Steppenwolf Theater announcers premier of “The Children”

Steppenwolf Theater announcers premier of “The Children”

Steppenwolf Theater announcers premier of “The Children”

Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents the Chicago premiere of The Children written by Lucy Kirkwood and helmed by celebrated Chicago director Jonathan Berry. The cast includes previously announced ensemble members Ora Jones (Rose) and Yasen Peyankov (Robin), with acclaimed actress Janet Ulrich Brooks (Hazel) rounding out the cast. Following sold out runs in London and New York, Steppenwolf is proud to present this brave, humane and beautifully written play that confronts the responsibility each generation must face for the way it leaves the world.

This spring, The Children begins previews April 18, 2019 and the production runs through June 9, 2019 in the Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Press performances are Monday, April 29, 2019 at 7pm and Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 7:30pm; Opening night is Monday, April 29, 2019. Tickets ($20-$99) are available through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or

On a summer evening in an isolated seaside cottage in the East of England, a pair of retired nuclear scientists are startled by a visit from a former colleague. As some crackers and wine are trotted out, so are various old jealousies, leading to the true reason for Rose’s sudden reappearance: the revelation of a chilling and dangerous plan.

Director Jonathan Berry shares, “I’m so incredibly excited to be directing the Chicago premier of Lucy’s hauntingly affecting play for Steppenwolf, and to have three such extraordinary Chicago actors filling these magnificent roles.  Lucy’s work powerfully interrogates the challenging space between our all too human desires and our shared responsibility to the generations to come.  That she does that by creating rich, complicated relationships that play out in surprising, dramatic and hilarious ways makes this play a perfect fit for Steppenwolf and its tradition of fearless ensemble acting.  I am looking very much forward to being in such good company.”



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Cast Bios
Ora Jones (Rose) is a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble. She is currently in Familiar and has also appeared in The Roommate, The Doppelgänger (an international farce), The Wheel, Three Sisters (Tracy Lett’s adaptation), Middletown, The Brother/Sister Plays, The Unmentionables, The Violet Hour, The Crucible and Morningstar. Broadway credits include Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Matilda the Musical. Chicago credits include Animal Crackers, Proof, The Beard of Avon (Goodman Theatre); Henry VII, Sunday in the Park with George, The Madness of George III, Twelfth Night, A Flea in her Ear (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); My Kind of Town (Timeline Theatre); Execution of Justice (About Face Theatre); Our Town (Writers Theatre); and Rasheeda Speaking(Rivendell Theatre). New York and regional credits include the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Public Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, The Weston Playhouse, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and Next Act Theatre. Film and television credits include Betrayal, Chicago Fire, Consumed, Were the World Mine and Stranger than Fiction.

Yasen Peyankov (Robin) has been an ensemble member since 2002. He has appeared in 18 productions at Steppenwolf, some of which are: Time of Your Life (also in Seattle and San Francisco), Morning Star (Jeff Award), Hysteria, Lost Land, Cherry Orchard, Frankie and Johnny at the Claire De Lune (also in Dublin), The Tempest, Pillowman, Penelope and Three Sisters. He has also appeared in productions at Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, European Repertory (which he co-founded), Next Theatre, and made his Broadway debut in Superior Donuts in 2009. Steppenwolf main stage directing credits include The Fundamentals, Between Riverside and Crazy, Grand Concourse, Russian Transport,as well as Hushabye for First Look and The Glass Menagerie for Steppenwolf for Young Adults. He also translated and directed the Bulgarian premiere of August: Osage County at the National Theatre in Sofia. Some of his many film and television appearances include A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas, Chasing Gold, Transformers 3, Crime Fiction, The Company, The Mob Doctor, The Beast, Gifted Hands, Karen Sisco, Alias, The Practice, The Unit, Numb3rs and others. Currently he plays the Russian Foreign Minister on CBS’s Madam Secretary and will be seen in the upcoming feature film Captive State and the third season of Stranger Things. Peyankov is the Head of Theatre at the School of Theatre and Music at UIC where he teaches acting and directs plays.

Janet Ulrich Brooks (Hazel) is a Company Member of TimeLine Theatre, where she was recently seen in Master Class. Other TimeLine Theatre credits include The Audience, Bakersfield Mist, The How and The Why, and Jeff-nominated performances in 33 Variations, A Walk in the Woods, All My Sons, When She Danced and Not Enough Air.  Other theatre credits: Plantation (Lookingglass). Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Jeff Award nomination, Sonia – Goodman), 2666, The Seagull, A True History of the Johnstown Flood and Teddy Ferrara (Goodman). Women Laughing Alone with Salad (Helen Hayes nomination Actress in Principal Role – Woolly Mammoth, DC); By The Water (Northlight); Failure: A Love Story and Native Gardens (Victory Gardens); Crazy For You (Drury Lane); Golda’s Balcony (Jeff Award – Pegasus Players) Television: Sense8; Chicago Med, Fire and Justice; Boss.  Film: Divergent, Conviction, Polish Bar, One Small Hitch, Fools.  Janet was the first recipient of the Ed See Outstanding Theatre Alumnus Award from the University of Central Missouri. She is a proud union member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA and is represented by Gray Talent Group.

Lucy Kirkwood is a playwright and screenwriter. In 2009, her play It Felt Empty When the Heart Went At First But It Is Alright Now was produced by Clean Break at the Arcola Theatre. Nominated for an Evening Standard Award for Best Newcomer, it made Lucy joint winner of the John Whiting Award. Chimerica premiered at the Almeida Theatre in 2013 and transferred to the West End, earning Best New Play at the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards, as well as the Critics Circle and Susan Smith Blackburn Award. Recent work includes Mosquitoes at the National Theatre in 2017, and The Children, which premiered at the Royal Court in 2016, and opened on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club in 2017.

Jonathan Berry (Director) is an Artistic Producer at Steppenwolf and a director and teacher in Chicago. Steppenwolf productions include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, You Got Older, Constellations, The Crucible, Gary and A Separate Peace. Berry is a Steep Theatre ensemble member where productions include Birdland, Earthquakes in London, Posh, If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet, The Knowledge, Festen, Moment and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. He’s also an ensemble member at Griffin Theatre where productions include The Harvest, Winterset, Pocatello, Balm in Gilead, Golden Boy, Spring Awakening, Punk Rock, Port and On the Shore of the Wide World. He has served as the Assistant Director for Anna D. Shapiro’s Broadway productions Of Mice and Men and This Is Our Youth. Other theatre credits include Dirty, Suicide, Incorporated, Othello (Gift Theatre); The Solid Sand Below, The World of Extreme Happiness for New Stages (Goodman Theatre); Kill Floor (American Theater Company); Little Shop of Horrors, Sideman (American Blues Theater); I Am Going to Change the World (Chicago Dramatists); and The Casuals (Jackalope Theatre Company). He pursued his MFA in directing from Northwestern University. He has taught at University of Michigan, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Columbia College and The School at Steppenwolf.

The Children production team includes Chelsea Warren (Scenic Design), Mara Blumenfeld (Costume Design), Lee Fiskness (Lighting Design), Andre Pluess (Sound Design), and Gigi Buffington(Company Voice and Text Coach). Additional credits include Malcom Ewen (Stage Manager), Elise Hausken (Assistant Stage Manager), JC Clementz (Casting Director) and Greta Honold (Artistic Producer).

Production Details
Title: The Children
Author: Lucy Kirkwood
Director: Jonathan Berry
Featuring: Ensemble members Ora Jones and Yasen Peyankov with
Janet Ulrich Brooks.
Location: Downstairs Theatre, 1650 Halsted St
Dates: April 18-June 9, 2019
Previews: April 18-April 28, 2019
Press Performances: Monday, April 29 at 7pm and Wednesday, May 1 at 7:30pm
Opening: April 29, 2019 at 7pm
Regular Run: April 30-June 9, 2019
Accessible Performances:
American Sign Language Interpretation: Sunday, May 12 at 7:30pm.
Open Captioning: Thursday, May 9 at 7:30pm and Saturday, June 4 at 3pm.
Audio Description and Touch Tour: Sunday, May 26 at 1:30pm
Curtain Times: Tuesday – Friday at 7:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm and 7:30pm; Wednesdays at 2pm
Ticket prices:
Previews: $20 – $84, Regular Run: $20– $99. Prices subject to change
20 for $20: Twenty $20 tickets are available for subscription shows on the day of the performance at 11am (Mon – Sat) and 1pm (Sun), by phone only at 312-335-1650. Limit 2 per person.
Rush Tickets: Half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show.
Student Discounts: Limited $15 student tickets are available online (Limit 2 tickets. Must present a valid student ID for each ticket). For additional student discounts, visit
Group Tickets: All groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance.
Black Card Memberships are for audiences interested in extreme flexibility. Cards include six tickets for use any time, are valid for one year with the option to add additional tickets as needed. Perks include easy and free exchanges, access to seats before the general public, savings on single ticket prices and bar and restaurant discounts.
Red Card Memberships are available for theatergoers under 30. More info at
Audience Services: For tickets or more information, contact Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St) at 312-335-1650 or

Visitor Information
Steppenwolf is located at 1650 N Halsted St near all forms of public transportation, bike racks and Divvy bike stands. The parking facility ($12 or $14, cash or card) is located just south of our theater at 1624 N Halsted. Valet parking service ($14 cash) is available directly in front of the main entrance starting at 5pm on weeknights, 1pm on weekends and at 12noon before Wednesday matinees. Limited street and lot parking are also available. For last minute questions and concerns, patrons can call the Steppenwolf Parking Hotline at 312.335.1774.

Committed to making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to everyone, performances featuring American Sign Language Interpretation, Open Captioning and Audio Description are offered during the run of each play. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance and the Downstairs and 1700 Theatres are each equipped with an induction hearing loop. All theaters feature wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms, and Front Bar features a push-button entrance, all-gender restrooms and accessible counter and table spaces.

Sponsor Information
United Airlines is the Official and Exclusive Airline of Steppenwolf.

Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks
Connected to the main lobby is Steppenwolf’s own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks, offering a warm, creative space to grab a drink, have a bite, or meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night. Open Tuesdays – Sundays from 8am to midnight, Front Bar serves artisanal coffee and espresso is provided by La Colombe and food prepared by Goddess and Grocer. The menu focuses on fresh, accessible fare, featuring grab-and-go salads and sandwiches for lunch and adding shareable small plates and desserts for evening and post show service. www.front

Year of Chicago Theatre
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is proud to be part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, presented by the City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. Home to a community of creators, risk-takers, and big hearts, Chicago theatre is a hotbed for exciting new work and hundreds of world premieres every year. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there’s always a seat waiting for you at one of our 200+ theatres. Book your next show today at

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble represents a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead to August: Osage County and Pass Over—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony Awards—have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programing includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multi-genre performances series. Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities; the esteemed School at Steppenwolf; and Professional Leadership Programs for arts administration training. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit,, and

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

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