Steppenwolf artistic director Anna D. Shapiro to step down in August

  • Anna D. Shapiro

    Anna D. Shapiro Courtesy of Frank Ishman

Updated 5/3/2021 5:38 PM

Steppenwolf Theatre announced artistic director Anna D. Shapiro will step down from the leadership position she has held for six years when her contract expires in August.

During her tenure, Shapiro led a multimillion dollar fundraising effort to construct Steppenwolf's new 50,000-square-foot campus on Halsted Street in Chicago, which will include a 400-seat round theater, and is scheduled to open this fall.


"Now the work is to take this beautiful, mad and revolutionary experiment to the next level and welcome in the next generation to make their mark," said Shapiro in a prepared statement. "I have been honored to work alongside so many great artists and staff and will continue to do so as an ensemble member in the Steppenwolf family."

The Tony Award-winning director ("August: Osage County") is currently working on the musical adaptation of "The Devil Wears Prada" by Elton John, Shaina Taub and writer Paul Rudnick. She will remain part of the Steppenwolf ensemble, whose 49 members will select the next artistic director.

She is set to direct ensemble member Rajiv Joseph's "King James" and ensemble member Tracy Letts' virtual play "The Stretch" as part of the theater's recently announced 2021-2022 "Comeback Season."

Co-founder Jeff Perry, in a prepared statement, called Shapiro a beloved ensemble member and "a treasure for our theater" whose contributions "have been nothing short of remarkable."

Under Shapiro, Steppenwolf expanded its main stage season, added new performance series and presented the world premiere of "Pass Over" by Antoinette Nwandu, the London transfer of Bruce Norris' "Downstate" and the Broadway transfer of Letts' "The Minutes."

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