Edgeville Buzz

Steep’s Caroline Neff in the “Best Actress” Spotlight

Steep Theatre is raising the bar for Chicago theater companies.  Their continuous success is due to the willingness of its artists and producers to push the boundaries.  One such artist is Caroline Neff, ensemble member and the company’s Casting Director, who was voted the 2014 Readers’ Picks for “Best Actress” in Chicago’s largest alternative media resource, the Chicago Reader. Peter Moore, Steep’s Artistic Director and ensemble member says, “We’re obviously extremely proud of Caroline and thrilled that she is getting such well-earned attention.  She’s a remarkable actress who is not only open, honest, and fearless on stage, but also offers a really rare intellectual insight into the work.”

Since graduating from Columbia in 2007, Neff gained experience acting at Strawdog, Mary-Arrchie, Pinebox, and Steppenwolf theaters, amongst others. “The community of artists in Chicago has taught me so much,” Neff says. “I saw Phantom of the Opera when I was 10, and was in love with the feeling of being part of a shared experience with a room full of people. I’ve loved watching live theater for a long time, but it wasn’t until I moved to Chicago that I considered doing this as a profession.”

As an endowed actress, Neff’s accomplishments continue to flourish. She became a Steep ensemble member in 2008 and its Casting Director in 2010. Since then, Neff has been awarded a 2011 Non-Equity JEFF Award for Actress in a Principal Role in a Play for A Brief History of Helen of Troy at Steep Theatre. She was also nominated for the 2011 Non-Equity JEFF Award for Actress in a Principal Role in a Play for Port at the Griffin, and was nominated for a 2012 Non-Equity JEFF Award for Actress in a Supporting Role for the play, Under The Blue Sky at Steep Theatre. “Steep was not only the first show I saw in Chicago, but was also the first professional job I ever got,” Neff says.

“Her contributions to Steep go well beyond her work on the stage.  Caroline has been our Casting Director for the last few years and she has managed to put together a string of jaw-dropping ensembles, featuring a lot of actors who were relatively unknown before working with us,” says Moore.  Neff has her work cut out for her when seeking the cast for the upcoming Steep season, from the intimate cast of three for The Vandal to a big, beautiful ensemble of 13 for The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle.

“I love being at Steep . . . I feel so fortunate as an artist to be surrounded by incredibly supportive artists and patrons, and we are so lucky to have been able to make our home in Edgewater,” Neff says. Be sure to follow the spotlight on Caroline Neff because it is shining brightly on this gifted and brilliant shooting star!

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