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Debra Monk to replace Rondi Reed in play at Steppenwolf this Fall

Actress Debra Monk will play the title role int he world premiere of David Rabe's "Visiting Edna" at Steppenwolf Theatre this Fall. (Photo: Courtesy of Steppenwolf Theatre)

There has been a major casting change for the Steppenwolf Theatre world premiere of David Rabe’s “Visiting Edna,” which is set to open the company’s Fall season and run Sept. 15 – Nov. 6.

Replacing veteran ensemble member Rondi Reed in the title role will be Debra Monk, the admired Tony and Emmy-Awarding winning actress who will be making her Steppenwolf debut. Reed left the production “for personal reasons.”

Monk received a Tony Award for her performance in “Redwood Curtain,” an Obie award for “The Time of the Cuckoo,” and two Drama Desk Awards for “Curtains” and “Oil City Symphony.” An original cast member and co-author of “Pump Boys and Dinettes,” the actress has performed in twelve other Broadway productions, garnering three additional Tony nominations – most recently for the 2012 production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” In addition to her work on the stage, Monk has appeared in numerous films and television shows, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” and has current recurring roles on both “Mozart in the Jungle” and “Mercy Street.” She also holds an Emmy Award for her recurring guest role on “NYPD Blue.”

“Visiting Edna,” to be directed by Steppenwolf artistic director Anna D. Shapiro, is about a cancer patient who “experiences an extraordinary moment during an ordinary visit” by her son, Andrew (to be played by ensemble member Ian Barford). Also in the cast will be K. Todd Freeman, Sally Murphy and Michael Rabe (the playwright’s son). Edna has suffered a number of losses as she has aged, and now faces the stealthy advance of cancer embodied by “an intimate figure that she could do without.” Home for a visit, Edna’s son Andrew tries to bridge the gulf between the childhood love they shared and the aggressively polite but baffling relationship they now live with. Mother and son stumble toward honesty as they wrestle with the distractions, both mundane and profound, that preventreal connection.

For tickets call (312) 33501650 or visit http://www.steppenwolf.org.