All News

Praise for Steppenwolf's New In-the-Round Theatre


We are delighted to celebrate the completion of Steppenwolf's new Ensemble Theatre in Honor of Helen Zell, the heart of the new Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center which opened on November 2, 2021. For more information about the project - and our 10+ year partnership with Steppenwolf Theatre Company - visit our Steppenwolf case study page. To read about the theatre in the news, scroll down.

“All the time, all the people, all the hours, all the energy, that is this building's story," [Anna Shapiro, former Artistic Director of Steppenwolf] said. "I hope its story continues to intersect with the Chicago story, with the Illinois story and with each of your stories as long as you can make it through the door.”

Read more: Daily Herald

Interior view of Steppenwolf's in the round theatre

“...the heart of the new campus, Flanagan said, is the Round Theater, a six-row, 400-seat room where the stage sits in the center and no audience member will be more than 20 feet from the actors.”

Read More: Chicago Sun Times

Steppenwolf Theatre lobby with two stories of glass windows  on the right and and angled white textured concrete walls

“Glenn Davis, Steppenwolf’s co-artistic director, said the 50,000-square-foot building was the company’s 'love letter to Chicago.' 'This building will allow us to expand our reach across this great city as we operationalize our theater’s commitments to inclusion, diversity, equity and access.'”

Read More: Block Club Chicago

A view with students inside the reflection gallery in The Loft of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s dedicated education space. Dark wooden floor with windows all around and wooden beams on the ceiling with lights

“The Ensemble Theater, a 400-seat theater in the round, replaces the former Upstairs venue at Steppenwolf’s Halsted Street campus, which has been reconfigured as a rehearsal space...The new complex was designed by Gordon Gill of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, with U.K. firm Charcoalblue handling the theater design and acoustics.”

Read more: Chicago Reader

View of Steppenwolf's in the round theatre's catwalk from below

“...the expanded Steppenwolf campus is a cultural nexus for Chicago—offering bold and ambitious opportunities for creative expression, social exchange, unparalleled accessibility, and arts-driven learning for Chicago youth in The Loft, Steppenwolf’s first-ever dedicated education space.”

Read More: Chicago Crusader

Steppenwolf exterior view of the Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center at dusk, with the lights on and an empty street in the front

“Chicago doesn’t have another space like it—in fact Steppenwolf is leading a renewed charge in defining rooms where dialogue and the immediacy of the performers is paramount.”

Senior Partner Gavin Green, American Theatre Magazine

Steppenwolf in the round theatre interior photo, with empty seats around the centre stage and a view of the catwalk above with the lights on

Supporting the industry internationally since 2004

The Queen's Awards for Enterprise: International Trade 2020 UK Theatre Tonic Theatre Communications Group Carbon Literate Orginisation - Silver
John Owens is a Charcoalblue Partner responsible for our North American practice.

Got a question?

Contact John