Photo Flash: First Look at Steppenwolf Theatre's THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
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by BWW News Desk
Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble member Austin Pendleton directs The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter in the Upstairs Theatre, at the helm of a Pinter play for the first time. The theater has been newly reconfigured by Pendleton with scenic designer Walt Spangler to bring the audience closer to the story by moving the stage to the center of the room. The Birthday Party is currently in previews and opens on February 3, 2013. Get a first look at the cast onstage in the photos below!
The Birthday Party takes place at a sleepy seaside boarding house in England, where the humdrum routine of corn flakes, newspapers and naps is interrupted by the appearance of two mysterious strangers. They become guests at longtime tenant Stanley's surprise birthday party which, after a few glasses of whiskey, party games and a mysterious blackout, turns into a deliciously impalpable nightmare. As excuses and alliances hastily shift, so does the truth in Harold Pinter's riveting dark-comic masterpiece.
The cast of The Birthday Party features ensemble members Ian Barford as Stanley, Francis Guinan as Goldberg, Moira Harris as Meg and John Mahoney as Petey, with Marc Grapey as McCann and Sophia Sinise as Lulu. The production team includes: Walt Spangler (scenic design), Rachel Anne Healy (costume design), Keith Parham (lighting design) and Josh Schmidt (sound design and original music). Additional credits include: Erica Daniels (casting), Matt Hawkins (fight choreographer), Cecilie O'Reilly (dialect coach), Deb Styer (stage manager), Kathleen Petroziello (assistant stage manager) and James D. Palmer (assistant director). Photos and bio information for all artists are available upon request.
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.
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.Tickets to The Birthday Party ($20 - $78) and A Celebration of Harold Pinter ($25) are currently on sale through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org. For additional information, visit facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre and twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr.
Photo Credit: Michael Brosilow