Steep Theatre Losing Theatre Space
Jun 17, 2020
The building that houses Steep Theatre has been sold, and the ensemble's tenure at 1115 West Berwyn will likely be coming to an end this fall. It will be an emotional departure from the storefront that has served as their home for the past dozen years, but the company is excited to move forward and establish a new long-term home for theatre, performance, and community.
Steep has experienced profound growth since moving to their current home in Edgewater in 2008. For the past several seasons, it has operated at capacity, often selling out quickly, and the company's penchant for large ensemble productions and ambitious designs was already challenging in the cozy space before the advent of COVID-19. Now, with performance venues everywhere working to modify their spaces to create safer environments, Steep has the unplanned, but ultimately well-timed opportunity to create a space that will support the health and safety of artists and audiences as well as growing production needs for years to come.
Steep intends to stay in the Edgewater neighborhood and continue to deepen its relationships with long-supportive neighbors as it moves forward with a focus on inclusivity, accessibility, and flexibility. Steep Theatre is not a building - it is a league of fearless artists, bold leaders, and passionate supporters equipped with nineteen years of experience producing storefront theatre and almost two years presenting music and performance at The Boxcar. As the ensemble's twentieth year begins, it is focused on the future and intent on creating a home that will support its art and enrich its community for decades to come.
"Our Berwyn home has been filled with magic these past twelve years - the artists, the stories, the community, and the challenging conversations we all embraced," shared Artistic Director Peter Moore, "but all of that magic will be coming with us to our new home."
The company has a lot to explore, plan, and accomplish in the coming months and looks forward to conversations with its community in the days and weeks ahead about its building and its artistic and organizational plans. As this next chapter in Steep's story unfolds, up-to-date information will be available at steeptheatre.com/building. Our society is in the midst of a profound shift toward a more just and racially equitable world, and Steep does not want the news about its space to distract from this crucial work. Steep plans to continue collaborating with other Edgewater theatres to activate its space on Berwyn Ave in support of front-line community organizations for as long as possible, and more information about this work is available at steeptheatre.com/supply-drive.
About Steep Theatre
Housed in what was once a small grocery store steps from the Berwyn Red Line stop, and lead by an ensemble of 41 actors, directors, designers, writers, and other theatre artists, Steep is the quintessential storefront theatre. Described by Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune as "the most fearless theater in town," Steep creates powerful productions of plays by today's most exciting writers and features the work of Chicago's hottest theatre artists in an intimate, accessible space. Founded in 2001, Steep is known as a home for hard-hitting, finely tuned ensemble work. With each production, the company has shepherded a growing community of audiences and artists into bold new territories of story and performance.
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