Tucked away in his dingy apartment, Luke has invented a device that could change the world - if only he thought the world was ready for it. When an opportunistic outsider arrives with designs on his invention and his apartment, Luke's family, and the universe itself, are at risk of being torn apart. Brilliant Adventures packs all the gritty British drama you've come to expect at Steep into a wildly entertaining sci-fi thriller with more than a touch of dark comedy.
Read what the critics are saying:|
"an exceptionally interesting show...[a] hugely talented cast...you could not ask for a much better U.S. premiere. A brilliant adventure indeed."
- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
full review >
"Alistair McDowall's American debut crackles with possibility...[a] twisty, darkly comic thriller...riveting."
- Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago
full review >
"WINDY CITY CRITIC'S PICK!
A little Pinteresque menace, a lot of kitchen-sink drama and British post-industrial funk. But it's young playwright Alistair McDowall's sci-fi twist and well-etched characters that mark [Brilliant Adventures] as special, along with the best damn acting I've seen in a long time."
- JA, Windy City Times
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"One of the most delightfully antithetical pieces of theater to grace a Chicago stage this season... Brilliant Adventures shines a bright light on the infinite possibilities latent in theater if we only allow ourselves to dream"
- Kevin Greene, New City
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"Highly Recommended...McDowall's hybrid of Quentin Tarantino meets H.G. Wells is presented in a staggering, stimulating and astonishing production that's guaranteed to "stoke conversation" and haunt audiences long after the final curtain."
- Colin Douglas, Chicago Theatre Review
full review >
"[MacDowall's] absurd and cynical twists...contribute powerfully to the play's unexpected pathos."
- Chicago Reader
full review >
"An intriguing U.S. Premiere....fiercely focused"
- Lawrence Bommer, Stage and Cinema
full review >
PLAYWRIGHT: Alistair McDowall
DIRECTED BY: Robin Witt*
CAST: Peter Moore*, Ty Olwin, Brandon Rivera, Ryan McBride, Will Kinnear and Curtis Edward Jackson
SET DESIGN Dan Stratton** LIGHTING DESIGN Brandon Wardell** COSTUME DESIGN Jessica Kuehnau SOUND DESIGN AND ORIGINAL COMPOSITION Thomas Dixon** PROP DESIGN Maria DeFabo** FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY Christina Gorman
DIALECT COACH Kendra Thulin*
*denotes Steep Ensemble Member
**denotes Steep Artistic Associate
This production was generously sponsored by Lisa and Randy White.
Running Time: 2 hours, including one 10-minute intermission
Steep Company Member Robin Witt is back in the director's chair for the final show of Steep's 14th season, the U.S. premiere of Alistair McDowall's Brilliant Adventures. The production marks not only the U.S. premiere of the piece, but the U.S. premiere of the playwright McDowall, who is quickly becoming one of the hottest playwrights in the UK. Appropriately, his work is paired with one of Chicago's most sought after directors, Witt, who has received Jeff nominations for Best Director the past two years and has directed some of Steep's most notable hits, including 2013's sensational Motortown.
According to Alistair McDowall "there are no rules in theatre – you can do anything. Whatever rules there are, you can break them – immediately if you want to." McDowall's debut play, Brilliant Adventures, which was awarded a Bruntwood Prize in 2011, pulls apart the laws of physics while telling a story of brotherly love. Brilliant Adventures packs all the gritty British drama you've come to expect at Steep into a wildly entertaining sci-fi thriller with more than a touch of dark comedy. Steep has made a name for itself with uncompromising productions of bold, new work, and McDowall's piece certainly continues in that tradition.
Director Robin Witt, who is a Steep Ensemble Member, has been at the helm for many of Steep's most successful UK imports, including Simon Stephens' Motortown, Pornography, and Harper Regan; Dennis Kelly's Love and Money; Jez Butterworth's Parlour Song; and Laura Wade's Breathing Corpses. Her Harper Regan is still the best-selling show in Steep history and was named one of the Top Ten shows of 2010 by both the Chicago Tribune and Timeout Chicago, and her Breathing Corpses was named one of Timeout's Top Ten Shows of 2008. Ms. Witt received Best Director nominations for her 2013 Flare Path and 2014 Men Should Weep, both with Griffin Theatre.
ABOUT THE CAST
Peter Moore (Ben) Pete is thrilled to be back on stage at Steep, working with Robin and this wonderful cast and crew. He is a Founding Member and the Artistic Director of Steep and has appeared in a bunch of shows over the last 14 years. His credits include Motortown, Love and Money, Harper Regan, A Brief History of Helen of Troy, The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle, If There is I Haven't Found it Yet, and a few other shows with impossibly long titles. Pete also recently appeared in The Downpour with Route 66 Theatre, NBC's Chicago Fire, and the Bollywood film Dhoom 3. Pete is a graduate of Bowdoin College and The School at Steppenwolf, and is represented by Paonessa Talent both in the states and India. Thanks to the company, the board and all of Steep's friends and supporters. Special thanks to his incredibly supportive family, his lovely wife Jen, and his pals Harry and Gus.
Curtis Edward Jackson (Luke) Curtis is originally from Philadelphia. He studied Acting at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire and is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf. Recent credits include: Crumble Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake (Jackalope Theatre Company); Men Should Weep, War of the Worlds, and two national tours of Letters Home (Griffin Theatre Company); Tribes, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Steppenwolf); Richard III, Twelfth Night (Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre); Ghost Bike (Buzz22 Chicago); Shakespeare's R&J (Idle Muse); Good Boys and True (Kokandy Productions).
Ty Olwin (Luke) Ty is bloody thrilled to be making his Steep Theatre debut! Previous Chicago credits include: Season on the Line (Narrator) at The House Theatre of Chicago, Vieux Carre (The Writer) at Raven Theatre, Lord of the Flies (Jack) at Steppenwolf, and Jackalope Theatre's Living Newspaper Festival. Television credits include CRISIS and Chicago Fire (NBC). Ty is a proud graduate of the School at Steppenwolf 2012. Love to family and friends, especially Hillary, for being amazing.
Brandon Rivera (Greg) Brandon is a rising senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign pursing a BFA in Acting. Post-graduation, he plans to move back to Chicago. Previous roles include: Bergetto in 'Tis Pity She's a Whore directed by William Brown, Fortune Teller in Skin of Our Teeth, St. Ambrose in Theresa Rebeck's O Beautiful, and Gentleman in The Masses are Asses.
Ryan McBride (Rob) Ryan is so happy to be back at Steep Theatre! National Tour: Evil Dead the Musical. Some credits include: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Griffin Theatre, FWD Theatre Project, Light Opera Works, Shakespeare Project of Chicago. He would like to thank Robin, Caroline, the entire cast and crew, family, friends and Stewart Talent for their continuous love and support.
Will Kinnear (Man) Will is thrilled to return to Steep where he appeared in the 2010 production of 2000 Feet Away. Other Chicago credits include Airline Highway, The March (Steppenwolf Theatre Co.); The Drawer Boy (Filament Theatre Ensemble); Bus Stop (The Den Theatre); Perfect, Butt Nekkid and Raised (Side Project Theatre Co.); Mr. Marmalade (Dog & Pony Theatre Co.); Chekhov Stories (Piven Theatre); Hunger & Thirst (A Red Orchid Theatre). Will is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf. Special thanks to Robin and Steep Theatre for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful production. So much love, always, to Lizzy.
Brilliant Adventures | July 9 – August 29, 2015
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm
Sunday matinee performances on July 19, July 26, August 2 and August 9 at 3pm