Yasen M Peyankov

Head of Theatre/Associate Professor



Master of Fine Art, National Academy of Theatre and Fine Arts



Yasen Peyankov was born and raised in Bulgaria where he graduated from the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia.

Since his arrival In Chicago in 1990 he co-founded the European Repertory Company in 1992 and has worked as an actor in some of the finest theatres in the city—Steppenwolf, Goodman, Court, Next, American Theatre, and many others. His role as Greenspan in Morning Star at Steppenwolf earned him a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also received a nomination for Best Adaptation for his translation/adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Ivanov, which was consequently published by Ivan R. Dee.

Since 2002, he has been a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble, where he has appeared in Time to Burn, The Time of Your Life, Berlin Circle, Hysteria, Morning Star, Frankie and Johnny In the Clare De Lune (also In Dublin), Cherry Orchard, Lost Land, The Pillowman, Diary of Anne Frank, The Tempest, Hot L Baltimore, Penelope, Three Sisters and Superior Donuts (also on Broadway). He has also directed plays for Steppenwolf Theatre, UIC Theatre, European Repertory Company, and Rushfort in Los Angeles. In 2011 he directed the Bulgarian premiere of August: Osage County by T. Letts at The National Theatre in Sofia in his own translation. He has also translated and adapted plays by Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Bulgakov, Nikolai Kolyada, and Vasily Slgarev.

Mr. Peyankov has also appeared on film in A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas, Contagion, Transformers 3, Gifted Hands, The Company, Payback, US Marshals, Novocain, Lana's Rain, and in television shows such as The Beast, The Mob Doctor, The Unit,The Evidence, Alias, Numb3rs, The Practice, Early Edition, and others.

Mr. Peyankov has been teaching acting at UIC since 2000, and accepted the position of Head of the Theatre Program in the fall of 2007. He has also taught at The Steppenwolf Summer School, Steppenwolf West, Act One Studio, and the University of Chicago He is a recipient of a 2002 Walter and Eva Fox Fellowship. He recently appeared in The Wheel at Steppenwolf theatre alongside Joan Allen and directed Russian Transport as part of the 2013-14 Steppenwolf Mainstage Season.

Courses Taught

Acting II: Adaptations
Fundamentals of Acting
Advanced Acting: Shakespeare