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).
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.
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.