Entertainment & Arts

Steppenwolf Theatre names Anna D. Shapiro as next artistic director

Anna D. Shapiro
Anna D. Shapiro has been named the next artistic director of the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Anna D. Shapiro, the Tony Award-winning director of “August: Osage County,” has been named the new artistic director of the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, the company announced Thursday.

Shapiro will assume the job in the fall of 2015, succeeding Martha Lavey.

The Steppenwolf said that Lavey, who has been artistic director for nearly two decades, will remain with the company as an ensemble member to focus on the expansion of the Steppenwolf campus.

Shapiro has a long association with the Steppenwolf, directing a number of productions for the company. In addition to “Osage County,” she has staged plays by Bruce Norris, Stephen Adly Guirgis and Richard Greenberg.


Her production of Norris’ “A Parallelogram” came to the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in 2013.

A much-in-demand theater director, Shapiro recently staged Kenneth Lonergan’s “This Is Our Youth,” currently on Broadway, and is scheduled to direct Larry David’s “Fish in the Dark” later in the Broadway season.

Her New York staging of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” starring James Franco, will be broadcast to cinemas starting in November.

The Steppenwolf has been planning an expansion of its campus for a number of years. The Chicago Tribune reported that the expansion would include a new, 400-seat, flexible theater as well as expanded rehearsal and lobby space.


The Chicago company has produced a number of notable acting alumni, including Gary Sinise, Terry Kinney, John Malkovich, Joan Allen, Laurie Metcalf and William Petersen.