There is a good chance that LeBron James might not be playing basketball in June of 2020, barring a big free agent signing or a trade. But someone will be onstage discussing him.
“King James,” a play by Rajiv Joseph, will be making its world premiere at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago in May 2020, the Steppenwolf announced on Thursday as part of its 2019- 2020 lineup announcement, a diverse slate with a particular emphasis on people of color. Anna D. Shapiro will direct.
The show will depict life in Cleveland after 2016, when the Cavaliers won the championship, as two friends “spar in a verbal game of one-on-one, revealing past secrets, present truths, and a possible future after ‘The King’ has left the building.” (Last summer, Mr. James left Cleveland for the Los Angeles Lakers.) The play will also be produced on the West Coast in Los Angeles, where Mr. James currently resides, as part of the Center Theatre Group’s 2020- 2021 season.
Other highlights from Steppenwolf’s upcoming season include the debut of “Lindiwe,” a musical featuring works by the famed South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Nov. 7-Dec. 29, 2019). Tracy Letts, a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, will bring his play “Bug” to Chicago, which is slated to be directed by David Cromer (“The Band’s Visit”) and star Carrie Coon (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, HBO’s “The Leftovers”) and Namir Smallwood (Jan. 23-March 8, 2020).
Lauren Yee’s “The Great Leap,” which last year was at the Atlantic Theater Company’s Stage II in New York, will make a leap of its own to Chicago. Another play about basketball, the work tracks an American team’s trek to Beijing in the late-1980s (Sept. 5-Oct. 20, 2019).
“The Brothers Size,” an early work of Tarell Alvin McCraney, is headlining Steppenwolf’s young adult programming (Oct. 2–19, 2019), as is the world premiere of “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,” an adaptation of the book by Erika L. Sánchez, which will be directed by Sandra Marquez (Feb. 26-March 21, 2020).