Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is a Chicago theatre company founded in 1974 by Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, Gary Sinise in the Unitarian church on Half Day Road in Deerfield and is now located in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood on Halsted Street. Its name comes from the novel Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse which original member Rick Argosh was reading during the company's inaugural production, And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little, in January 1974; the name Steppenwolf Theatre Company was first used in 1974 at a Unitarian church on Half Day Road in Deerfield The company presented And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little by Paul Zindel and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, with Rick Argosh directing, Grease by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, with Gary Sinise directing. The founding members are Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, Gary Sinise; the founders recruited six additional members: H. E. Baccus, Nancy Evans, Moira Harris, John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf, Alan Wilder. In 1975, Steppenwolf incorporated as a nonprofit organization, saving money by taking the name of a failed theater company that had incorporated.
In the summer of 1976, Steppenwolf took up residence in a vacant basement space of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Highland Park and produced its first full season of plays. In 1980, the theater company moved into a 134-seat theater at the Jane Addams Hull House Center on Broadway Avenue in Chicago. Two years the company moved to a 211-seat facility at 2851 N. Halsted Street, their home until 1991, when construction was completed on the current theater complex at 1650 N. Halsted Street In 1982, the Sam Shepard play True West, starring Sinise and John Malkovich, was the first of many Steppenwolf productions to travel to New York City. In 1994, the company made its Los Angeles debut with Steve Martin's first play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile. In 1996, after successful runs in Chicago and New York, Lyle Kessler's Orphans, directed by Gary Sinise, was the first Steppenwolf production to go international, debuting in London; the MacArthur Foundation awarded Steppenwolf Theatre Company $2.26 million between 1978 and 2017, in support of general operations, growth of artistic and educational programs.
Steppenwolf is an ensemble theatre founded by Laurie Metcalf, H. E. Baccus, Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, Gary Sinise, its members have included actors Joan Allen, Kevin Anderson, Alana Arenas, Randall Arney, Kate Arrington, Ian Barford, Robert Breuler, Gary Cole, Glenn Davis, Kathryn Erbe, Audrey Francis, Jim Fitzpatrick, Francis Guinan, Tom Irwin, Ora Jones, John Mahoney, John Malkovich, Sandra Marquez, Mariann Mayberry, James Vincent Meredith, Laurie Metcalf, Amy Morton, Sally Murphy, Caroline Neff, Austin Pendleton, William Petersen, Martha Plimpton, Rondi Reed, Molly Regan, Karen Rodriguez, Lois Smith, Rick Snyder, Jim True-Frost, Alan Wilder. It includes playwrights Tina Landau, Tracy Letts, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Bruce Norris, Rajiv Joseph and Eric Simonson, directors Frank Galati, K. Todd Freeman, Terry Kinney, Martha Lavey, Yasen Peyankov and Anna D. Shapiro among its members. Notable productions include: Airline Highway by Lisa D'Amour Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris August: Osage County by Tracy Letts True West by Sam Shepard Lydie Breeze directed by H.
E. Baccus Balm in Gilead by Lanford Wilson, directed by John Malkovich And a Nightingale Sang by C. P. Taylor Orphans by Lyle Kessler Coyote Ugly by Lynn Seifert, directed by John Malkovich Burn This by Lanford Wilson The Grapes of Wrath adapted by company member Frank Galati Through its New Plays Initiative, the company maintains ongoing relationships with writers of international prominence while continuing to support the work of aspiring and mid-career playwrights. In 1988, Steppenwolf presented the world premiere of Frank Galati's adaption of The Grapes of Wrath, based on the John Steinbeck novel, which went on to win the Tony Award for Best Play. In 2000 Steppenwolf presented the world premiere of Austin Pendleton's Orson's Shadow, which subsequently was staged off-Broadway and by regional theatres throughout the country. Tracy Letts' Broadway drama August: Osage County was ranked number one in Time's Top Ten Theatre Performances of 2007. After moving from the Imperial Theatre next door to The Music Box Theatre for an open-ended run, August: Osage County won five Tony Awards including Best Play of 2007, Best Director, Best Leading Actress, Best Featured Actress, Best Scenic Design.
Letts went on to win the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play. Among the theater's many honors are the Tony Award for Regional Theatre Excellence and the National Medal of Arts. Theater in Chicago List of museums and cultural institutions in Chicago Steppenwolf Theatre Company official website Steppenwolf Theatre Company at the Internet Broadway Database
Jeff Perry (American actor)
Jeffrey Perry is an American actor of stage and film. He starred in the ABC political drama Scandal from 2012 to 2018. Perry is an original co-founder of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, he and schoolmates Gary Sinise and Terry Kinney started the company in one end of the cafeteria at Highland Park High School and moved it to a small space in the Immaculate Conception Church in Highland Park. It has since grown into a notable national theater company whose alumni include John Malkovich, John Mahoney, Joan Allen. Perry remains an executive artistic director along with co-founders Sinise. After spending nearly two decades with Steppenwolf, Perry moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to pursue film and television work. Perry is best known as Inspector Harvey Leek on the CBS police drama series Nash Bridges, he was a tough superior to Kevin Bacon's detective in the thriller Wild Things. His many television and film credits include The Human Stain, Hard Promises and The Grifters as well as appearances on My So-Called Life, The West Wing, The Practice, Cold Case and several episodes of Grey's Anatomy as Meredith Grey's father.
He replaced John Billingsley in the role of Terrence Steadman in the critically acclaimed TV show Prison Break. Perry has been in multiple stage productions; these include Time of your Life, Grapes of Wrath, The Caretaker. He starred in the Tracy Letts play August: Osage County on Broadway, which originated at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. In 2012, he appeared Off Broadway playing Christopher, the aggressive father in Tribes by Nina Raine; as of 2012, Perry starred in the ABC drama series Scandal as Cyrus Beene. Perry was born in Highland Park, where his father was a teacher at Highland Park High School, he graduated from Illinois State University in 1978. In 2011, Perry received an honorary doctorate from Illinois State University in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the field of theatre. Perry was married to actress Laurie Metcalf from 1983 until 1986, they had a child, actress Zoe Perry, together in 1983. He is married to Linda Lowy, Grey's Anatomy's casting director, with whom he has a daughter, Leah Perry.
Jeff Perry on IMDb Jeff Perry at the Internet Broadway Database Jeff Perry at Internet Off-Broadway Database The Steppenwolf Theater Company
Mary Elizabeth "Sissy" Spacek is an American actress and singer. She is the recipient of various accolades including an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, two Critics' Choice Movie Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award and nominations for four BAFTA Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award. Born and raised in Texas, Spacek aspired a career as a singer. In 1968, using the name "Rainbo," she recorded a single, "John, You've Gone Too Far This Time." Sales of her music sputtered and she was dropped from her record label. She subsequently switched her focus to acting, enrolling at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Spacek began her professional acting career in the early 1970s, making her debut with a minor role in Andy Warhol's Women in Revolt and received attention for her role as Holly Sargis in Terrence Malick's Badlands, she rose to prominence with her portrayal of Carrie White in Brian De Palma's Carrie, for which she received her first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Following her appearances in acclaimed films Welcome to L. A. and Robert Altman's 3 Women, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter. Her other Oscar nominated roles include The River, Crimes of the Heart and In the Bedroom, her other films include Raggedy Man, JFK, The Straight Story, Tuck Everlasting, Nine Lives, The Help, The Old Man & the Gun. On television, Spacek received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for The Good Old Boys, Last Call, Big Love and portrayed matriarch Sally Rayburn on the Netflix series Bloodline. Since 2018, she stars as Ruth Deaver on Hulu's psychological horror web series Castle Rock; as a singer, Spacek sang all of the Lynn's songs for the soundtrack album of Coal Miner's Daughter, which garnered her a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and released a studio album Hangin' Up My Heart. The album was critically well peaked at no. 17 on Billboard Top Country Albums. Spacek was born on December 25, 1949, in Quitman, the daughter of Virginia Frances and Edwin Arnold Spacek Sr. a county agricultural agent.
Spacek's father was of three quarters Czech and one quarter German ancestry. Actor Rip Torn is a first cousin. Spacek's mother, of English and Irish descent, was from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. At age 6, she performed on stage for the first time. Although her birth name was Mary Elizabeth, she always was called Sissy by her brothers, which led to her stage name, she was named homecoming queen at her senior prom. In 1967, Spacek was affected by the death of her close 18-year-old brother Robbie from leukemia when she was 17, which she has called "the defining event of my whole life". Spacek said the personal tragedy made her fearless in her acting career: "I think it made me brave. Once you experience something like that, you've experienced the ultimate tragedy, and if you can continue, nothing else frightens you. That's what I meant about it being rocket fuel – I was fearless in a way. Maybe it gave more depth to my work because I had experienced something profound and life-changing." Spacek aspired to a career in singing.
In 1968, using the name Rainbo, Spacek recorded a single titled "John You Went Too Far This Time". Sales of her music sputtered and she was dropped from her record label. Spacek subsequently switched her focus to acting, enrolling at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, she worked for a time as as an extra at Andy Warhol's Factory. She appeared in a non-credited role in his film Trash. With the help of actor Rip Torn, her cousin, she enrolled in Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio and the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York, her first credited role was in Prime Cut, in which she played Poppy, a girl sold into sexual slavery. The role led to television work, which included a guest role in The Waltons, which she played twice in 1973. Spacek received international attention after starring in Terrence Malick's Badlands, in which she played Holly, the film's narrator and a 15-year-old girlfriend of mass-murderer Kit. Spacek has described Badlands as the "most incredible" experience of her career.
Vincent Canby of The New York Times called the film a "cool, sometimes brilliant, always ferociously American film" and wrote, "Sheen and Miss Spacek are splendid as the self-absorbed, cruel psychotic children of our time." On the set of Badlands, Spacek met art director Jack Fisk, whom she married in 1974. Spacek's most prominent early role came in Brian De Palma's film Carrie, in which she played Carietta "Carrie" White, a shy, troubled high school senior with telekinetic powers. Spacek had to work hard to persuade director de Palma to engage her for the role. After rubbing Vaseline into her hair and donning an old sailor dress her mother made for her as a child, Spacek turned up at the audition with the odds against her, but won the part. Spacek's performance was praised, Pauline Kael of The New Yorker wrote, "Though few actresses have distinguished themselves in gothics, Sissy Spacek, onscreen continuously, gives a classic chameleon perf
Fly Away Home
Fly Away Home is a 1996 Canadian/American/New Zealand family comedy-drama film directed by Carroll Ballard. The film stars Anna Paquin, Jeff Daniels, Dana Delany. Fly Away Home was released on September 1996, by Columbia Pictures. Fly Away Home dramatizes the actual experiences of Bill Lishman who, in 1986, started training Canada Geese to follow his ultralight aircraft, succeeded in leading their migration in 1993 through his program "Operation Migration." The film is based on the experience of Dr. William J. L. Sladen, a British-born zoologist and adventurer, who aided Lishman with the migration. After her mother Aliane dies in the car accident, 13-year-old Amy Alden is brought from New Zealand to Ontario, Canada, by her estranged father Thomas Alden, a sculptor and inventor, to live with him and his girlfriend Susan; when a construction crew destroys a small wilderness area near the Alden home, Amy finds a nest of goose eggs. Without Thomas, Susan, or her uncle David knowing, she takes the eggs and keeps them in a dresser in her father's old barn to incubate.
When the eggs have hatched, she is allowed to keep the goslings as pets. Thomas asks for help from local Animal Regulation officer Glen Seifert on. Seifert comes over to the Alden house, explains that the geese have imprinted on Amy as their mother, he explains that geese learn everything from their parents including migratory routes, but warns Thomas that all domestic geese must have their wings pinioned to render them flightless, which upsets Amy. Thomas throws Seifert off his property, only for Seifert to threaten the Aldens that if the birds start flying, he will have to confiscate them. Thomas decides to use an ultralight aircraft to teach the birds to fly and show them their migratory routes, but realizes the birds will only follow Amy. Aided by his friend Barry, Thomas teaches Amy how to fly an ultralight aircraft of her own, so she can teach the geese. David mentions knowing someone running a bird sanctuary in North Carolina, arranges for the geese to go to the sanctuary; the birds have to arrive before November 1, or the sanctuary will be torn down by developers who plan to turn it into a coastal housing development.
Amy and Thomas practice flying the aircraft, but Igor, the weakest of the geese, who has a limp, accidentally hits the front of Amy's aircraft and lands in an isolated forest. While the group goes off to search for the bird, Glen Seifert returns to the Alden farm and confiscates the other geese; the next day, an elaborate plan is staged to free the geese and start their migration to North Carolina. Making an emergency landing at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station in western New York on the south shore of Lake Ontario and Thomas get arrested, they become national news, with residents cheering them on and offering the two a place to stay at night at each of their stops. Thirty miles before reaching the bird sanctuary, Thomas's aircraft suffers a structural failure and crashes in a cornfield. After Amy takes off and begins to head toward the sanctuary, Thomas hitchhikes to the bird sanctuary. While waiting for the geese, Susan, David and many animal enthusiasts stand up to developers who are waiting to start the excavation of the site.
Amy appears with the geese, much to the joy of the townspeople and Amy's family, but to the dismay of the developers. The townspeople and the Aldens celebrate their victory; the following spring, all 16 geese safely return to the Aldens' farm on their own. "10,000 Miles" performed by Mary Chapin Carpenter "Wherever You Are" performed by Mary Chapin Carpenter To recreate the Alden home, principal photography took place in 1995, at two farms near Lindsay in southeastern Ontario. The township had been the setting for A Christmas Story, A Cool Dry Place; the blacksmith shop constructed onsite for the filming of The Last Buffalo at Purple Hill, Ontario was re-used as part of the Alden homestead. Two gliders were featured in the film: the Cosmos Trike; the Easy Riser first appears. True to Lishman's real-life saga, modifications were made to improve the design including the addition of a motor and seat. Anna Paquin's character instead flies an A-frame Cosmos Trike with a mock goose head mounted to the noseplate of the airframe and a fabric wing covering painted to resemble feathers.
The Cosmos Trike was chosen for its safety, superior engine power, increased wing size. The four-day trip home for the geese that would take them to Lake Ontario, over the Appalachians to Pennsylvania, Maryland settling on the North Carolina Shores, had principal photography filmed nearly at Port Perry and Sandbanks Provincial Park, Canada. Additional location shots were the city-fly-through in Toronto, standing in for Baltimore, Maryland. At the conclusion of the production, Lishman led the 60 imprinted "actor-geese" in migration, to winter at the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center off the coast of Georgetown, South Carolina. While in production, the film was at first titled Flying Wild but was changed to Fly Away Home just weeks before its release in movie theaters; the original trailer has the title Flying Wild and can be found on certain copies of the Columbia Tri-Star Jumanji VHS Tape and the French version title is the translated version of this title. Director Carroll Ballard and cinematographer Caleb Deschanel collaborated on The Black Stallion and Never Cry Wolf with Fly Away Home being their third family film
Williamstown Theatre Festival
A winner of a 2002 Tony Award and a 2011 Massachusetts Cultural Council Commonwealth Award, the Williamstown Theatre Festival is a resident summer theater on the campus of Williams College in Williamstown, founded in 1954 by Williams College news director, Ralph Renzi, drama program chairman, David C. Bryant; the theatre festival was conceived as a way to use the Adams Memorial Theatre on the Williams campus for a resident summer theatre company. At the request of Renzi and Bryant, established Actress and Broadway Theatre World Award winner Marcia Henderson, raised in Williamstown, performed in the first play of the festival, she was the first major celebrity to perform at Williamstown, many have followed since, including Sigourney Weaver, Gwyneth Paltrow, Christopher Walken, Nathan Lane, Richard Chamberlain, Kate Burton, Olympia Dukakis, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Cooper, Calista Flockhart, Matthew Broderick. Nikos Psacharopoulos, a professor at Yale Drama School and a co-founder, became the executive artistic director and guided the company for over thirty years.
Psacharopoulos made certain WTF would not be a typical summer stock theater by focusing on such international playwrights as Chekhov, George Bernard Shaw, Jean Anouilh, Tennessee Williams, Bertholt Brecht, Tom Stoppard. He mentored his associates and assistant directors, such as Tom Brennan, Arvin Brown, Keith Fowler, Peter H. Hunt, Paul Weidner, Austin Pendleton, he attracted well-known actors including E. G. Marshall, Frank Langella, Rosemary Harris, Blythe Danner, Colleen Dewhurst. Christopher Reeve, once a WTF apprentice and a frequently-featured actor at the festival, told an interviewer: "By staying here thirty years, Nikos what they couldn't do in Brooklyn or Washington or at Lincoln Center, he has managed to achieve a national theater."Psacharopoulos died in 1989. Following a 35th season run by a troika of Peter H. Hunt, Austin Pendleton and George Morfogen, Hunt was named Artistic Director for the 36th season, in 1990. In 1996, long-time WTF stage manager Michael Ritchie became the head of the festival, during his eight years at the helm, nearly two dozen productions transferred to Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theatres across the country.
Ritchie was succeeded in 2005 by Roger Rees. Former WTF resident director Nicholas Martin served as Artistic Director from 2008-2010. Former Associate Producer Jenny Gersten led the Festival from 2011-2014 and Mandy Greenfield assumed the role of Artistic Director in September 2014. In 2002, the American Theater Wing awarded WTF America's highest theatrical honor, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theater —the "Tony"—as an distinguished regional theater; the festival transferred several successful shows to Broadway, including One Mo' Time, Hedda Gabler, The Man Who Had All the Luck, The Bridges of Madison County. Throughout its over four decades in existence, many celebrated American artists—designers, directors, choreographers as well as stage and screen actors—have worked as apprentices or company members at Williamstown. Williamstown Theatre Festival official website Williamstown Theatre Festival at the Internet Broadway Database
Normal is a town in McLean County, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town's population was 52,497. Normal is the smaller of two principal municipalities of the Bloomington–Normal metropolitan area, Illinois' seventh most populous community outside the Chicago metropolitan area. Normal's mayor is Chris Koos; the main campus of Illinois' oldest public university, Illinois State University, a accredited four-year institution, is in Normal, as is Heartland Community College, a accredited two-year institution. There is a satellite campus of Lincoln College, which offers associate degrees as well as four-year programs. A large share of residents of Normal are employed by Illinois State University, State Farm Insurance, Country Financial, Unit 5 schools; the town was laid out with the name North Bloomington on June 1854 by Joseph Parkinson. From its founding, it was recognized that Jesse W. Fell was the force behind the creation of the town, he had arranged for the new railroad, which would soon become the Chicago and Alton Railroad, to pass west of Bloomington curving to cross the Illinois Central Railroad at a point where he owned or controlled land.
Most of the original town lies south of these tracks, with Beaufort Street as its northern limit, some blocks west of the Illinois Central and north of the tracks. Fell, his brothers, associates laid out many additions to the original town; the town was renamed Normal in February 1865 and incorporated on February 25, 1867. The name was taken from a normal school located there; the school has since been renamed Illinois State University after becoming a general four-year university. Normal is adjacent to Bloomington and when mentioned together they are known as the "Twin Cities", "Bloomington-Normal", "BN", or "BloNo". In 2007, the town council voted to name the downtown area "Uptown Normal", and, as of 2011, Uptown Normal is home to the Children's Discovery Museum, Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, a variety of stores; the district is home to the historic and non-profit Normal Theater, a restored Art Deco theater owned by the Town of Normal that runs classic and independent films. November 19, 2014: Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community Award, League of American Bicyclists 2014: First in State for Most Minutes Read, 2014 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, Scholastic Corp.
- Received by Glenn Elementary 2014: Chamber of the Year, Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives - Received by the McLean County Chamber of Commerce 2013: Honorable Mention - Mayor's Climate Protection Awards, United States Conference of Mayors - Received by Mayor Chris Koos 2013: Tree Cities USA Community Award, Arbor Day Foundation 2011: National Award for Smart Growth Achievement - Civic Places, United States Environmental Protection Agency Normal is located near 40°30′44″N 88°59′19″W. According to the 2010 census, Normal has a total area of 18.412 square miles, of which 18.35 square miles is land and 0.062 square miles is water. As of the 2000 census, there were 45,386 people, 15,157 households, 8,184 families residing in the town; the population density was 3,332.6 people per square mile. There were 15,683 housing units at an average density of 1,151.6/sq mi. The racial makeup of the town was 87.57% White, 7.71% African American, 0.15% Native American, 2.21% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.93% from other races, 1.40% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.56% of the population. There were 15,157 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 46.0% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.2% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.96. In the town, the age distribution of the population shows 17.5% under the age of 18, 38.1% from 18 to 24, 23.1% from 25 to 44, 13.7% from 45 to 64, 7.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.5 males. The median income for a household in the town was $40,379, the median income for a family was $60,644. Males had a median income of $41,323 versus $27,486 for females; the per capita income for the town was $17,775.
About 5.6% of families and 19.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.4% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over. Normal is served by I-39, I-55, Interstate 74, one railroad line, the Central Illinois Regional Airport in neighboring Bloomington, Connect Transit provides public bus service in the area. Interstate 55 wraps around the northwest edge of the town. Interstate 74 shares the I-55 roadway on the western edge of Normal before splitting off toward the northwest. Normal is the southern terminus of Interstate 39; the Central Illinois Regional Airport is on Route 9 in Bloomington five miles east southeast from Uptown Normal. The airport is served by four airlines, five rental car agencies, has direct daily flights to Atlanta, Dallas-Ft. Worth and Minneapolis/St. Paul. A record 559,481 passengers flew to or from CIRA in 2010. Connect Transit has 11 color-coded fixed routes in the area. The
Laura Elizabeth Metcalf is an American actress. Over the course of her four-decade career, she has been the recipient of numerous acting awards and nominations, she has won three Primetime Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, has been nominated for an Academy Award. Metcalf began her career with the Steppenwolf Theater Company and works in Chicago theater. For her stage performances and work on Broadway, Metcalf has received five Tony Award nominations, winning Best Actress in a Play in 2017 for her performance in A Doll's House, Part 2 and Best Featured Actress in a Play for the 2018 revival of Edward Albee's Three Tall Women, she gained national attention for her performance as Jackie Harris in the ABC sitcom Roseanne for which she won three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. An eleven-time Emmy Award nominee, Metcalf's television credits include 3rd Rock from the Sun, The Norm Show, Desperate Housewives, The Big Bang Theory, she played a leading role in HBO comedy series Getting On, for which she received critical acclaim and a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
Metcalf has starred in numerous films and most well known for her critical acclaimed performance in Greta Gerwig's comedy-drama film Lady Bird, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a SAG Award, a BAFTA Award. Metcalf was born in Carbondale, the eldest of three children. She, her brother James and her sister Linda were raised in Edwardsville, which she has said "isn't anywhere near a theatre." Her father, was the budget director at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville at the time of his sudden death in 1984. Her mother, was a librarian, her great-aunt was the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Zoë Akins. She is an alumna of Illinois State University, class of 1976. Metcalf, who worked as a secretary while in college, said she enjoyed seeing a pile of paper in the to-do box on one side of her desk move over to the completed side by the end of the day, she was so focused on her work she missed lunch. She majored in German, thinking she could work as an interpreter, in anthropology before accepting that majoring in theatre was her true passion.
She has said that theatre work involves interpreting and studying human behavior. She has described herself as hideously shy, yet she found the courage to audition for a few plays in high school and was "hooked", she did not choose acting as a career because it was unlikely to lead to regular work. Metcalf attended Illinois State University and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theater in 1976. While at ISU, she met fellow theater students, among them John Malkovich, Glenne Headly, Joan Allen, Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, the latter two of whom, along with Perry's high school classmate Gary Sinise, went on to establish Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Metcalf began her professional career at Steppenwolf. Metcalf went to New York to appear in an Off-Broadway Steppenwolf production of Balm in Gilead at Circle Repertory in 1984 for which she received the 1984 Obie Award for Best Actress and a 1984–85 Theatre World Award. Metcalf was praised for her performance as Darlene, was singled out for her twenty-minute act two monologue.
Chicago critic Richard Christiansen said of her performance: There's a moment when Laurie Metcalf—who plays this poor young thing that comes to the big city and hangs out at this greasy spoon diner where the play is set—is talking about her once boyfriend, an albino. Just to sit there and watch and hear Laurie unspool that story, it just brought tears coming down your eyes—oh, boy, it was something. Metcalf relocated to New York City and began to work in both film and theater, including such productions as David Mamet's November on Broadway in 2008. In June of 2009, Metcalf starred in Justin Tanner's play, Voice Lessons with French Stewart, in Hollywood before beginning rehearsals to play Kate Jerome in the Broadway revival of Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical plays Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound, directed by David Cromer; the former production's run, lasted for 9 performances in October 2009, while the latter was canceled prior to opening. Voice Lessons, with its original cast intact, went on to three more runs—one Off-Broadway in May 2010, another in Hollywood in May 2011, another in Chicago in May 2016.
In September 2010, Metcalf starred in Lisa D'Amour's play, Detroit. In 2011, she appeared in Joe Mantello's Off-Broadway play The Other Place by Sharr White, she won the 2011 Lucille Lortel Award, Outstanding Lead Actress, the 2011 Obie Award, for her performance. In 2012, Metcalf joined David Suchet in a West End production of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night, for which she was nominated for the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress. In 2013, The Other Place transferred to Broadway with Metcalf reprising her role and earning Tony and Drama League nominations, she starred with Zoe Perry. In 2013, Metcalf starred in Bruce Norris's Off-Broadway play Domesticated with Jeff Goldblum at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater of Lincoln Center, she was nominated for Distinguished Performance. In 2015, she took the role of Annie Wilkes in the Broadway production of Stephen King's Misery, opposite Bruce Willis; the play premiered on November 15, 2015. It received mixed reviews from critics