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Steppenwolf Theatre Company of Chicago

John Mayer

DOI: 10.5040/9781474239486

ISBN: 9781474239455

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In 1974, a group of determined, young high school actors started doing plays under the name of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, eventually taking residence in the basement of a church in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago. Thus began their unlikely journey to become one of the most prominent theatre companies in the world. Steppenwolf Theatre Company has changed the face of American Theatre with its innovative approach that blends dynamic ensemble performance, honest, straightforward acting, and bold, thought-provoking stories to create compelling theatre.

This is the first book to chronicle this iconic theatre company, offering an account of its early years and development, its work, and the methodologies that have made it one of the most influential ensemble theatres today. Through extensive, in-depth interviews conducted by the author with ensemble members, this book reveals the story of Steppenwolf's miraculous rise from basement to Broadway and beyond. Interviewees include co-founders Jeff Perry, Gary Sinise and Terry Kinney, along a myriad of ensemble, staff, board members and others.

'If you love theatre, and particularly ensemble theatre, John Mayer is about to take you on a 'first-time-ever VIP tour' into everything Steppenwolf. Jeff Perry [Mayer] includes extracts from interviews with literally dozens of those that have helped the company to become one of the best and best-known in the world today. Reading about a theatre company that started out in school then conquered the world ... is fascinating. It should persuade readers to do their damnedest to find a Steppenwolf production on stage or screen in the near future and also prove an inspiration to any youngsters considering starting out on the road to a career as an actor, director [or] writer.' British Theatre Guide