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Steep Theatre Presents Martyr
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Benjamin's mother and teachers are alarmed when he begins espousing Fundamentalist Christian beliefs. Is it a ploy to ditch swimming class, or is it something more? Steep brings one of Germany's hottest playwrights to Chicago with a story of passion, belief, and manipulation.
"A powerful drama which raises fundamental questions."
    - Un Fauteuil Pour L'orchestre
Cast of Martyr
Read what the critics are saying:
"The play has visceral power"
"a wonderful production...We have come to expect really solid performance and direction from the Steep Theatre Company and its ensemble, and we certainly get this with Martyr"

- Jonathan Abarbanel, The Dueling Critics
"I recommend it very highly...a fine production of a really interesting play."
- Kelly Kleiman, The Dueling Critics
"Shocking, grossly engaging and full of profound insight, this production takes real risk"
    - Chicago Stage Standard
"Four enjoying nervous laughter in its fine U.S. premiere...beautifully crafted ensemble performance"
   - Chicago on the Aisle
"timely...Mayenburg's play is not only relatable, it's terrifying!"
   - Katy Walsh, The Fourth Walsh


PLAYWRIGHT: Marius von Mayenburg translated by Maja Zade
DIRECTED BY: Joanie Schultz*
WITH ENSEMBLE MEMBERS: Kendra Thulin and Cindy Marker
AND Brando Crawford, Travis Coe, Claire Saxe, Brandon St. Clair Saunders, Steve Schine and Walter Brody
  *denotes Steep Ensemble Member
**denotes Steep Artistic Associate
Running Time: 2 hours, including one 10-minute intermission
Steep Artistic Associate Joanie Schultz is back in the director's chair for the company's upcoming U.S. premiere production of Marius von Mayenburg's Martyr. The production pairs the work of one of Germany's most widely produced playwrights with one of Chicago's most sought-after directors. Ms. Schultz has been racking credits up all over town of late, including major productions of Venus in Fur at the Goodman Theatre and The Whale and Rest at Victory Gardens. Martyr opens on April 16th at Steep's Edgewater theater, where the company has put together a string of hits, while also bringing new work and new voices to Chicago.
Mayenburg's Martyr is an oft-harrowing, oft-comical depiction of a young man's journey towards religious radicalism. The play premiered at the Schaubühne in Berlin in 2012 and has received subsequent productions in Russia and France, but in a time when the United States is coping with religious fanaticism both at home and abroad, Steep's American premiere promises to carry particular resonance.
Marius von Mayenburg is a playwright, translator, dramaturg, director and one of the most widely produced German playwrights. His plays regularly receive productions at the Schaubühne in Berlin, the Royal Court Theater in London, and other major theaters around the world. Mr. Mayenburg's first play, Fireface (Feuergesicht, 1997) premiered at the Kammerspiele in Munich and was an enormous success. It received the Award for Emerging Playwrights (Kleistförderpreis für junge Dramatiker) and the prize of the Frankfurt Writer's Foundation (Preis der Frankfurter Autorenstiftung), and it was subsequently successfully produced worldwide and translated into many languages. In 2011, Mayenburg's work debuted in Chicago with Sideshow Theatre's well-received production of The Ugly One.
Martyr will be Joanie Schultz' sixth production with Steep Theatre, where she is an Artistic Associate. Her previous Steep credits include A Small Fire, Luther, Jeff Award winners In Arabia We'd All Be Kings (Best Ensemble) and A Brief History of Helen of Troy (Best Actress in a Featured Role), and the Jeff Nominated The Receptionist. Ms. Schultz' other recent credits include Yankee Tavern at American Blues Theatre, The Hundred Flowers Project for Silk Road Rising, and Northanger Abbey for Remy Bumppo Theatre. She has also served as co-curator of Theatre on the Lake and is currently serving as Associate Artistic Producer at Victory Gardens Theater. Ms. Schultz is a Drama League Fellow; The Goodman Theatre's Michael Maggio Directing Fellow; the SDCF Denham Fellow; a Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab participant.
This production contains nudity and violence and is intended for mature audiences.
Cindy Marker (Inge Südel) joined the Steep ensemble in 2006. She last appeared in If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, and other Steep credits include Moment, Hollow Lands and Book of Days. Cynthia has also acted at The Griffin Theatre and Eclipse, and she was trained at The School at Steppenwolf and Victory Gardens. She received her PhD in French at the University of Michigan after completing her undergraduate work at Northwestern University. She has lived abroad in France and Switzerland, taught French at several colleges, and continues to do so now at Francis W. Parker School.
Kendra Thulin (Erika Roth) has appeared at Steep in The Vandal, Motortown, Fallow, Luther, Pornography and Harper Regan (Non-Equity Jeff for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Principal Role). She served as Steep's dialect coach on The Knowledge, Moment, Love and Money, Festen. Other credits include A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (Sheila), Stage Left Theatre and Theatre on the Lake, Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom and State of the Union, Strawdog Theatre, Hunger, Lifeline Theatre, Want, Steppenwolf First Look Repertory. She has dialect coached productions at Griffin, Remy Bumppo, Raven and Pine Box Theatre. Kendra is a professor in the theatre department at Columbia College Chicago.
Walter Brody (Willy Batzler) has appeared in Chicago in The Luck of the Irish (Next Theatre), Scar Tissue (Prologue Theatre Company), The Night of the Iguana (The Artistic Home Theatre), The Petrified Forest (Strawdog), The Shadow of a Gunman (Seanachai Theatre), Lovers (City Lit), The Gay American (The Ruckus Theater), and One Fine Day (Stage Left Theatre).
Travis Coe (Georg Hansen) is a senior acting major at Columbia College Chicago. He is working with Steep Theatre for the first time. Recent credits include Surrounded (The Unexpected Laboratory), Mock Debate (Jackalope Theatre Company), United States of Amnesia (Room | 916 and The Chicago Home Theatre Festival), and Steinau (First Floor Theatre). Travis is a Founding Member and the Artistic Director of The Unexpected Laboratory.
Brando Crawford (Benjamin Südel) is making his Steep Theatre debut. Most recent credits include The Anyway Cabaret (TUTA) and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (Broadway in Chicago). Brando was awarded "Outstanding Male Performer" at MTI's International Theatre Festival. Film Credits include Runaway Hemingway as Young Ernest Hemingway, Fine Tuned (prod. By Ron Howard/Brian Grazer).
Claire Saxe (Lydia Weber) has appeared in Who Rowed Across Oceans (Lost Compass; Edinburgh Fringe) Bechdel Fest 2014 (Broken Nose Theater), Constance and the Perpetual Motion Machine (Rough House Theater), Ephebophilia (The Phebe Project/Mercy Street), and The Diary of Anne Frank (Steppenwolf Theater). Claire is a member of Rough House Theater Company.
Steve Schine (Markus Dörflinger) makes his Steep debut with Martyr. His Chicago productions include Solstice, Hunger & Thirst, Gagarin Way, The Earl, and Louis Slotin Sonata (A Red Orchid Theatre – Artistic Associate), Laughter on the 23rd Floor (First Folio), The Coward (Stage Left), The City & The City (Lifeline), King Lear (Goodman), Hellcab, A Going Concern, and The Cider House Rules (Famous Door Theatre), and productions with Court, Raven, ATC, Strawdog, and Piven. Regional productions include Romeo & Juliet, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Twelfth Night, and Julius Caesar (Lakeside Shakespeare) and It's a Wonderful Life (Clarence Brown). Steve has appeared on Chicago Fire and in the video game Ubisoft's Watch_Dogs. His voice can be heard in many commercials on the internet, radio, and TV. Steve is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA.
Brandon St. Clair Saunders (Pastor Dieter Menrath) This is the first show for Brandon at Steep. He is an ensemble member of Strawdog Theatre and a company member of A Crew of Patches. Brandon can also be seen acting this summer at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival.

Martyr | April 16th - May 23rd, 2015
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm
Sunday matinee performances April 26, May 3, 10 and 17 at 3pm
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