Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s 40th anniversary season kicks off on September 17 with the world premiere of John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden.” Steppenwolf co-founder Terry Kinney will direct the live production adapted by Frank Galati, a two-time Tony Award winner and ensemble member.
The 10-person cast will transport theater-goers into the life of Adam and Cathy Trask who move to California’s Salinas Valley to escape a turbulent past and start a new life. Family history, sibling rivalry and the impending First World War threaten their new existence, and they question if it’s possible to escape the mistakes of a previous generation and set a new course.
Frank Galati shared his thoughts on his adaptation of “East of Eden” and the significance of the theater company’s 40th anniversary:
“For me, this adaptation and production are the continuation of a journey Steppenwolf began with ‘The Grapes of Wrath,’” he said. “After 40 years, our company is still together, still telling stories, still an ensemble against all odds. Now our co-founder Terry Kinney who played Jim Casey in ‘Grapes of Wrath’ is directing. What a glory!”
Terry Kinney joins other members of the original production of “Grapes of Wrath,” Francis Guinan, Tim Hopper and Alan Wilder, in this new adaptation of “East of Eden.”
The complete cast includes: Kate Arrington as Cathy Trask, Francis Guinan as Samuel Hamilton, Tim Hopper as Adam Trask and Alan Wilder as Dr. Murphy and Mr. Bacon. Other cast members include Casey Thomas Brown as Aron Trask, Aaron Himelstein as Caleb Trask, Elizabeth Laidlaw as Eva/Mrs. Bacon/nurse, Stephen Park as Lee, Brittany Uomoleale as Abra Bacon and Dan Waller as Joe and Will Hamilton.
Previews for “East of Eden” begin September 17 with opening night on September 27. Performances run through November 15 at Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre at 1650 North Halsted Street. Ticket prices range from $20 to $89 and are available at the theater, by calling 312-335-1650 or online at steppenwolf.org. Curtain times are Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. and Wednesday matinees at 2 p.m. on October 28, November 4 and November 11.