Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Chicago, IL, USA

Steppenwolf Theatre Company began in 1974, out of the storefront theatre tradition in Chicago. The company was itinerant until the early 1990’s, when it built its signature 520-seat theatre.

Charcoalblue has worked with the company for a number of years to explore their ambitions. The first phase opened in 2016 with the new intimate and highly experimental studio space at 1700 North Halstead. Phase Two has broken ground – the radical new 600-seat in-the-round theatre has been designed from the inside, it is driven by a desire for enhanced ‘audience engagement’, the project also expands front-of-house spaces, and will renovate the existing ‘Downstairs’ theatre.

Charcoalblue is proud to be working alongside Steppenwolf and Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill architects to design the theatres, from auditorium design, flexibility, seat-count, sightlines, to technical capability and its acoustic design.

“This is a monumental moment for us that is more than two decades in the making”

Anna Shapiro, Artistic Director

“This is a monumental moment for us that is more than two decades in the making,” says artistic director Anna D. Shapiro, adding that the expansion plan is “built on the shoulders of the former leaders, the ensemble, the board, and the staff who have touched this project and together have made this vision a reality. Steppenwolf is first and foremost a Chicago theatre. That understanding has guided the design of every inch of the building.”

The new theater is an ambitious, bold and modern theatre. It offers unparalleled levels of focus for the actors and audience and will be unique to Chicago’s rich theatrical landscape. Steppenwolf is leading a renewed charge in defining rooms where dialogue and the immediacy of the performers is paramount.

Project Details

Client

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Architect

Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture

Budget

Confidential

Owen Hughes

If you'd like to know more, speak to Owen

+1.212.645.0790

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Owen Hughes

If you'd like to know more, speak to Owen

Contact Owen

+1.212.645.0790