Steep Theatre Loses Edgewater Space

Steep Theatre announced yesterday that they will be forced to move out of their current space at 1115 W Berwyn Avenue this fall.

According to Executive Director Kate Piatt-Eckert, “Steep intends to stay in the Edgewater neighborhood and continue to deepen its relationships with long-supportive neighbors as it moves forward with a focus on inclusivity, accessibility, and flexibility. Steep Theatre is not a building – it is a league of fearless artists, bold leaders, and passionate supporters equipped with nineteen years of experience producing storefront theatre and almost two years presenting music and performance at The Boxcar.”

“Our Berwyn home has been filled with magic these past twelve years – the artists, the stories, the community, and the challenging conversations we all embraced,” shared Artistic Director Peter Moore, “but all of that magic will be coming with us to our new home.”

Originally founded in 2000, Steep Theatre premiered their first show in 2001, and moved into their first location in Wrigleyville in 2003. They moved into their current Edgewater location, steps from the Berwyn Red Line station, in the fall of 2008. Steep has produced many critically acclaimed productions in recent years in the small, intimate blackbox theatre, including Leopard Play, Red Rex, First Love is the Revolution, and Hinter. In 2018 they expanded their space and opened The Boxcar, a small bar and performance venue, next door.

The current supply drive for Black Lives Matter protesters, organized by several Edgewater theatres and currently operating out of Steep, will not be interrupted. Donations will continue to be accepted until Friday at 6pm. According to Piatt-Eckert: “Our society is in the midst of a profound shift toward a more just and racially equitable world, and Steep does not want the news about its space to distract from this crucial work.” More details about the supply drive can be found here.

Steep Theatre’s future, and whether it will find another permanent premises or simply rent space, remains unclear. Should in-person theatre become safe again, there will still be concerns regarding social distancing practices, racial equality, and the economic impacts of the pandemic that the entire American theatre community will have to address.

Photo by Lee Miller, from The Leopard Play, or sad songs for lost boys, January 2020.

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