Extended through June 8

Steep Members and Passholders, please click here to reserve your seats.

A limited number of $15 rush tickets will be released 15 minutes prior to each performance. The view from these seats may be partially obstructed. Click below to learn more and sign up.

First Love is the Revolution

By Rita Kalnejais, directed by Devon de Mayo

Basti is having a rough go of it without his mom, and Rdeca is struggling just to make her first kill. When this 14 year-old boy and this young fox connect, the world just seems to make a whole lot more sense. Rita Kalnejais' First Love is the Revolution is a wild take on the timeless tale of star-crossed lovers - from different sides of the animal kingdom.

“Whimsical, brutal, and evocative”
-Sheri Flanders, Chicago Reader

Production Sponsors: Susan Burland & George Plumb, Cooper Melgreen, James T. O’Neill, Martha Anne & Stephen Yandle

Hospitality & Travel Sponsors: Ken Burlington, Ted Lowitz

Performance Schedule

Previews: April 13 - 17, 2019
Press Opening: Thursday, April 18, 2019
Performances: April 18 - May June 8, 2019
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm
Sunday afternoons at 3pm, excluding April 21
Full Performance Calendar

Audio Description and a Touch Tour will be available on Saturday, May 18.
Open Captioning will be available on Sunday, May 19.
Contact us at or 773-649-3186 for more information or to reserve tickets.

Running Time: Ninety minutes with no intermission

Late Seating: Please note that late seating is not possible and that all tickets not claimed by the scheduled performance time may be released to the wait list. For questions about this, please contact our box office.

Content Advisory: This production is intended for adult audiences. For more information about the content of this show, please click here.

Isa Arciniegas
Jordan Arredondo
Lucy Carapetyan*
Curtis Edward Jackson
Alex Gillmor*
Destini Huston
Jose Nateres
Jin Park

Director – Devon de Mayo
Stage Manager – Lauren Lassus*
Set Designer – Arnel Sancianco
Lighting Designer – Heather Sparling
Sound Designer – Jeffrey Levin
Costume Designer – Mieka van der Ploeg
Props Designer – Emma Cullimore
Dramaturg – Sarah Slight
Intimacy Director – Sasha Smith*
Violence Directors – Rachel Flesher & Zach Payne
Production Manager – Catherine Allen**

*Denotes Steep Company Member
**Denotes Steep Artistic Associate

In the Press

“a very gutsy, provocative and smart play”
-Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“Director Devon de Mayo is at her best when teasing out the charm and comedy in the destruction.”
-Sheri Flanders, Chicago Reader

“Director Devon de Mayo and the artistic team make the show a visual masterpiece”
-Sean Margaret Wagner, Windy City Times

“Only a few times a season do I find myself so unexpectedly bowled over by a show this singular. First Love is one of my most-loved productions of the year so far.”
-Kris Vire, Storefront Rebellion

“This play and its production are open, gracious and unexpected, like when you’ve slipped and had the wind knocked out of you only to discover what a breathtaking shade of blue the sky is from your position on the ground.”
-Kevin Greene, Newcity Stage

“Heartbreaking and hilarious.”
-Nancy Bishop, Third Coast Review

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Rita Kalnajais

Rita Kalnejais.png

IRita Kalnejais is a London-based writer. Her work has been performed extensively in Australia and she was a resident playwright at Sydney Theatre Company in 2011/12. Rita’s first play, BC, directed by Simon Stone, had a sell-out season at Melbourne Arts Centre’s Black Box in 2009. Her short plays, Whistling in Bed and How To Get Very Clean were performed at Sydney Theatre Company in 2010 and 2011. In 2012 her play Babyteeth had a successful season at Belvoir Theatre and was produced and performed by the State Theatre Company of South Australia the following year. It was optioned for film by WhiteFalk Films with Rita as screenwriter and starts production in December 2018 with Ben Mendelsohn and Essie Davis attached. Rita was one of the Soho 6 in 2014, during which she wrote First Love Is The Revolution, which played at the Soho Theatre in October, 2015. Her most recent play This Beautiful Future opened at the Yard Theatre in 2017 and returned later that year for a second run. She is under commission from Bell Shakespeare Company and Belvoir Theatre in Australia as well as writing a co-commission for the National Theatre and the Kenyon Institute, Ohio.

Season 18