1984 | Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Upstairs Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

1984 Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 20 2015

This stage version of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, adapted by Andrew White (whose script was first produced by Lookingglass Theater Company in 2004), features some top-notch multimedia design elements. Joseph A. Burke’s video projections convey a bombardment of propaganda and ubiquitous surveillance, while Andrew Rovner’s nerve-rattling sound design puts us in a world where sirens have replaced music. But although White dutifully lays out Orwell’s arguments against totalitarianism and the control of language as a means of controlling thought, he fails to capture the book’s sense of outrage and nightmare urgency. The same could be said of the acting in Hallie Gordon’s staging for Steppenwolf for Young Adults. Showing few signs of fear or resistance, everybody seems defeated from the get-go. —Zac Thompson

Price: $20

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