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Artist Biographies

Rajiv Joseph (Playwright) has been a Steppenwolf Ensemble member since 2018. His play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and he has twice won the Obie Award for Best New American Play, first in 2016 for Guards at the Taj (also a 2016 Lortel Winner for Best Play) and then, in 2018, for Describe the Night. Other plays include Letters of Suresh, Gruesome Playground Injuries, Animals Out of Paper, The North Pool, The Lake Effect, Archduke and Mr. Wolf. His play King James received its world premiere last year at Steppenwolf and will be produced this spring in New York at Manhattan Theatre Club. Rajiv is a graduate of Cleveland Heights High School in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and his MFA from New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa. 

Austin Pendleton (Director) began working with Steppenwolf in 1979 when he directed the Ensemble in Say Goodnight, Gracie by Ralph Pape. After that he returned to direct Loose Ends by Michael Weller, Three Sisters, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Then he was cast opposite Laurie Metcalf in Educating Rita, directed by Jeff Perry, and on the first day of rehearsal for that was asked to join the Ensemble officially.  Since then, he has acted and directed at Steppenwolf frequently, and most recently acted on Broadway in the Steppenwolf-originated The Minutes by Tracy Letts, directed by Anna Shapiro. He has acted over the years in several Broadway shows (the first being the original production of Fiddler on the Roof, in which he was the first Motel, the Tailor), and many off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway shows. He has also directed in these venues, winning a Tony nomination for The Little Foxes (with Elizabeth Taylor) and an Obie Award for Three Sisters (with Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal). He's appeared in about 300 movies, and on TV in recurring roles in Oz and Homicide. He has written three plays: Orson's Shadow (which started at Steppenwolf, in the production, directed by David Cromer, that moved to off-Broadway and ran for a little under a year); Uncle Bob (the second production of the play, after its New York premiere); and Booth, which, after its New York premiere played at Writers' Theater in Glencoe. He was also commissioned by Michael Halberstam at Writers' Theatre to write the libretto for A Minister's Wife, a musical adapted from Shaw's Candida, with music by Josh Schmidt and lyrics by Jan Tranen, which then moved to the Newhouse Theatre at Lincoln Center in New York.  All these works are published and have been frequently produced around the country, and -- in the case of Orson's Shadow, in London, and in the case of Uncle Bob, in Paris, translated by Jean-Marie Besset.

Collette Pollard (Scenic Design) returns to Steppenwolf Theatre Company where recent credits include Lindiwe, HIR, The Fundamentals, Between Riverside and Crazy, Head of Passes, 1984, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The House on Mango Street and Harriet Jacobs. Recent and upcoming Chicago credits include FEN, Orlando and The Illusion (Court Theatre), Roe, The Wolves, The Happiest Song Plays Last, Fish Men and Stoop Stories, (Goodman Theatre), Smart People (Writers Theatre), The Nutcracker (The House Theatre), and A Shayna Maidel (Timeline Theatre) where she is a company member and artistic associate, Big Fish and The Sound of Music (Marriott Theatre), Miracle (Miracles Productions), Recent and upcoming regional credits include The Legend of Georgia McBride (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and Arizona Theatre Company), Eclipsed and The Chinese Lady (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre), The Cake (The Asolo Repertory Theatre). Collette is the recipient of several Jeff Awards, and is an Associate Professor of Design at the School of Theatre and Music at UIC. Many thanks to the endless support from her family.   

Raquel Adorno (Costume Design) Chicago: Georgiana and Kitty, Intimate Apparel (Northlight Theatre); Wife of a Salesman (Writers Theatre); The Island, The Tragedy Of Othello, The Moor of Venice (Court Theatre); Measure for Measure, I, Banquo (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Mies Julie (Victory Gardens Theater); Unelectable You (The Second City); D.O.A.(Strawdog Theatre Company); Murder Ballad, CARRIE (Bailiwick Chicago). Regional: The Tempest, Intimate Apparel (Utah Shakespeare Festival); A Raisin in the Sun, The Taming of the Shrew, Cymbeline, A Doll’s House, A Doll’s House, Part 2 ( American Players Theatre); Small Mouth Sounds (UCCS Theatreworks). Film: Limerence Education: MFA Northwestern University. www.raqueladorno.com

Keith Parham (Lighting Design) Steppenwolf Theatre: The Great Leap, Time Stands Still, The Flick, The Herd, The Night Alive, Tribes, The Birthday Party. Chicago: Toni Stone (Goodman Theatre). Broadway: Between Riverside and Crazy (Second Stage); Therese Raquin (Roundabout Theatre Company). Off-Broadway: Man from Nebraska (2econd Stage Theatre); The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois (Atlantic Theater Company); Tribes, Red Light Winter (Barrow Street Theatre); Stop the Virgens (Karen O at St. Ann's Warehouse/Sydney Opera House); A Minister's Wife (Lincoln Center Theatre); Adding Machine A Musical (Minetta Lane). TUTA Company Member: Hedda Gabler, Radio Culture, The Edge of Our Bodies, Gentle, Music Hall. Awards: Obie, Lortel.

Pornchanok Kanchanabanca (Sound Design) Steppenwolf Theatre Company: Bald Sisters, Seagull, Choir Boy, The Great Leap, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Chicago: Gem Of The Ocean (Goodman Theatre, Jeff Award), The Last Match (Writers Theatre). Regional: As You Like It (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); The Wolves, Skylight (McCarter Theater). International: Damage Joy (Thailand, BIPAM 2019). Awards: 2022 Jeff Award, Original music in play. Education: MFA, Drama at Yale. www.wishnok-music.com

Kristina Fluty (Intimacy Consultant) Steppenwolf Theatre Company: The Children. Chicago: Mies Julie, Indecent (Victory Gardens); Frankenstein, Top Girls (Remy Bumppo); Cardboard Piano (TimeLine); The Last Match (Writer’s); Spring Awakening (Porchlight); The Sound of Music (Marriott); Private Lives (Raven). Regional: Linda Vista (Center Theatre Group – Los Angeles). Kristina's main creative home since 2003 is Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak, a modern dance company based in Chicago. MA in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling, Laban Movement Analyst, Movement Pattern Analyst. Associate Professor of Movement - The Theatre School at DePaul University.

Silver Fox Wigs (Emily Young, Owner) (Wig Design) Silver Fox Wigs is so excited to be back at Steppenwolf with this amazing show. Steppenwolf credits include Bald Sisters, Miz Martha, Seagull, BUG, The Minutes, True West, Rembrandt, Hir. In addition, our work can be seen on stages such as Drury Lane Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Broadway in Chicago, and many more as well as TV and movie productions in the city. 

Gigi Buffington (Company Voice, Text & Dialect Coach) has worked at Steppenwolf Theatre Company as Company Vocal Coach for six seasons. Steppenwolf: Bald Sisters, Miz Martha, Seagull, King James, BUG, Dance Nation, Lindiwe, The Great Leap, True West, MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT, The Children, A Doll’s House, Part 2, Familiar, Downstate, The Doppelgänger (an international farce), Guards at the Taj, The Minutes, Hir, The Rembrandt, Pass Over, Linda Vista, Dying City, Mary Page Marlowe, East of Eden. Broadway: Cost of Living, The Minutes, Clyde’s, Slave Play, Pass Over, Linda Vista, Straight White Men, King Kong Live on Broadway. Off- Broadway: Evanston Salt Cost’s Climbing, Catch As Catch Can, Camp Siegfried, The Devil Wears Prada, Corsicana, On Sugarland, Prayer For The French Republic; The Thin Place, Heroes of the Fourth Turning, Dying City, Mary Page Marlowe, Pass Over, Coriolanus, The Tempest. International: Downstate (The National), The Merchant of Venice (Venice); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet (with David Tennant and Patrick Stewart), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Royal Shakespeare Company); The Maids (director), Pericles, Othello, An Illiad, The Seagull, Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Richard III (American Players Theatre). Film: Text Consultant for Spike Lee’s Prince of Cats. Buffington is an Arts Professor at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. AEA, SAG-AFTRA, VASTA.

Christine D. Freeburg (Production Stage Manager) Steppenwolf Theatre Company: Miz Martha, Seagull, BUG, Wally World, Animal Farm, MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT, La Ruta, Downstate, The Doppelgänger (an international farce), The Minutes, Linda Vista, Constellations, The Flick, John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, The Herd, Airline Highway, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, American Buffalo (also at McCarter Theatre), The Tempest, The Seafarer, The Diary of Anne Frank, after the quake, Cherry Orchard. Chicago: Northlight Theatre, Court Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Apple Tree Theatre. Freeburg is the interim Head of Stage Management at The Theatre School at DePaul University. She is happily married to Thom Cox and the proud mother of Joan Marie. For Malcolm.

Kathleen Barrett (Assistant Stage Manager) Steppenwolf Theatre Company: Miz Martha, Seagull, BUG, Dance Nation, The Great Leap, MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT, The Crucible, Pass Over, Constellations, East of Eden, The Herd, Airline Highway. Chicago: The Steadfast Tin Soldier (2018, 2022), 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas (Lookingglass Theatre Company); Groundhog Day, The Secret of My Success (Paramount Theatre); additional work for The Hypocrites, Victory Gardens Theater, Porchlight Music Theatre, Broadway in Chicago. Regional: world premieres of Cambodian Rock Band, A Doll’s House Part 2, Office Hour (South Coast Repertory) and productions with Geva Theatre Center, Florida Repertory Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Mason Street Warehouse. Kat is a graduate of Kalamazoo College in Michigan.