Tony nominee K. Todd Freeman has departed Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s world premiere of David Rabe’s Visiting Edna and will be replaced by ensemble member Tim Hopper. Freeman, who is also an ensemble member at the Chicago theatre, left the show September 16, the second day of previews.
Directed by Steppenwolf artistic director, Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro, Visiting Edna began previews September 15 and will officially open September 25.
“K. Todd Freeman took on this challenging role and throughout the rehearsal process continued to delve deeper into the complexities of the part; however, ultimately decided for his own personal reasons to no longer continue in the role,” commented Shapiro in a press statement. “He is a dear friend and longtime ensemble member and we respect his decision. Tim Hopper is a great admirer of David Rabe and this play and we are happy to have him join the cast.“
Visiting Edna stars Tony winner Debra Monk in the title role. In Rabe’s newest work, she plays a terminally ill mother who is trying to re-connect with her son. The cast also features Ian Barford, Sally Murphy and Michael Rabe.
Here is how Steppenwolf bills the play: “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 keep us from real connection.”
Freeman is a Tony nominee for Airline Highway and The Song of Jacob Zulu. His Broadway credits also include Wicked, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and 8.
For tickets or more information on Visiting Edna, phone audience services on (312) 335-1650 and steppenwolf.org.