Anna D. Shapiro Named Steppenwolf Theater Company Artistic Director

The cornerstone Chicago troupe, one of the most influential among the country’s nonprofit theaters and one of the few true artistic ensembles, today announced a coming management changeover. Shapiro, currently represented on Broadway with Steppenwolf’s revival of Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth, will replace Martha Lavey as artistic director next fall. Earlier, beginning in January 2015, David M. Schmitz will succeed David Hawkanson as managing director.

Shapiro has joined the ranks of the country’s most sought-after directors both on Broadway and at the top resident theaters. She won the Tony Award for directing August: Osage County and next spring will stage the world premiere of Larry David’s Fish In The Dark on Broadway.

1-2The announcements were made at a news conference Thursday at which Steppenwolf leadership, members of the Board of Trustees and ensemble and the design team led by architect Gordon Gill, unveiled plans for the company’s expansion on the city’s near north side.  Steppenwolf plans to replace its two temporary performance spaces with  new, flexible spaces, better company facilities and room for more educational and community-based programs.

Lavey, who will continue with Steppenwolf, and Hawkanson have both been with the company for two decades, Lavey as a.d. since 1995, Hawkanson as m.d. for the last 11 years.

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