If the SteppenFetchits were emulating Steppenwolf for the fierce tenacity of their early days, their insistence on an ensemble dynamic and their ability to attract and foster great new writers, I’d say Godspeed. But when you strive to emulate their style, or worse, a dumbed-down, third-hand understanding of their style, I say enough, already. You can break all the furniture you want and never create anything more meaningful than firewood onstage if there is no thought, poetry or craft behind the wreckage. If you want to create the next Steppenwolf Theatre, then do what they did. Commit to ten years with the same core of people and spend every night arguing and agreeing and thrashing around in a basement somewhere until you have your own aesthetic and vision to share. Stop wearing
hand-me-downs. They don’t fit and they’re out of style anyway.
Hat Tip to Isaac Butler at Parabasis.