Highland Park native Jeff Perry stars in 'Seagull' on Steppenwolf Theatre's newest stage

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Jeff Perry is widely-known for playing the gloriously wicked Cyrus Beene on "Scandal."

But he's also one of the founding members of Chicago's world-acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre, where you can see him now starring in "Seagull."

Anton Chekhov's "Seagull" is the first production launched in the 400-seat Ensemble Theater "in the round" - a space that reflects the Steppenwolf spirit.

Looking around now, Perry said he feels "a combo platter of astonishment and gratitude."

"With Chekhov's work you really want people to feel like, 'I got invited here, these people don't even know I'm here,'" Perry said of his latest performance. "That's what you want for the audience - a sense of a voyeur, being plopped down."

Perry and Gary Sinise became "theater kids" at Highland Park High School.

"We fell in love with it - so there, jump ahead a few years to Illinois State University where I meet John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf," Perry said. "To find that you love working in group, as a tribe, as an artistic family, as ensemble, that you feed off the sense of humor, the sense of vulnerability, the sense of courage."

He still has a special place in his heart for Cyrus, too.

"I love me some Cyrus, oh, I'm so grateful for that man," Perry said. "Seven years of getting to explore that beautiful, crazy, cantankerous, a little bit romantic, once-in-a-while nice guy."

"Seagull" flies high until June 12 - or maybe July, if there's audience demand.
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