Steep Theatre Company will kick off the new year with the Midwest Premiere of Obie Award-winner Ethan Lipton's Luther. This darkly comic examination of America's uneasy relationship with our veterans premiered to much critical acclaim last summer in New York as part of the Clubbed Thumb Summerworks 2012 festival. Luther now makes it way to Steep and Chicago for just its second production. Joanie Schultz, director of past Steep hits In Arabia We'd All Be Kings, A Brief History of Helen of Troy, and The Receptionist, returns to direct the production. The show opens at Steep Theatre on Thursday, January 24th and runs through March 2nd.
Luther is the story of a traumatized war vet who, upon returning home to the states, is adopted by a pair of earnest urbanites. Luther playwright Ethan Lipton is a New York-based musician and writer whose work has been seen and heard in New York, LA, Seattle, Edinburgh, and Berne (Austria), at theaters including the Public, Lark, 3LD, HERE, the Ohio, New York Stage and Film, Dixon Place, WPA, Complex and Powerhouse, with companies including Clubbed Thumb, Gotham Stage, Buffalo Nights, New Century and Rude Mechanicals. Mr. Lipton and his band, Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra, received an Obie Award for work on Lipton's 2012 musical No Place to Go. He is a winner of a NYFA grant and a Drama-Logue Award for playwriting. He has been a Kesselring nominee, an O'Neil Conference finalist, and a member of The Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group. Mr. Lipton is a 2011 Playwright's Realm Fellow and a member of the Clubbed Thumb Writers Group.
Director Joanie Schultz is a Steep Artistic Associate and a Chicago-based freelance director. She recently directed the Chicago premiere of Neighborhood 3 at Strawdog Theatre and is slated to direct The Whale at Victory Gardens and Amadeus at Oak Park Festival Theatre this season. Last season, Ms. Schultz directed the World Premiere of fml: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life by Sarah Gubbins at Steppenwolf Theatre; The Girl in the Yellow Dress by Craig Higginson at Next Theatre; Ask Aunt Susan by Seth Bockley for The Goodman Theatre's New Stages Amplified; and the Jeff nominated production of The Kid Thing by Sarah Gubbins, a co-production of About Face Theatre and Chicago Dramatists. She holds an MFA from Northwestern University; was a New York Drama League Fellow; The Goodman Theatre's Michael Maggio Directing Fellow; the SDC Denham Fellow; was a participant in the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab; and currently teaches directing at Columbia College Chicago. Ms. Schultz is also the Co-Artistic Curator of the 2012-13 season of Theater on The Lake.
Luther will feature Steep Ensemble Members Alex Gillmor (Moment, Festen), Peter Moore (Love and Money, Harper Regan), Jim Poole (Under the Blue Sky, Lakeboat), Kendra Thulin (Pornography, Harper Regan - Jeff Award Best Actress), and Michael Salinas (Pornography, Festen) They are joined by Steep newcomer Missi Davis.
The production's Design Team is comprised of long-time Steep collaborators and company associates who have been responsible for some of the company's more memorable designs: Set Designer and Puppet Designer Chelsea Warren (Pornography, A Brief History of Helen of Troy), Lighting Designer Pete Dully (The Receptionist. Under the Blue Sky), Costume Designer Emily McConnell (Lakeboat, The Hollow Lands), Sound Designer Thomas Dixon (The Receptionist, A Brief History of Helen of Troy), Sarah Burnham (Festen, The Receptionist), Ryan Bourque (Festen), and Stage Manager Lauren Lassus (Love and Money, Making Noise Quietly).