Coronavirus Chicago: Steppenwolf Theatre to lay off 14% of its staff due to COVID-19, furlough more than half

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Chicago's legendary Steppenwolf Theatre announced Monday that 67% of its full-time staff will be affected by furloughs and layoffs starting July 27.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre said it has to lay off 14% of its full-time staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An additional 52% of their staff will be furloughed for various lengths of time. The changes go into effect on July 27.

Back in April, the company had to lay off 47 part-time employees due to the theater being closed during the city's mandated stay-at-home order.

"Our industry centers around creating community and ensemble, and while we find ourselves in the same position as many businesses, we are feeling an especially deep sorrow at having to part ways with many who are like family," said Steppenwolf Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro. "I am heartbroken that we must make these choices-we will be celebrating each person and carrying forward the legacy of their work."

In June, the theatre announced a 2020/2021 Reset Season that included five plays with flexible dates to give patrons more opportunities to see performances along with a slate of new original virtual programming.

Steppenwolf's legendary company includes the likes of John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf, and Gary Sinise.

The theatre has also launched a "risk free" membership, which guarantees that should the theater not be able to perform or patrons don't feel comfortable attending due to COVID-19, refunds will be available.

Steppenwolf hopes to bring people back to its theatre by December.

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