday, August 12 at 3pm. Audio Description and Touch Tour: Sunday, August 13 at 1:30pm.

Curtain Times: Tuesday — Friday at 7:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm and 7:30pm

Ticket prices: Previews: $20 — $54, Regular Run: $20 — $89. Prices subject to change.

20 for $20: Twenty $20 tickets are available for subscription shows on the day of the performance at 11am ( Mon — Sat ) and 1pm ( Sun ), by phone only at 312-335-1650. Limit 2 per person.

Rush Tickets: Half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show.

Student Discounts: Limited $15 student tickets are available online. ( Limit 2 tickets. 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.

Flex Card Memberships: Black Card memberships are for audiences interested in extreme flexibility with six tickets for use any time for any production. The tickets are valid for one year with the option to add additional tickets as needed. Perks include easy and free exchanges, access to seats before the general public, savings on single ticket prices and bar and restaurant discounts for pre- and post-show socializing steppenwolf.org/blackcard.

Audience Services: For tickets or more information, contact Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org .

Visitor Information & Accessibility

Steppenwolf is located at 1650 N Halsted St near all forms of public transportation and is wheelchair accessible. The parking facility consists of both a covered garage ( $11 cash or card ) and an open-air lot, located just south of our theater at 1624 N Halsted. Valet parking service ( $14 cash ) is available directly in front of the main entrance at 1650 N Halsted St starting at 5pm on weeknights, 1pm on weekends and at 12 noon before Wednesday matinees. Street and lot parking are also available. For last minute questions and concerns, patrons can call the Steppenwolf Parking Hotline at ( 312 ) 335-1774.

Committed to making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to everyone, performances featuring American Sign Language interpretation, open captioning and audio description are offered during the run of each play. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance. With the expertise of Assistive Hearing Systems Ltd., Steppenwolf installed an induction loop on both the main and balcony levels of our Downstairs Theatre in 2015. There is also an induction loop installed in the 1700 Theatre.

Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks

Connected to the main lobby is Steppenwolf's own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks offers a warm, creative space to grab a drink, have a bite, or meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night. Open daily from 8am to midnight, Front Bar serves artisanal coffee and espresso is provided by La Colombe and has a new menu for this spring and summer with food prepared by Goddess and Grocer. The menu focuses on fresh, accessible fare, featuring grab-and-go salads and sandwiches for lunch and adding shareable small plates and desserts for evening and post show service. www.front-bar.com

Sponsor Information

Major support for Steppenwolf's expanded 2016/17 programming is provided by the Lefkofsky Family Foundation, The Negaunee Foundation and the Zell Family Foundation.

Major support for Steppenwolf's New Play Development Initiative is provided by The Davee Foundation and the Zell Family Foundation.

United Airlines is the Corporate Presenting Sponsor of Hir. Chicago Community Trust is Production Sponsor of Hir.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation's premier ensemble theater—redefining the landscape of acting and performance. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble has grown to 48 members who represent a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead to August: Osage County—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony Awards—have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programing includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multi-genre performances series. Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago's diverse communities; the esteemed School at Steppenwolf; and Professional Leadership Programs for arts administration training. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf's Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre, twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr and instagram.com/steppenwolfthtr .


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