Casting is complete for Steppenwolf Theatre Company's upcoming production of Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party, under the direction of ensemble member Austin Pendleton. Ensemble member Kevin Anderson joins the previously announced cast: ensemble members Ian Barford, Francis Guinan, Moira Harris and John Mahoney with Sophia Sinise. The Birthday Party begins performances January 24, 2013 in Steppenwolf's Upstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Opening night is February 3, 2013; press performances are February 2 at 3pm and February 5 at 7:30pm. Tickets ($20 – $78) go on sale at a later date.
Petey, Meg and their long-time tenant Stanley live dull, comfortable lives in a seaside boarding house in England. But their humdrum routine of cornflakes, newspapers and naps comes to a sudden end when two men appear, bringing with them menace and mystery. When the group gathers to celebrate Stanley's birthday, alliances shatter and scandals are revealed. Lambasted by critics during its 1958 premiere, Nobel laureate Harold Pinter's play has since gained a reputation as a twentieth-century dark-comic classic.
Steppenwolf's 2012/13 season, The Reckoning, explores the moment when we are called to account. Will our deeds be repaid? Will our secrets be revealed? Will we get what we deserve? The Birthday Party is one of five stories about what happens when the past comes knocking.
The production team for The Birthday Party includes: Walt Spangler (scenic design), Rachel Healy (costume design), Keith Parham (lighting design) and Josh Schmidt (sound design and original music). Additional credits include: Erica Daniels (casting), Deb Styer (stage manager) and Kathleen Petroziello (assistant stage manager).
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 steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre and twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr.