skip to Main Content
Loading Events

« All Events

Obliteration at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre

July 25 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Event Series Event Series (See All)
Buy Tickets Buy Tickets



Obliteration is a fusion of stand-up and theater that tells the story of two comedians, trying to make sense of a world that’s falling apart, even as their own lives are hanging on by a thread.

Obliteration is written and directed by Gift ensemble member Andrew Hinderaker (Let The Right One In (Showtime)Away (Netflix), Colossal, and SuicideIncorporated) and performed by Gift founder Michael Patrick Thornton and ensemble member Cyd Blakewell.

Runtime: 2 hours


Cyd Blakewell is living her best life working on this incredible project with these two beautiful and intensely talented people, Andrew and Michael. Recently, Cyd was seen in The Brightest Thing in the World at About Face Theatre and Birthday Candles at Northlight Theatre. She is a proud ensemble member of The Gift Theatre in Chicago. Her Gift Credits include: The LocustsPillowmanDoubt, A Life Extra OrdinaryGood For OttoBody + BloodBroadswordMine and multiple episodes of TEN. Other Chicago credits: The Snare (Jackalope); Balm In Gilead and Port (Griffin); Buddy Cop 2breaks & bikes and Milk Milk Lemonade (Pavement Group); Sweet Confinement and Ivanov (SiNNERMAN Ensemble); Orange Flower Water (Interrobang); Lies & Liars and Mimesophobia (Theatre Seven); Rewind (The Side Project). She recently wrapped a short film called Fairground and can also be seen in Jeri’s Grille. Cyd got her BFA from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX and is a graduate from the School at Steppenwolf. Cyd is represented by Promote Talent Agency. She is married to Keith Neagle and mother to Wesley, who give her an endless amount of love and support.



Michael Patrick Thornton is the co-founder of The Gift Theatre and served as its artistic director for twenty years. He has appeared on stages throughout the world, most recently on Broadway with Jessica Chastain in the acclaimed and Tony-nominated production of A Doll’s House, directed by Jamie Lloyd and adapted by Amy Herzog, for which Michael’s performance as “Dr. Rank” won the 2023 Actors’ Equity Foundation Joe A. Callaway Award for the best performance by an actor in a classical play in the New York metropolitan area. Michael made his Broadway debut in Sam Gold’s production of Macbeth with Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga, and was seen prior to that in The Gift’s production of Doubt at Steppenwolf with Obliteration’s Cyd Blakewell. Other select productions: Will Eno’s Title and Deed (Lookingglass Theatre—Time Out Best Actor Award) as well as Eno’s Middletown (Steppenwolf) the premiere of Andrew Hinderaker’s Colossal (Olney Theatre, Kennedy Center) Othello (The Gift, “Iago”) Our Town (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and the world premieres of Hinderaker’s Dirty and SuicideIncorporated for which Thornton was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award. His groundbreaking performance in the titular role of Richard III (The Gift at Steppenwolf) which marked the first performance in theatre history to use an exoskeleton has been the subject of numerous podcasts, published essays, and academic papers. Michael won the 2006 Jeff Award for Solo Performance for The Good Thief (The Gift). On camera, Thornton has acted opposite Oscar Winners Jessica Chastain, Hilary Swank, J.K. Simmons, and Oscar nominee Demián Bichir. For two seasons, he played the love interest of six-time Tony Award winning legend Audra McDonald on Private Practice.

In addition, Thornton’s acclaimed improv show—You & Me—premiered at Steppenwolf and has since played for over a decade throughout Chicago as well as in Louisville and Dublin, Ireland, featuring nearly a hundred special guests. The Chicago Reader has called the show and Thornton’s improvisation “masterful.” Selected Film/TV: The SavantNCISThe Good DoctorLet The Right One InChicago Party Aunt61st Street, A Million Little ThingsAwayAll RiseMadam Secretary, The Red LineCounterpartElementary and The View From Tall. Select Awards: Actors’ Equity Foundation Joe A. Callaway Award; Irish Books and Music Festival (iBAM!) Award Recipient; Best Actor: 2017 Midwest International Film Festival (The View From Tall); Tree of Life Award: Shirley Ryan Ability Lab; 3Arts Artist Award; Northlight Theatre’s Jack Springer Award for Outstanding Performance; The Tim Meier and Helen Coburn Meier Foundation Achievement Award; The Second City Foundation’s Jim Zulevic Chicago Arts Award; The Joseph Jefferson Award for Solo Performance, and induction into The University of Iowa and St. Patrick High School Halls of Fame. Obliteration marks the seventh collaboration between Thornton and Andrew Hinderaker.



Andrew Hinderaker is currently the Executive Producer and Showrunner of BLACK RABBIT, an upcoming Netflix series starring Jason Bateman and Jude Law. He previously created and showran the Showtime series, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, starring Oscar Nominee Demián Bichir, as well as the Netflix series, Away, starring Oscar Winner Hilary Swank. Additional TV writing credits include Penny Dreadful and The Path, but Hinderaker’s heart and soul belong to the theater, where he specializes in writing plays that are (nearly) impossible to produce. Recent projects include The Magic Play (Goodman Theatre; Actors’ Theatre of Louisville; Portland Center Stage) a five-year collaboration with a sleight-of-hand card artist; and Colossal, an epic theatrical event featuring full-contact football hits, a modern dance company, and a drum line. Colossal received a National New Play Network (NNPN) Rolling World Premiere from 2014-2016, with its inaugural production at the Olney Theatre Center (DC) receiving numerous Helen Hayes Awards, including Best New Play. Hinderaker’s additional plays include SuicideIncorporatedDirtyKingsville; and I Am Going to Change the World, all of which premiered in his hometown of Chicago before enjoying productions in NY and throughout the world. Hinderaker holds an MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a proud ensemble member of the Gift Theatre Company in Chicago. Obliteration marks his seventh collaboration with Michael Patrick Thornton, and his first with Cyd Blakewell. They are two of his favorite artists in the world.


Buy Tickets to Obliteration at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre


July 25
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Event Category:


Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre
1700 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614
+ Google Map
(312) 335-1650