'True West' returns to Steppenwolf Theatre nearly 4 decades after it first debuted

CHICAGO (WLS) -- "True West" is back on the Steppenwolf Theatre stage, 37 years after it first debuted.

It's the drama that propelled the upstart Chicago theater ensemble to national attention and a New York run.

"A lot of us new members hear the stories about the ensemble back in the day and they're legendary figures," said Jon Michael Hill, who's starring in the play. "I think a lot of us look up to them as mentors and we look to them for inspiration and they look to us for new life."

In 1982, John Malkovich, Jeff Perry, Laurie Metcalf and Francis Guinan performed together in "True West," directed by Gary Sinise.

Now, new ensemble members are taking on playwright Sam Shepard's savage humor about two brothers' struggle for power.

"You can tell a good writer when you don't have to do anything, you just say the words and everything reveals itself as the more you do it," said Namir Smallwood, an actor at Steppenwolf.

Randall Arney, the play's director, said there have been moments where some of the new actors have made the same gesture or sounds that resemble past cast members. He called it haunting.

On August 5th, Steppenwolf will hold a discussion about the production with special guest Jeff Perry, an original ensemble member.
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