Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents MONSTER Review – Thought Provoking Theatre

Daniel Kyri

Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s world premiere adaptation of MONSTER stares the audience directly in the face. The story is gripping and the production is powerful.  It is quietly compelling and elicits personal examination.

MONSTER is Courtroom Drama with a Deeply Personal Layer

The story centers around a teenager on trial for felony murder. We watch the trial completely from his point of view and hear his thoughts as it unfolds. The relationship between the audience and the main character is what makes this play unique and memorable.

Steppenwolf - MONSTER
Kenn E. Head and Daniel Kyri
Steppenwolf - MONSTER
Daniel Kyri and Tevion Devin Lanier

Steppenwolf For Young Adults Not Just for Kids

Despite the “Steppenwolf for Young Adults” label, this play is for everyone. The audience was a good mix of children and adults. The story resonates with each person. Our everyday perceptions influence our judgments and behavior. Age does not change that. This play is a nice reminder of that.

Great Actors in Multiple Roles

The small eight-person cast is stellar in each performance. Most actors play more than one part. This beautifully illustrates the theme of changing perceptions. Daniel Kyri’s portrayal of the boy on trial shows wisdom far beyond his age. Alana Arenas plays dual roles as the boy’s mother and the prosecutor. Her poise and subtle changes are striking. The success of the show depends largely on its cast, and this cast is superb.

Steppenwolf - MONSTER
Alana Arenas
Steppenwolf - MONSTER
Daniel Kyri and Tevion Devin Lanier

Minimalist Towering Set

The simple yet massive walls of the set purposely engulf the story. The main character is small in this world. Set designer Joanna Iwanicka, creates a space that illustrates this point.

Since Steppenwolf will be touring this production to three Juvenile Justice Facilities, it would be interesting to see this production in that realistic setting.

Photos by: Michael Brosilow


Top Pick For: Self Aware Thinkers
Not recommended for: Those looking for escapism


Note:  An except of this review appears in Theatre in Chicago.


Public Performances:

February 18 at 3:00PM & 7:30PM
February 24 at 7:30PM
February 25 at 3:00PM
March 3 at 7:30PM
March 4 at 3:00PM

School Performances through March 9, 2017:

Tuesday through Thursday at 10:00AM

*reserved for school groups only


Steppenwolf Theatre
1650 N. Halsted, Chicago


Public Performances:
Full Price: $20
Students: $15
Available for Public Performances:

Online at

By phone at 312-335-1650

Available for School Performances:

Contact Molly Layton at 312-932-2422

Steppenwolf - MONSTER
Daniel Kyri and Namir Smallwood

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