APR 5 – JUNE 10, 2012
Two Plays in Conversation: How Classics Inspire Us Artistic and Educational Director, Steppenwolf for Young Adults Hallie Gordon
These Times, They are A-Changin’ A conversation with Brandon Rivera, Steppenwolf Young Adult Council Member, and Actress Fiona Robert, playing the character Jo in fml.
TYTP Quiz: Test Your Texting Prowess
Editors Jason Kriegler Alicia Graf
GENERAL SHERMAN AND HIS SOLDIERS MARCH THROUGH GEORGIA, FOREVER CHANGING THE LIVES OF EVERYONE CAUGHT IN THEIR PATH.
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY E.L. DOCTOROW ADAPTED FOR THE STAGE AND DIRECTED BY ENSEMBLE MEMBER FRANK GALATI
Featuring ensemble members Alana Arenas, Ian Barford, Martha Lavey, Mariann Mayberry, James Vincent Meredith and Alan Wilder with Will Allan, Phillip James Brannon, Cliff Chamberlain, Patrick Clear, Carrie Coon, Harry Groener, Stephen Louis Grush, Michael Mahler, Shannon Matesky, John Mossman and Philip R. Smith
Contributors Eric Evenskaas Hallie Gordon Evan Hatfield Jason Kriegler Suzanne Miller Joel Moorman Nijeul Porter Megan Shuchman
Cover Cast member Fiona Robert Photo by Sandro
fml: how Carson McCullers saved my life was developed by Steppenwolf Theatre Company through the New Plays Initiative which is supported by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Zell Family Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and members of the Directors Circle.
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Tickets start at just $20. Buy tickets at steppenwolf.org or call 312-335-1650
2 Corporate Production Sponsor
This program is printed on FSC® certified paper and with the use of soy based inks. 2011/12 Season Lighting Sponsor
Artistic Director Martha Lavey†
Corporate Sponsor of Steppenwolf for Young Adults
Sponsor of 2-for-1 Sunday Matinees
Executive Director David Hawkanson
Artistic and Educational Director of SYA Hallie Gordon
Steppenwolf for Young Adults presents
fml: how Carson McCullers saved my life By Sarah Gubbins Directed by Joanie Schultz February 28 - March 18, 2012 Featuring
Major foundation support for Steppenwolf for Young Adults is provided by the Polk Bros. Foundation and Alphawood Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Crown Family. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and by a CityArts Program 4 grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Steppenwolf’s New Plays Initiative is generously sponsored by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Zell Family Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Steppenwolf for Young Adults is a citywide partner of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) School Partner Program.
Partial support for open captioning provided by Theatre Development Fund
Zoe Levin Ian Daniel McLaren Lily Mojekwu* Fiona Robert Bradley Grant Smith Production
Chelsea Warren Scenic Design David Hymen Costume Design Lee Keenan Lighting Design Thomas Dixon Sound Design Mike Tutaj Projection Design Matt Engle Violence Choreography Lydia Conklin Comics Artist Erica Daniels˚ Casting Aaron Carter Dramaturg Cassie Wolgamott* Stage Manager
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is a constituent of Theatre Communication Group (TCG), the national organization for nonprofit professional theatre. † member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble
* member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.
˚ member of the Casting Society of America
Two Plays in Conversation: How Classics Inspire Us The Steppenwolf for Young Adults 2011/12 Season is an exploration of the process by which a piece of literature evolves through adaptation and reinterpretation.
go to steppenwolf.org. to learn more about the 2012/13 season Download Steppenwolf’s iPhone App. Order tickets, watch videos and listen to podcasts.
Last fall, we presented Rebecca Gilman’s adaptation of Carson McCullers’ novel The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter. This spring, we proudly present Sarah Gubbins’ new play, fml: how Carson McCullers saved my life. In this world premiere production, Gubbins gives her creative response to McCullers’ novel, taking what moves her about this classic and forming it into something new. fml gives us the unique opportunity to share with a new generation of artists the way in which original work is born from the ideas and themes of a classic text—how the compelling work of one artist can prompt a bold response and fresh story from another. Says Gubbins of fml, “I wrote fml not as an adaptation of The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter but more as an homage to it. The title captures the maddening duality of the human condition and the question that plagues us all—how is it possible to feel so alone, so utterly lonely while still hunting, desiring to love? I think this duality is an ageless phenomenon, yet often fully felt for the first time at a young age. That’s where I began in my writing of fml. Sometimes we can read something, go to the theater, plug in our iPods, watch an episode of television and understand something happening in our own lives in a new way. That’s what happens to the central character in fml when she reads Carson McCullers’ novel. In The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, all the characters are outsiders in some way. This feeling of being a “freak” or an “outsider”—someone without a community—is what draws the characters together. That is a dynamic I wanted to bring to fml.” We are thrilled to have fml on our stage and Sarah Gubbins as part of this exciting conversation. We hope you enjoy the show!
Artistic and Educational Director, Steppenwolf for Young Adults Hallie Gordon
Cast and Contributors
Cast and Contributors
Cast (in alphabetical order)
Zoe Levin Emma Ian Daniel McLaren Mickey Lily Mojekwu* Ms. Delaney Fiona Robert Jo Bradley Grant Smith Reed Understudies
Mike Harvey Mickey/Reed Ashleigh LaThrop Emma/Ms. Delaney Jessica London-Shields Jo
La Grange, Illinois. Present day. There will not be an intermission. There will be a post-show discussion immediately following the performance.
Mike Mroch Assistant Director John Rooney Script Manager Scott Morgan Scenic Carpenter Zoe Shiffrin Scenic Artist Eric Wegener Sound Board Operator
Olivia Castillon Stage Crew Brianna Parry Stage Management Apprentice Kate DeVore Vocal Coach
As a courtesy to the actors and your fellow patrons, please turn off your cell phones before the performances and after intermissions. The taking of photographs and the use of any type of recording device is not allowed in the theater during performances and is a violation of state and federal copyright laws. Digital media will be deleted, and tape or film will be confiscated.
* member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.
Zoe Levin (Emma) is thrilled to be involved with her first production at Steppenwolf Theatre. She was most recently seen as Emmy in Jailbait (Profiles Theatre). Her previous credits include: The Shallow End (Theatre Seven Chicago); and Trust (Lookingglass Theatre). Zoe made her film debut last year in David Schwimmer’s Trust, and will appear in the short film Advantage: Weinberg, as Colleen, coming out this spring. Zoe would like to thank Gray Talent Group for all their hard work, and her family and friends for all their support! Ian Daniel McLaren (Mickey) is thrilled to make his Steppenwolf debut. Previous Chicago credits include the Chicago premieres of Farragut North (Stage Left Theatre); Wreckage (Caffeine Theatre); Cloud 9 (The Gift Theatre); Ten Cent Night (Chicago Dramatists); The Hundred Dresses (Chicago Children’s Theatre); and The Home Project (About Face Theatre). He is an instructor at Black Box Acting Studio and is a proud graduate of Loyola University Chicago and The School at Steppenwolf. Much love to Conor, his family, wp10 and the Black Box team for their unending support.
Lily Mojekwu (Ms. Delaney) is tickled to be working with Steppenwolf again after appearing as Mrs. Kendall in The Elephant Man and as a performing understudy in both The Brother/Sister Plays and Intimate Apparel. Favorite Chicago credits include This (Theatre Wit); Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); A Twist of Water (Route 66 Theatre Company); The Overwhelming (Next Theatre, Jeff Nomination for Best Production); Greensboro: A Requiem (Steep Theatre, Non-Equity Jeff Nomination for Best Supporting Actress); and In Arabia We’d All be Kings (Steep Theatre, Non-Equity Jeff Award for Best Ensemble). Lily is currently shooting the feature film Black Box. Big thanks to Joanie, Sarah and Erica. Much love to my new husband Jim and my new stepdaughter Sophia. Fiona Robert (Jo) is excited to return to Steppenwolf where she was last seen as Julie in the First Look Repertory production of Oblivion by Carly Mensch, directed by Matt Miller. Recent Chicago credits include: Peter and the Wolf (The Chicago Symphony and Lookingglass Theatre); The Long Red Road (Goodman Theatre, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman); and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Circle Theatre). Regional credits include: Charlotte’s Web and The Sound of Music (South Bend Civic Theater). She has also appeared in numerous plays at the Chicago Academy for the Arts High School where she is currently a senior. Endless thanks to her loving family, friends, teachers and everyone at Gray Talent Group for their 7 continuous support.
Cast and Contributors Bradley Grant Smith (Reed) returns to Steppenwolf, where he recently understudied for Middletown. Other Chicago theatre credits include: The Weir (Seanachai Theatre); New Stages Series productions of CommComm and Reverb (Goodman Theatre); David’s Mother (Apple Tree Theatre); as well as shows with American Theater Company, Collaboraction, Theatre Seven, Strawdog Theatre and Pavement Group. Film credits: Stranger Than Fiction, The Ice Harvest and Let’s Go to Prison. Brad received his BFA in Acting from the Theatre School at DePaul University. He records and performs music under the name Sad Brad Smith, some of which can be heard in the film Up in the Air, starring Amy Morton. The rest can be found at www.sadbradsmith.com. Thanks for reading. Mike Harvey (u/s Mickey/Reed) is thrilled to be working with Steppenwolf for the first time. Chicago credits include: Suicide, Incorporated (The Gift Theatre); FRINDLE and Little Brother (Griffin Theatre); STUNT, The New Lonely, Ethnic Cleansing Day and Thief River (The Side Project). Film credits include: In Memoriam and Welcome to Tolono. Mike would like to express his appreciation and love to Mom, Dad and Ed for their unyielding support. Thanks to Heather for helping him get the gig. Ashleigh LaThrop (u/s Emma/Ms. Delaney) is elated to be working at Steppenwolf with such an amazing cast. She has been seen in Chicago doing shows such as Cooperstown (Theatre Seven of Chicago); Comedy of Errors (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and
Cast and Contributors The Twins Would Like to Say (Dog and Pony Theatre). Regionally, Ashleigh has been seen in Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Renaissance Theatreworks) and she spent the last two seasons at American Players Theatre. Ashleigh is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois and the School at Steppenwolf. Much love to my Grandma! Jessica London-Shields (u/s Jo) is really honored to be a part of fml: how Carson McCullers saved my life with Steppenwolf. Previous Chicago credits include: We Live Here (Theatre Seven); MilkMilkLemonade (Pavement Group); Cherry Smoke (The Side Project); Spring Awakening (Promethean Theatre); and Class Dismissed (Victory Gardens Theater). Jessica also co-starred in the film Jamie and Jessie Are Not Together (Juicy Planet Productions), currently screening at film festivals internationally. Jessica holds a BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Sarah Gubbins (Playwright) is a Chicago playwright. Her play Fair Use was developed and produced at Steppenwolf Theatre Company as part of their First Look Repertory of New Work 2008 and was produced by Actor’s Express Theatre in Atlanta. Her play The Kid Thing was read as part of Steppenwolf Theatre’s First Look Repertory of New Work and was co-produced by About Face Theatre and Chicago Dramatists, where it received the Edgarton Foundation support for additional development. Her play In Loco Parentis was recently produced by Next Theatre in Chicago as part of their What’s Next Series. Sarah developed The Water Play at the Playwrights’ Center of Minneapolis this fall. Her plays have been read or developed at the Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, The Goodman Theatre, American Theater Company, About Face Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Next
Joanie Schultz and Sarah Gubbins
Theatre Company, Actor’s Express and Collaboraction. Sarah is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists and an Artistic Associate at About Face Theatre. She was the 2010-2011 Carl J.Djerassi Playwriting Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a 2011-2012 Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. She has additionally been commissioned by the DePaul University Theater School. Sarah recently collaborated with The Dance Exchange on Liz Lerman’s A Matter of Origins. Sarah holds an MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage from Northwestern University. Joanie Schultz (Director) is a freelance director based in Chicago. Most recently, she directed The Girl in the Yellow Dress (Next Theatre); Ask Aunt Susan (Goodman Theatre, by Seth Bockley); and The Kid Thing (a
co-production of About Face Theatre and Chicago Dramatists, by Sarah Gubbins). Last year she directed The Metal Children (Next Theatre); Wreckage and Many Loves (Caffeine Theatre); and Shining City (Redtwist Theatre). She also recently directed A Brief History of Helen of Troy and In Arabia We’d All Be Kings (Steep Theatre Company, Jeff Award for Best Ensemble); The Ring Cycle (The Building Stage); A Perfect Wedding and Stone Cold Dead Serious (Circle Theatre). Ms. Schultz directed New York Stories, Savitri and The Telephone for Chicago Opera Theater and National Opera Week; and Acis and Galatea, the Chicago Cultural Center summer opera, which was the first fully-staged opera at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. She recently directed new play workshops at the Goodman Theatre, Next Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre. Ms. Schultz holds an MFA from Northwestern
Cast and Contributors University, was a 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. Aaron Carter (Dramaturg) is currently the Literary Manager at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Previously, he served as the Literary Manager at Victory Gardens Theater, where he played a key role in the IGNITION Festival and was involved in the production of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Year Zero, Love Person and Living Green, among others. As a new play developer and dramaturg, Aaron has worked with many theaters and labs including WordBRIDGE, The Kennedy Center, TimeLine Theatre, Route 66 Theatre Company and Chicago Dramatists. Aaron also teaches courses in playwriting, dramaturgy and dramatic literature at Northwestern University, DePaul University, Roosevelt University and Grinnell College. Aaron graduated from Ohio University with an MFA in Dramatic Writing where he studied under Charles Smith and Erik Ramsey. Chelsea M. Warren (Scenic Design) Chicago projects include: First Look Repertory of New Work 2011 and A Separate Peace (Steppenwolf Theatre); Hesperia (Writers’ Theatre); The Kid Thing (Chicago Dramatists and About Face Theatre); Pornography, A Brief History of Helen of Troy (Steep Theatre); They’re Playing Our Song (Fox Valley Repertory); Sinbad: The Untold Tale (Adventure Stage); and 13 Clocks and Mrs. Caliban (Lifeline Theatre). International work includes: La Femme des Sables (Companie Unikaji, Paris & Zagreb); and Stones/Air (Barossa International Sculpture Park, Southern Australia). Chelsea received her MFA in Stage Design
Cast and Contributors from Northwestern University and teaches at Columbia College and DePaul University. www.chelseaMwarren.com David Hyman (Costume Design) is excited to be back at Steppenwolf, where he recently designed costumes for Man in Love as part of the First Look Repertory of New Work. Selected Chicago credits include: The Real Thing (Writers’ Theatre), The Homosexuals and Pony (About Face Theatre); Cherrywood (Mary-Arrchie, directed by David Cromer); A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant (Next Theatre); Heddatron (Steppenwolf Garage Rep, Joseph Jefferson Award for Specialization in Design), Medea with Child and Theories of the Sun (Sideshow Theatre Company); punkplay (Steppenwolf Garage Rep with Pavement Group); amongst others. Off Broadway: Orange, Hat & Grace (SoHo Repertory). Upcoming: Rent (directed by David Cromer for About Face Theatre and American Theater Company). David is an Artistic Associate of About Face Theatre and a graduate of Northwestern University. For more info, or to see more of his work, visit www.DavidBHyman.com. Lee Keenan (Lighting Design) is delighted to be working for Steppenwolf for the first time. Chicago credits include: Sizwe Banzi is Dead (Court Theatre); Around the World in 80 Days (Lookingglass Theatre); Nutcracker, Cyrano, Star Witness, Odradek, Rose and the Rime (The House Theatre); and Trapped, Elephant Deal (500 Clown). Thomas Dixon (Sound Design) is thrilled to be working with Steppenwolf for the first time. Chicago-area credits include: The Girl in the Yellow Dress (Next Theatre); Pornography, A Brief History of Helen of Troy and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Steep Theatre); Wreckage, Brutal Imagination and Under Milk
Fiona Robert and Zoe Levin
Sarah Gubbins, Aaron Carter, and Mike Mroch
Fiona Robert and Ian Daniel McLaren
Cast and Contributors
Cast and Contributors
Wood (Caffeine Theatre); and many more. Visit his website at www.thomasdixonsound. com. Thomas is a graduate of Northwestern University and an Artistic Associate of both Steep and Caffeine Theatres. Many thanks to Joanie, and to his winning family and friends. Happy birthday, Granny Sal! Mike Tutaj (Projection Design) returns to Steppenwolf having designed projections for The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter and The Hot L Baltimore. Other design credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, The Feast and Romeo y Julieta (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); The Detective’s Wife (Writers’ Theatre); Ask Aunt Susan, The Good Negro (Goodman Theatre); Sweeney Todd (Drury Lane Oakbrook); Enron, A Walk in the Woods, The Pitmen Painters, In Darfur, Frost/ Nixon, The Farnsworth Invention and History Boys (TimeLine Theatre). Mr. Tutaj is an Artistic Associate with TimeLine Theatre Company and a company member of Barrel of Monkeys Productions. Matt Engle (Violence Choreography) is excited to be back at Steppenwolf after working on The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter and Where We’re Born. Other Chicago violence design credits include: Hunger and Wuthering Heights (Lifeline Theatre); 2000 Feet Away, Insignificance and Breathing Corpses (Steep Theatre); Hot ‘N’ Throbbing (Pine Box Theatre); Marathon ‘33 (Strawdog Theatre); and The Gray Girl, League of Awesome, Siskel & Ebert Save Chicago and Ren Faire! A Fistful of Ducats (Factory Theater). Matt is also a company member with Chicago’s Factory Theater. Cassie Wolgamott (Stage Manager) is thrilled to be returning to Steppenwolf after stage managing Man in Love last fall. Recent credits include: A Chorus Line (Paramount
Bradley Grant Smith and Zoe Levin
Zoe Levin, Joanie Schultz, and Fiona Robert
Theatre); and The Homosexuals (About Face Theatre). In Chicago: Betrayal, Gary, Fair Use, The Glass Menagerie, To Kill a Mockingbird and Venus (Steppenwolf Theatre); Million Dollar Quartet (Chicago Theatre); The MLK Project (Writers’ Theatre); The Sparrow (The House Theatre/Broadway in Chicago); and the Gay Games Opening Ceremony at Soldier Field. Regional credits include work with ArtsPower National Touring Theatre, Catharsis Productions, Opera Illinois, Portland Stage and the Colorado, Illinois and Virginia Shakespeare Festivals. For my grandma, who always accepted me for who I am.
adult productions each season, she has created the Young Adult Council. These high school students collectively help to create innovative programming for their peers. As Educational Director, Hallie has worked closely with the Chicago Public Schools to create an environment in which all students and teachers have access to the theatre. As a theatre artist, Hallie has directed Eclipsed at Northlight Theatre. For Steppenwolf, Hallie has directed The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, To Kill A Mockingbird, the world premiere of a new adaptation by Tanya Saracho of The House on Mango Street and Harriet Jacobs, adapted for the stage by Lydia R. Diamond. A new premiere of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, also adapted by Lydia R. Diamond, won a Black Excellence Award from the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago and also transferred Off-Broadway to The New Victory
Hallie Gordon (Artistic and Educational Director of Steppenwolf for Young Adults) has created and facilitated many educational programs for Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Along with selecting the young
Theatre. She has directed staged readings for The Goodman Theatre, TimeLine Theatre, Chicago Dramatists and Steppenwolf. Hallie is the recipient of The Helen Coburn Meier & Tim Meier Achievement Award. Martha Lavey (Artistic Director) has been an ensemble member since 1995 and has appeared at Steppenwolf in Middletown, Endgame, Up, Good Boys and True, LoveLies-Bleeding, Lost Land, I Never Sang for My Father, The House of Lily, Valparaiso, The Memory of Water, The Designated Mourner, Supple in Combat, Time of My Life, A Clockwork Orange, Talking Heads, SLAVS!, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Ghost in the Machine, A Summer Remembered, Love Letters, Aunt Dan and Lemon and Savages. Elsewhere in Chicago she has performed at the Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens
Cast and Contributors
steppenwolf’s TEEN SERIES
Zoe Levin, Joanie Schultz, and Fiona Robert
Theater, Northlight Theatre and Remains Theatre and in New York at the Women’s Project and Productions. She has served on grants panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, The Theatre Communications Group (TCG), Three Arts, U.S. Artists and the City Arts panel of Chicago. Lavey holds a doctorate in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, is a member of the National Advisory Council for the School of Communication at Northwestern and is on the board of TCG. She is a recipient of the Sarah Siddons Award and an Alumni Merit Award and honorary Doctorate of Arts from Northwestern University.
David Hawkanson (Executive Director) prior to Steppenwolf was the Managing Director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota, under the artistic leadership of Joe Dowling. Before the Guthrie, he served for eight years as the Managing Director of Hartford Stage Company in Connecticut with Artistic Director, Mark Lamos. Earlier in his career, he was Managing Director of the Arizona Theatre Company
See a production at Steppenwolf for a discounted price, and then explore the world of the play with your friends and Chicago’s most celebrated artists.
fm l: h o w Car s o n Mc C u lle r s sav e d my li fe
It’s that simple.
Ti m e Stan d s Sti ll
tickets are $15 (That’s cheap. & i nclu des food). To purchase tickets call Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or arrive at the theatre 30 minutes before the show and purchase your tickets at the door.
Saturday, March 10 @ 7:30pm*
Saturday, April 21 @ 3:00pm
Th e Mar c h
Saturday, May 12 @ 3:00pm
For more information visit www.steppenwolf.org/sya or call us at 312-654-5637. *Evening events include music, dance and slam poetry. The Young Adult Council is generously sponsored by UBS. Foundation support is provided by The Siragusa Foundation and the Motorola Mobility Foundation.
Brandon Rivera: Let’s start with what we all want to know: did you have to explain to your parents what “fml” stood for? Fiona Robert: Yes, I did! (laughter)
and confident. That would honestly be fine with me. I’m sure people will ask me if I’m gay. I’m not, but I support it, so it’s not a huge concern. If people want to assume I’m gay, let them assume.
BR: How did that conversation go? FR: My mom was like, “Well, what does it mean?” and I responded, “Fuck my life” and she said, “Is that something people really say?!” I guess it wasn’t much of a conversation.
BR: Do you notice any prejudices against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) kids at your school? FR: Not at school, but outside of school, yes. I’m lucky because I go to the Chicago Academy of the Arts (CAA), and it’s a very supportive environment compared to other places. There are definitely kids who are out, and there are definitely kids who are not. Some kids are fully accepted by friends and family, and some who are out at school are not able to be out at home, which makes for a really difficult experience for those kids.
Photo by Joel Moorman
BR: That’s how I’m getting my peers to come to the show. I tell them, “it’s called fuck my life”− FR: −Yeah! “You might relate.”
These Times, They Are A-Changin’ A conversation with Brandon Rivera, Steppenwolf Young Adult Council Member and a senior at Lincoln Park High School and Actress Fiona Robert, Jo in fml and a senior at Chicago Academy for the Arts.
BR: Did you have any concerns or worries playing a gay character on stage? FR: When I first auditioned for the role, in the breakdown it said Jo must “read gay,” and I honestly had no idea what that meant. Because I think it’s really easy to pick stereotypes. Since I wasn’t sure what it meant to “read gay,” I just went in and tried to portray not necessarily a lesbian, but instead everything else I learned about Jo: she’s a confident athlete, someone a bit isolated, someone who lets things roll off her back. In the audition, I was worried Jo wouldn’t come off as... BR: ...a lesbian... FR: ...right! But, I just decided not to worry about that and approached her as I would any other character. BR: But, were you worried people would associate you with Jo, and therefore, assume you are gay? FR: I would love if people associate me with Jo because she’s great. She’s so strong
BR: It sounds like at your school, being gay is not a huge deal. Is that correct? FR: We have this first day of school assembly where the seniors get to talk to the incoming freshman class, alone, without teachers or the principal, and provide them with advice and insights. When I was a freshman, the seniors told us, “If you’re gay, we’re here for you. If you want to come out, we’re here for you.” They told us we would be accepted no matter what. BR: Wow. FR: As I said, CAA is a very unique environment. BR: When you read The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, did you identify with John Singer as Jo does? Or did you have a different experience with the book? FR: When I first read it, I found myself identifying more with the character of Mick Kelly [the young girl at the center of the
BR: “Two Strangers,” Morgan Carr, pre-Broadway days. I was listening to it yesterday on the bus and sobbing. I was like, “What am I doing?” FR: I’m the same way. But it’s Bob Dylan for me. Like with every experience I’ve ever had. BR: What do you think fml is about? FR: It’s about being an outsider, and yet still having hope, even in the darkest times. And it’s about friendship—about being there for the people in your life and standing up for them. BR: What do you hope audiences will take away from the show? FR: I think we’re really lucky to be doing this show for exactly the audience members
novel]. Jo and Mick both share this idea of an “inside room,” of feeling alone even when you have all these people around you. Jo doesn’t let people know when things get to her because she doesn’t want people to worry about her. She’s that person who says, “I’m going to get by. I’m going to get out of here. I’m going to make myself a better life.” You know? BR: So, in many ways, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter is Jo’s “It Gets Better Project?”* FR: I think so. There is a lot of hope in the show. fml: how Carson McCullers saved my life is the title of Jo’s graphic novel. Through her book, she can tell anyone going through a hard time, “it does get better.” She has something to offer: hope that it does get better. If you have people there who are
willing to help you, or if you have some sort of outlet like Jo, you can move past that kind of despair. BR: Do you have an outlet? FR: Like Mick, when I listen to music, I really put myself into it. I have certain friends who listen to a lot of music, and they eat it up, almost like a drug. They listen to albums two days straight, and when they’re done with it, they move on to something else. But for me, I listen to something over and over again. It becomes the soundtrack to whatever I’m going through at that time. I put my emotions into it, and I let the music take on whatever my feeling is. That’s my outlet.
“Jo’s that person who says, ‘I’m going to get by. I’m going to get out of here. I’m going to make myself a better life.’”
I think should see it: teens, kids our age. In terms of bullying, it seems there is a lot out there for parents in terms of how to talk to kids about bullying and a lot for teachers, “What do I do if I see bullying?” but we don’t have that kind of education for us, for students. I hope people who see this will be more conscious of their behavior. And for kids who are being bullied, I hope they will know it does get better, and that they are not alone. If nothing else, people should understand there is something going on, that the consciousness around LGBT issues is shifting. Like, you know—if you are stuck in the past, these times, they are a-changin’. BR: Did you mean to quote Bob Dylan just then?! FR: You know I did! BR: Thank you so much for talking with me. FR: Thank you. I hope you enjoy the show.
*The It Gets Better Project is a campaign started by Dan Savage and his life partner to “show young LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) persons the levels of happiness, potential and positivity their lives will reach—if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone—and it WILL get better.” www.itgetsbetter.org
BR: That’s like me! This whole week, I’ve just been replaying this one song over and over again. FR: What song?
TYTP Quiz: Test Your Texting Prowess
Take this short quiz to test your own texting knowledge. Check out the popular text abbreviations below and match the text lingo on top with their translations on the bottom. Don’t worry, we won’t ROFL if you mess up!
idk OMG! Did you know fml means f*#& my life?
1. What’s up?
2. Be right back
3. Nothing much, you?
4. I miss you
5. I don’t know
7. Oh my God
8. Laugh out loud
9. Laughing my a*% off
10. Got to go
11. By the way
13. Best friend forever
14. Talk to you later
15. Just kidding
16. I know, right?
17. Shut the f*#& up
18. What the f*#&?
19. Rolling on the floor laughing
answer key: 1. sup? 2. brb 3. nm, u? 4. imy 5. idk 6. w/e 7. omg 8. lol 9. lmao 10. g2g 11. btw 12. l8r 13. bff 14. ttyl 15. jk 16. ikr 17. stfu 18. wtf 19. rofl
The Steppenwolf ensemble first began performing in the mid-1970s in the basement of a Highland Park church, the ambitious brainchild of three high school and college friends: Jeff Perry, Terry Kinney and Gary Sinise. Fast forward 36 years and the Steppenwolf Theatre Company has become the nation’s premier ensemble theater—redefining the landscape of acting and performance. The ensemble has grown to 43 members who represent a remarkable generation of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling, powerful, groundbreaking productions from Balm in Gilead and The Grapes of Wrath to August: Osage County—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and nine Tony® Awards—have made the theatre legendary. Steppenwolf’s artistic force remains rooted in the original vision of its founders: an artist-driven theatre, whose vitality is defined by its sharp appetite for groundbreaking, innovative work. That work is represented in production photos displayed throughout the theatre.
K. Todd Freeman
Jon Michael Hill
Tarell Alvin McCraney
James Vincent Meredith
Anna D. Shapiro
steppenwolf theatre company Alan Wilder
We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of those who provide significant support for Steppenwolf for Young Adults.
Grand Benefactors $100,000+ William Randolph Hearst Foundations‡ Steppenwolf’s Auxiliary Council *
Lynn Lockwood Murphy and Barrett B. Murphy Northern Trust Dr. Scholl Foundation UBS
Producers $25,000-$49,999 David Herro and Jay Franke Microsoft
Sustainers $5,000-$9,999 Robert and Isabelle Bass Foundation Sean and Nora Daley Conroy Ernst & Young LLP John H. Hart and Carol Prins Grover Hermann Foundation Illinois Tool Works Inc. The McGraw-Hill Companies Motorola Mobility Foundation Siragusa Foundation Nina B. Winston
Patrons $10,000-$24,999 Bank of America Helen V. Brach Foundation CNA Financial Corporation Field Foundation of Illinois Susan and Richard Kiphart
Sponsors $2,500-$4,999 Kris Alden and Trisha Rooney Alden Ms. Sheridan Prior and Mr. Michael Bender Martha Lavey
Benefactors $50,000-$99,999 Alphawood Foundation The Crown Family‡ Polk Bros. Foundation JPMorgan Chase & Co. Target
Guarantors $1,000-$2,499 Michael and Cathy Brennan John Buckley Stephanie and Jason Child Kent and Liz Dauten Leticia Davis Rebecca and Barry Friedland Margo and Pete Georgiadis Gordon and Wendy Gill Richard and Catherine Gottfred David R. Hawkanson Karen Kuenster and Jim Osick Michele C. Mayes Janet Melk Barry and Beth Mitchell Steve and Michelle Monieson Kenneth J. Porrello and Sherry L. McFall Ralph Senst and Karen Zelden Stephanie B. Smith and Gerald Smith Betsy and Jeff Steele John and Carol Walter
‡ Multi Year Pledge * Steppenwolf’s Auxiliary Council is a community of over 100 dynamic young professionals, who strive to make a difference for the next generation of theater-enthusiasts. All proceeds raised by the Auxiliary Council benefit Steppenwolf for Young Adults. Partial support for open captioning provided by Theatre Development Fund
Steppenwolf Staff Martha Lavey
Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry and Gary Sinise
Executive Artistic Board
Artistic Erica Daniels
Board of Trustees
Associate Artistic Director
PAUL G. MILLER
Digital Design Associate
Lupe Garcia Quiles
Events Management Associate
Jacob g. padrÓn
Office Management Associate & Receptionist
Director of Audience Services
Audience Services Manager
Nick Ward Casting and School Associate
Kendra miller Artistic Programs Assistant
Tracy Letts Amy Morton Anna D. Shapiro Jessica Thebus Associate Artists
Sheldon Patinkin Artistic Consultants
Jackie Snuttjer Finance Specialist
Development SANDY KARUSCHAK
Director of Major Gifts
ERIC EVENSKAAS Director of Individual Giving and Donor Services
Megan a. Smith
Director of Foundation and Government Relations
KENDRA VAN KEMPEN
Director of Special Events
Individual Giving Coordinator
Rachel Domaracki Director of Finance
Heather C. Joireman Events Management Director
Scott Macoun IT Director
Erin Cook Company Manager
Kate holst Human Resources and Professional Leadership Programs Coordinator
Mike brunlieb MATTHEW LYLE
Artistic and Educational Director
Administration David M. Schmitz
Audience Services Subscription Manager
Audience Services Supervisors
Director of Corporate Relations
Director of Development
Steppenwolf for Young Adults Hallie Gordon
Amanda Jane Dunne Larry Grimm Ali hoefnagel Robert Hines III l’oreal jackson Ashley roberson Samuel roberson Emilio Robles NIcole Ripley Carla Stillwell John Wilson
Joshua davis Development Coordinator
Suzanne Miller Donor Services Coordinator
Lauren Fisher Special Events Associate
LOUISE GERAGHTY Donor Relations Associate
KALEIGH LOCKHART Corporate Relations Associate
Marketing, Publicity & Audience Services LINDA GARRISON Director of Marketing and Communications
jason kriegler Creative Director
JEFFREY FAUVER Communications Director
THOMAS WEITZ Digital Assets Director
erika Nelson Marketing Manager
JOEL MOORMAN Digital Content Producer
LUIS A. IBARRA Graphic Designer
Group Sales Associate
Roseann Bishop TARA BRANHAM Billie bryant Rebecca Butler ALI HOEFNAGEL LACEY HOLMES molly lagton SOTIRIOS LIVADITIS MARISSA MCKOWN PETER PARSONS MEG SANTISI natasha wahid Audience Services Associates
Operations JAY JUSSAUME Director of Operations
CORY CONRAD Facilities Manager
Antonio Ibarra Facilities Coordinator
Padam dhungel RYAN PALMA Facilities Staff
VICTOR DAVID Tika Ram Kafley HAROLD KRIPPS Ethan ozaniec Custodial Staff
EVAN HATFIELD Director of Audience Experience
LIBET WILFONG House Manager
josh beadle RON BOGACKI l. adelina treviÑo bradshaw Ashten burris Bridgette burton matt campbell Autumn cranor amber dettmers
alysia eggerman Al heartley ROBERT HINES III bridget holmes michelle jacobson JESSICA LIND mike mroch Danielle shindler elissa shortridge justin vorpahl Front of House Staff
MUSTAFA CHAUDHRY DONALD COULSON Indra Kafley Parking Staff
LAUREN LOUER, THE SAINTS Volunteer Usher Coordination
Production AL FRANKLIN Production Manager
Melissa tulchinsky Staff Wardrobe
MARTHA WEGENER Audio Engineer
GREGOR MORTIS Assistant Audio Engineer
J. R. LEDERLE Lighting Supervisor
ERNESTO GOMEZ House Electrician
MALCOLM EWEN CHRISTINE D. FREEBURG LAURA D. GLENN MICHELLE MEDVIN kim osgood ROSE MARIE PACKER KATHLEEN PETROZIELLO DEB STYER cassie wolgamott Stage Managers
DIXIE UFFELMAN Associate Production Manager
RUSSELL POOLE Technical Director
Robert S. Brown Assistant Technical Director
ROGELIO RIOJAS Scene Shop Foreman
christopher aler christopher grubb kyle land Scenic Carpenters
Melissa rutherfoord Charge Scenic Artist
Jenny DiLuciano Properties Master
ANDRIA SMITH Assistant Properties Master
Call Center CASEY VANWORMER Associate Campaign Director
PATRICK WALSH Associate Sales Manager
aoife carolan SYDNEY CRISTOL CHARLES FRYDENBERG deborah granite MARILYN HILLARY ali hoefnagel Terrence Mosley melissa rosenberg Rania SalemManganaro michael wise Call Center Representatives
l. adelina treviÑo bradshaw alicia graf Master Properties Artisan jackie guerrero RICK HAEFELE alfred heartley House Carpenter mary hungerford nora mally DAWN PRZYBYLSKI Stage Carpenter katherine marshall Jennifer CARYN WEGLARZ KLEIN mcclendon Costume Director rebecca noble MAE HASKINS brianna parry Assistant Costume Designer joseph pauli nijeul porter LAUREL CLAYSON rachel spear Head Draper cassidi stuckman KEVIN PETERSON jessica trier Shop Foreman barbara trinh staci weigum lynae vandermeulen Apprentices
Executive Committee Nora Daley, Chair Eric Lefkofsky, Secretary Paul W. Goodrich, Treasurer Henry S. Bienen Carole L. Brown Douglas R. Brown Michael Cahan Elizabeth H. Connelly Lynn Lockwood Murphy Geoff Nyheim Deborah H. Quazzo Randall K. Rowe Bruce Sagan Harry J. Seigle Stephanie B. Smith Helen Zell
Trustees Sarah Beardsley Michael W. Bender Terri L. Cable Keith Cardoza Beth Boosalis Davis J. Scott Etzler Rich Feitler Nene Foxhall Scott P. George Lawrence M. Gill Robert J. Greenebaum, Jr. John H. Hart George A. Joseph Donna La Pietra Martha Lavey Ronald J. Mallicoat, Jr. Janet Melk David C. Pisor Kenneth J. Porrello Merle Reskin Francis C. Sadac Michael R. Salem John R. Samolis Manuel “Manny” Sanchez Anna D. Shapiro Colette Cachey Smithburg John R. Walter
Emeritus Trustees J. Robert Barr Lawrence Block John N. Fox, Jr. Gloria Scoby Past Chairpersons William L. Atwell Larry D. Brady Douglas R. Brown Laurence Edwards John N. Fox, Jr. Elliott Lyon Gordon Murphy William H. Plummer Bruce Sagan Gloria Scoby Donna Vos
JESSICA STRATTON Wardrobe Supervisor
Accessibility at Steppenwolf Committed to providing services and programming that enhance the experience of guests with disabilities, Steppenwolf is proud to feature:
steppenwolf’s Young Adult Council
• Audio-described performances, artistic conversations and touch tours of the stage for guests who are blind or visually-impaired. • Guides dedicated to assisting patrons during audio-described performances. • Complimentary playbills in Braille, large print and audio formats. • Sign language-interpreted and open-captioned performances for guests who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. • Volunteers who use sign language to greet the audience at sign-interpreted performances. • Assistive listening devices in our Downstairs and Upstairs Theatres. • Wheelchair accessible seats and restrooms in all of our theatres. Would you like to utilize or learn more about these services? Audience Services 312-335-1650 TTY 312-335-3830 E-mail email@example.com
Be the next generation of leaders in American theatre
Stage Manager Malcolm Ewen assists Alberta O’Shaughnessy and George Hedges, subscribers who are visually-impaired, during the touch tour for Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Steppenwolf Customer Service Tips Driving to the Theatre? Rather than arriving to discover that our garage has reached capacity (which can happen during busy performances), please enter the Steppenwolf Parking Hotline (312-335-1774) into your cell phone and call us when you’re a few minutes away from the theatre—we’ll tell you if there’s still space available in our facility, or suggest the most convenient alternative. Spending your intermission in line at the bar? Enjoy the entire break by ordering and paying for your intermission refreshments before the show. When you exit the theatre at the end of the first act, your drinks will be waiting for you. Need restaurant information or the score of the ballgame? Please visit our book shop and information desk at the south end of the main floor lobby.
Hailing a cab after the play? This is typically an easy affair—Halsted is a busy street and sees a fair amount of taxi traffic. If you’d like assistance hailing a cab or calling a company, though, just ask a member of the house staff; we’re happy to help. Lost or Found? On-site? Please check in with a member of the house staff. Already left? Call the Front of House office at 312-932-2445. Want to provide feedback? Your input is always valuable to us. Have an opinion about the play or artistic content? Stick around for the post-show discussion featured after every performance, fill out the 60-Second Survey inserted in this program or join the conversation at Facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre. Have a comment about your overall experience at the theatre? Please ask us for a customer service form to fill out, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of the House Manager. The theater reserves the right to limit admission of children under the age of six. The taking of photographs and the use of any type of recording device is not allowed in the theater during performances and is a violation of state and federal copyright laws. Digital media will be deleted, and tape or film will be confiscated.
Lead your peers in artistic discussion
Applications will be available online starting March 1st at steppenwolf.org/youngadultcouncil. Applications for the 2012/13 Council are due May 1st
See the best plays in Chicago Discover the inner workings of professional theatre Learn how to analyze and speak about today’s hottest plays
All applicants must be in high school, and be able to commit to weekly meetings. Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend The Scene, Steppenwolf’s teen theatre series.
Scene events : fml: how Carson McCullers saved my life March 10th at 7:30pm Time Stands Still April 21st at 3:00pm The March May 12 at 3:00pm
Meet Chicago’s Most Celebrated Artists
?s Contact Education Assistant Lauren Sivak at 312-654-5643.
Young Adult Council Sponsor
Foundation support is provided by: The Siragusa Foundation and The Motorola Mobility Foundation.
Published on Mar 2, 2012