Steppenwolf Names Tony Winner Anna D. Shapiro as New Artistic Director

News   Steppenwolf Names Tony Winner Anna D. Shapiro as New Artistic Director
Tony Award-winning director Anna D. Shapiro has been named to succeed Martha Lavey as the artistic director of the Chicago-based Steppenwolf Theatre Company, executives there announced Oct. 2.

Anna D. Shapiro
Anna D. Shapiro Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Lavey, who has served as the theatre's artistic director since 1995, will step down following the 2014-15 season. Shapiro, who won a Tony Award for the Broadway transfer of Steppenwolf's August: Osage County, is a longtime artistic associate at the theatre. She will officially take on the role of artistic director there in fall 2015.

Lavey will remain with the company as an ensemble member and will work to continue Steppenwolf's campus expansion. The theatre also announced that David Schmitz will take over for David Hawkanson as executive director in January 2015.

Shapiro is currently represented on Broadway with Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth, another Steppenwolf to Broadway transfer. Last season she helmed a Broadway revival of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and was Tony-nominated for her work on The Motherf**ker With the Hat in 2011. Shapiro's upcoming projects include the Broadway premiere of Larry David's Fish in the Dark this spring.

"Anna and I began our tenure together at Steppenwolf 19 years ago when I came in as artistic director and she led our New Plays Lab. In the intervening years we have worked together closely as colleagues and fellow ensemble members. Anna has directed some of Steppenwolf's most memorable productions over the past ten years including August: Osage County, The Motherf**ker With the Hat, and, most recently, This Is Our Youth She is both a Broadway director and a mentor to young artists in her capacity as the head of the directing program at Northwestern University. She is ready to lead Steppenwolf which has been her artistic home her entire adult life. I am enormously proud to hand over the stewardship of this treasured company to Anna. David Hawkanson and I have worked with David Schmitz for nearly a decade. He is a highly respected colleague. David Hawkanson, one of the best managers in the profession, has mentored David Schmitz for an easy transition. Together, Anna Shapiro and David Schmitz represent Steppenwolf's bright future. The theater is in capable and caring hands," Lavey said in a statement.

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