The Invisible Hand

By Ayad Akhtar, directed by Audrey Francis

An American banker has been taken hostage by an isolated militant group in Pakistan. When his ransom goes unpaid, his only hope is to trade on his expertise in international finance to earn his way to freedom. In an unsteady landscape of power and control, this geo-political thriller by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar asks just how free is the free market?

Performance Schedule

Previews: September 29 - October 4, 2017
Press Opening: Thursday, October 5, 2017
Performances: October 5 - November 11, 2017
Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm
Sunday afternoons at 3pm (excluding 10/8 and 11/5)
Full Performance Calendar

Audio Description and a Touch Tour will be available on Sunday, October 28.
Open Captioning will be available on Saturday, November 4 at 3:00.
Contact us at or 773-649-3186 for more information or to reserve tickets.

Running Time: Two hours with one intermission

Production Sponsors: Julie & Roger Baskes and Ted Lowitz

Content Advisory: This production is intended for adult audiences. 

Bassam Abdelfattah
Owais Ahmed
Anand Bhatt
Joel Reitsma*

Director – Audrey Francis
Stage Manager – Lauren Lassus**
Set Designer – Ashley Ann Woods
Lighting Designer – Meghan Erxleben
Sound Designer & Composer – Thomas Dixon**
Costume Designer  – Rachel Sypniewski
Props Designer  – Jamie Karas
Fight Choreographer – Almanya Narula
Dialect Coach – Sammi Grant
Dramaturg – Sonny Das
Assistant Director – Abhi Shrestha
Assistant Stage Manager – Serena Dully
Production Manager – Catherine Allen
Technical Director  – Brian Sprague

*Denotes Steep Company Member
**Denotes Steep Artistic Associate

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About The Invisible Hand

Steep Theatre’s 17th season will open this fall with the Chicago premiere of The Invisible Hand, by Ayad Akhtar, directed by Audrey Francis. Akhtar won the Pulitzer Prize for his play Disgraced, which premiered in 2012 at American Theatre Company in Chicago and later played on Broadway. The Invisible Hand opened at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, followed by productions at the New York Theatre Workshop and the Tricycle Theatre in London. The New York production earned Akhtar an OBIE Award for Playwriting and the Tricycle production scored an Olivier Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement. This production will mark Ms. Francis’ Steep directorial debut. She is both a Steppenwolf Ensemble Member and a co-founder of Black Box Acting and has directed with Chicago Dramatists, First Floor Theatre, and Pinebox Theatre.

The Invisible Hand will feature Owais Ahmed, Anand Bhatt, Raj Bond, and Steep Company Member Joel Reitsma. Joel appeared in Steep’s Jeff Award winning production of Bobbie Clearly and Simon Stephens’ Motortown. Owais, Anand, and Raj have performed extensively across Chicago and are making their Steep Theatre debuts.  

Season 17