Glenn Davis and Audrey Francis have been named the new co-artistic directors of Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theatre Company. This marks both the first time in the ensemble's nearly five-decade history that two artistic leaders have been appointed, and the first time in its history that the company has elected an artistic director of color.
Both Francis and Davis got their start at the School at Steppenwolf, and became ensemble members in 2017 under the leadership of outgoing artistic director Anna D. Shapiro. Davis has been seen in Steppenwolf's productions of Bruce Norris's Downstate (both in Chicago and at London's National Theatre), Lucas Hnath's The Christians), and Tarell Alvin McCraney's Head of Passes and The Brother Sister Plays. He shared the stage with Francis in Clare Barron's You Got Older. Francis, a co-founder of Black Box Acting, has been seen in 10 Steppenwolf productions, also including The Doppelgänger, Dance Nation, and Between Riverside and Crazy.
Citing Shapiro and her late predecessor, longtime Steppenwolf artistic leader Martha Lavey, as inspirations, Davis and Francis will work to shepherd the evolution of the theater as it opens its new 50,000-square-foot Arts and Education Center this fall, and will work to create equitable space for individuals who have been historically underrepresented and marginalized in the American theater.