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Playwright Rajiv Joseph Announced as New Steppenwolf Ensemble Member

Actor Karen Rodriguez also joins the ensemble.

Rajiv Joseph and Karen Rodriguez join the Steppenwolf ensemble.
(photos provided by Steppenwolf Theatre Co.)

Steppenwolf Theatre Company has announced the addition of Rajiv Joseph and Karen Rodriguez to the Steppenwolf ensemble.

An Obie Award-wining and Pulitzer Prize finalist playwright, Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj was produced at Steppenwolf in May. Karen Rodriguez, a Chicago-based actor, recently performed at Steppenwolf in The Doppelgänger (an international farce) and The Rembrandt, and will be featured in this season's world premiere of Isaac Gomez's La Ruta, in a role written specifically for her.

"Rajiv's work is extraordinary both for its breadth and its depth, nothing short of a truly dazzling range," said Steppenwolf artistic director Anna D. Shapiro in a statement. "He is not only a gifted theater maker, he is a constructive and inspiring collaborator and truly one of the smartest and kindest people I've ever met. Karen's work is always vibrant, original and so, so brave. A grand comedienne already, a truthful and connected acting partner at all times, Karen embodies everything we value in our company and everything we want to see on our stages. We are deeply grateful to have these two exceptional artists joining our family."

The Steppenwolf's ensemble was formed by a collective of actors in 1976. Since Anna D. Shapiro began as artistic director in 2015, Cliff Chamberlain, Celeste M. Cooper, Glenn Davis, Audrey Francis, Sandra Marquez, Caroline Neff, and Namir Smallwood have also been welcomed into the ensemble.

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