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Bald Sisters
A poignant and irreverent world premiere
Welcome to Bald Sisters

The holidays: different generations within one family sit at the same table, eat the same food, breathe the same air—all while often holding vastly different worldviews. This collision of perspectives can be uncomfortable, but also energizing. 

Vichet Chum’s play, hilarious and wrenching, is partly a contemporary reflection on the phenomenon of generational divide. As winter descends on Chicago, Vichet transports us to Texas to spend time with a remarkable family of Cambodian-American women reconciling their immigrant identity, their spiritual foundation, and their American experience. Bald Sisters asks how one can stay true to their culture’s values while reinventing the way they move through the world with them.

Whether we like it or not, the clock only spins one way. We have only one life to live and part of that life is dancing with who we are, where we're from and how we say hello and goodbye to those who are part of our journey. 

This play has been in development here at Steppenwolf for years, and we have all been eagerly anticipating sharing it with audiences. We hope you enjoy spending time with this family, this story... and we hope you find it as hilariously (and painfully) relatable as we do.


Glenn Davis & Audrey Francis
Artistic DIrectors



A Note From The Playwright

Hello, fellow audience member.

Whatever brings you to this particular performance, this day, in this moment, please know how grateful I am for your presence. You made a choice to be here, and in crafting this story, I honor that.

Every artist and technician on Bald Sisters has put an incredible amount of love into this production, and so I invite you to lean into the space we share together. If you feel the impulse to laugh, let it go (spoiler: the play is funny). If you feel moved by the experience, know I’ve intended for this to be a space for healing. If you feel your humanity buzzing, join us at the bar after, and keep the conversation going. Art is made by community, and you are a beloved collaborator here.

Most importantly, I hope you’ll continue to celebrate the vital, thriving Cambodian community in Chicago who have opened their arms to me unequivocally. Visit the National Cambodian Heritage Museum and support their important work of documenting Khmer history. Have a meal at Khmai Cambodian Fine Dining and ask questions from a place of goodwill and curiosity. Subscribe to Randy Kim’s podcast “The Bánh Mì Chronicles,” and listen to the myriad of Cambodian and Asian American voices that make up our cherished communities. We are partners in bringing the Cambodian legacy ever forwards.

And not to quote my own play (but I’m gonna)… “You are here, and that matters.”



About the Show



By Vichet Chum
Directed by Jesca Prudencio


Francesca Fernandez McKenzie*, Coburn Goss*, Wai Ching Ho*, Jennifer Lim* and Nima Rakhshanifar*


Andrew Boyce+ Scenic Design 
Izumi Inaba+ Costume Design 
Stacey Derosier+ Lighting Design 
Pornchanok Kanchanabanca+ Sound Design
Mike Tutaj+ Projection Design
Courtney Abbott Intimacy Director
Polly Hubbard Dramaturg
Silver Fox Wigs Wig Design
Gigi Buffington Company Voice, Text & Dialect Coach 
Tom Pearl Producing Director
JC Clementz, CSA Casting Director 
Laura D. Glenn* Production Stage Manager
Jaclynn Joslin* Assistant Stage Manager

Bald Sisters was developed by Steppenwolf Theatre Company as part of its new play development initiative, SCOUT; Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago, IL; Anna D. Shapiro, Artistic Director and David Schmitz, Executive Director.

† member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble.
* member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.
+ member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829 of the IATSE.
‡ member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union.

The Artists

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie* Sophea
Coburn Goss* Nate
Wai Ching Ho* Ma
Jennifer Lim* Him 
Nima Rakhshanifar* Seth

Omar Bader Seth 
Cheryl Hamada* Ma
Jennifer Jelsema Him 
Matt Miles  Nate
Stephanie Shum Sophea 


Sami Ismat, Sophoan Khoeun, Thavary Krouch Cultural Consultants
Karina Patel Assistant Director
Hannah Clark, Joe Johnson Assistant Scenic Design
Erica Maholmes Assistant Lighting Design
Parker Molacek Assistant Projection Design
Greg Geffrard Assistant Intimacy Director
Sokhom Chum, Sami Ismat Additional Dialect Work

Julie Jachym Production Assistant
Emma Sipora Tyler Script Supervisor
Joe Creen Run Crew
Lauren Casson COVID Safety Manager 
Rick Sims Sound Technician

Tatjana Jessee Assistant Costume Design
Jeanette Rodriguez Costume Design Assistant 
Melissa Wilson Stitcher
Johan Gallardo, Cindy Moon Additional Shopping
Kenny Faust, Tim Martin, Carolyn Voss Additional Carpenters 
Camille Toshiko Peotter Additional Properties 
Amy Couey, Meghan Erxleben, Ann Huerta Additional Paint

This play runs for 100 minutes and will be performed without an intermission.

As a courtesy to the actors and your fellow patrons, please turn off your cell phones before the performance.

Entry and re-entry into the theater after the performance begins is not guaranteed.


 The taking of photographs and the use of any type of recording device are not allowed in the theater during performances and is a violation of state and federal copyright laws; digital media will be deleted, and tape or film will be confiscated.


It is recommended that patrons wear face coverings upon entry into Steppenwolf, including while seated during the performance. For the most-up-to-date information on our venue’s COVID precautions, please visit our website

Meet the Artists
Honoring Those Who Came Before Us
Welcome to our Community
Our Staff & Board
Our Community Partners