"Voices From the Dust Bowl" Credit: Courtesy the artist

In a city that prides itself on its inclusive and varied performing-arts scene, Steppenwolf’s eclectic LookOut series, which debuted this past summer at the 1700 Theatre, stands out. The last half of the winter leg, taking place from now until the beginning of April, boasts a diverse sequence of shows ranging from comedy to spoken word to music.

This Sunday, Fifth House Ensemble and the Chicago-based bluegrass band Henhouse Prowlers come together to perform “Voices From the Dust Bowl.” During the Great Depression, hundreds of thousands of farmers abandoned their homes on the poor, barren plains and migrated west toward California in hopes of making a decent living, only to find a meager number of jobs that paid next to nothing. Presented in partnership with Interfaith Worker Justice, a nonprofit advocacy group, the show intends to illustrate how this period in American history remains relevant by focusing on debates surrounding minimum wage and the present-day migrant crisis in the Middle East and Africa.

Later this month, on March 22, writer Charles Kouri brings his rock musical 24Words: An Equal Rights Cabaret to the stage. The title references the 24 words that make up the Equal Rights Amendment—a proposed addition to the Constitution that would have made it illegal to deny one’s rights “on the account of sex” but was never ratified in a number of states, including Illinois. Inspired by the fact that women still don’t have equal protection under the law across the country, 24Words takes the audience on a musical trip through the past 200 years spent fighting for gender equality.

LookOut Sun 3/5-Mon 4/4, Steppenwolf Theatre, 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted, 312-335-1650, steppenwolf.org/tickets—events/lookout, times and prices vary.