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Anna D. Shapiro to Step Down as Steppenwolf Artistic Director

Shapiro will leave the position when her contract ends this summer.

Anna D. Shapiro
(© David Gordon)

Anna D. Shapiro will step down from the role of artistic director of Steppenwolf Theatre Company when her contract expires this August.

Shapiro will remain an active member of the Steppenwolf ensemble, which she joined in 2005. She became artistic director in 2015 and has been working with the 49-member ensemble on a succession plan.

During her tenure, Shapiro led a fundraising campaign that realized the company's new 50,000-square-foot campus on Halsted Street in Chicago, complete with a new 400-seat theater, an education center, and expanded facilities. Productions ranged from Antoinette Nwandu's Pass Over, which was filmed by Spike Lee and released on Amazon Prime Video, to Bruce Norris's Downstate, which ran at London's National Theatre. She welcomed 10 new members — Cliff Chamberlain, Carrie Coon, Celeste M. Cooper, Glenn Davis, Audrey Francis, Rajiv Joseph, Sandra Marquez, Caroline Neff, Karen Rodriguez, and Namir Smallwood — to the ensemble.

Shapiro's future projects as a freelance director include Steppenwolf productions of Rajiv Joseph's King James and Tracy Letts's The Stretch, the Broadway remounting of Letts's The Minutes, which was shut down by the Covid pandemic, and the new Elton John-Shaina Taub-Paul Rudnick-Kate Wetherhead musical The Devil Wears Prada.

As is tradition, the search for a new artistic director will be undertaken by the 49-member ensemble.