Steppenwolf Ensemble Members On Screen

One of many things to enjoy about going to a theater performance, whether it's a small storefront theater or a big established company, is the thought that perhaps one of the actors you're seeing on stage may one day become a star. 

The Steppenwolf Theatre has a legendary history of nurturing talent. Many of their ensemble members have found fame in film and TV. As part of the City's Year of Chicago Theatre, I've rounded up a few movies that feature Steppenwolf actors.

Ensemble members Laurie Metcalf and Tracy Letts starred in the recent Oscar-nominated film Lady Bird, about a less-than-stellar high school student who dreams of the big-time. Metcalf and Letts play her parents. (Letts is also a successful playwright, who had a smash hit with August: Osage County.)

Joan Allen, who's had a long and distinguished career, was Oscar-nominated for her supporting role in The Crucible, based on the classic Arthur Miller play about the Salem witch trials (and a former One Book, One Chicago reading selection).

John Malkovich and Gary Sinise both have illustrious careers of their own, but they co-starred in the 1992 adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men.

Recent members James Vincent Meredith and Jon Michael Hill both had supporting roles in Widows, the 2018 Chicago-set heist drama from Academy Award-nominated director Steve McQueen and writer Gillian Flynn.

One of the latest to join the ensemble is rising star Carrie Coon, who also appeared in Widows and is perhaps best known for her supporting role in the movie version of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl.

The ensemble also includes some directors and playwrights, including Tarell Alvin McCraney, author of the source material for the Academy Award for Best Picture winner Moonlight.

This is just a sampling of some of the big-screen projects that have brought the work of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre to the attention of audiences around the world. We're fortunate to have their artistic contributions year-round, in addition to the work of the many other theater companies that make up Chicago's vibrant theater scene.

Want to learn more about the local theater scene? Explore our award-winning Chicago Theater Collection, an archive that spotlights Chicago's stages from the 1830s to the present, in Harold Washington Library Center’s Special Collections and Preservation Division.

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