Virtual Memberships Now on Sale for ‘Steppenwolf NOW’

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By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.

Six Thrilling Works Crafted Specifically for the Digital Platform— only $75

Virtual Memberships are on sale for the Steppenwolf NOW virtual stage featuring six breakthrough stories written by some of America’s most talented voices. Steppenwolf NOW offers a dynamic and innovative slate of immersive and visual experiences, radio plays, bite-sized programming and episodic work crafted and produced for the digital platform.

Become a virtual member for $75 and stream content anytime and anywhere. Members will be notified as new content is available from any computer or mobile device at any time, day or night. Enjoy this streaming service with the entire household or refer friends to become virtual members and join in. Steppenwolf NOW content will be available to stream through August 15, 2021. To purchase a virtual membership, visit steppenwolf.org/now.

Students, teachers and essential workers receive $25 OFF with an official school ID or work ID; to purchase call Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or get more info at steppenwolf.org/now.

Note: Steppenwolf NOW is included for free to all Classic Members, Black Card or RED card members of the 2020/21 Season. For updates on the 2020/21 Season and membership info, visit bit.ly/steppenwolf2021.

“The Steppenwolf NOW lineup is a true manifestation of who we are—a celebration of artists sharing courageous, challenging, and at times deeply personal stories,” shares Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro.

The following are a few upcoming presentations:

“What is Left, Burns,” is written by James Ijames and directed by Whitney White. Featuring ensemble members K. Todd Freeman and Jon Michael Hill; streaming November 2020; Run time: 20 minutes.

Jon Michael Hill and K. Todd Freeman

Two poets separated by age and distance engage in a video call rendezvous after fifteen years. Keith, a distinguished poet and professor of literature is moving toward retirement after a recent divorce from his wife. Ronnie, his younger former lover and mentee, has a New York Times bestselling book and a burgeoning career ahead of him. The two men wade through the connection they once had as they struggle with the desires that still bind them. Freeman and Hill are veteran Steppenwolf actors, and I have enjoyed their work for years. They always deliver profound, engaging performances in any roles they take on.

JACQUELINE WILLIAMS APPEARS with Jon Michael Hill, sitting, and Namir Smallwood in the 2019 Steppenwolf production of “True West.”

“Wally World,” by Isaac Gómez and co-directed by Isaac Gómez and Lili-Anne Brown. Featuring ensemble members Cliff Chamberlain, Audrey Francis, Sandra Marquez and Karen Rodriguez, with Danny Bernardo, Sydney Charles, Kevin Curtis, Leslie Sophia Perez, Marvin Quijada and Jacqueline Williams. Streaming December 2020; Run time: 2 hours and 20 minutes.

It’s Christmas Eve and a group of Wally World employees are about to lose it. On the one day of the year the mega-department superstore is supposed to close its doors, secrets come to life that may destroy more than their holiday cheer. Their manager Andy is doing everything in her power to keep her store in line and her employees in check. But can hard truths from her past ruin everything she’s ever worked for? Wally World is a festive, poignant examination of finding magic in the mundane as 10 employees do everything they can to find purpose in a place that has never seen purpose in them. Williams is a force on her own and, when joined by other stellar cast members, she volleys her lines back and forth for a most memorable performance.

Among other programs, “Steppenwolf: Half Hour” is the Steppenwolf podcast, which has hit 10,000 downloads! “Half Hour” is a Steppenwolf Theatre produced interview-style podcast that uses the most magical amount of time there is in the theatre—the half hour before a show begins—to sit down and make connections between artists in the Steppenwolf family. “Half Hour,” which is available immediately at steppenwolf.org/halfhour and on all podcast platforms, takes audiences behind the scenes for candid, intimate, one-on-one conversations between members of the nation’s premier ensemble theatre, artists in Chicago and thought leaders in this industry.

The latest episode features playwright, actor and activist Matthew-Lee Erlbach sharing insights from the ongoing advocacy movement, “Be An #ArtsHero,” the struggle facing the arts and culture field during the COVID crisis, and he suggests how we can reshape our American society to place a higher value on art—and the workers who make art possible.

Given the uncertainty of this time, the theater is continuing its Risk Free Membership—a guarantee that should the theater not be able to perform, or patrons don’t feel comfortable attending due to COVID-19, it will be easy to receive a refund.

Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., is the Entertainment Editor for the Chicago Crusader newspaper. She is also the author of “Old School Adventures from Englewood–South Side of Chicago.”

Looking to Advertise? Contact the Crusader for more information.

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