Anna D. Shapirothe artistic director of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company since 2015will leave her post when her contract expires in August.
Over the last several months, Shapiro has been working with other Steppenwolf ensemble membersa group of 49 actors, directors and playwrights who call Steppenwolf homeon a succession plan for when her contract expires at the end of the summer. Shapiro remains an active member of the Steppenwolf ensemble (which she joined in 2005), as she is slated to direct both ensemble member Rajiv Joseph's King James and ensemble member Tracy Letts's virtual play The Stretch as part of the 2021-22 Steppenwolf comeback season.
"It has been my honor to serve as Artistic Director these six yearsand to elevate a variety of powerful voices through bold story-telling from our stages. With our new building at last complete and our Comeback 2021-22 Season announced, the time is right to share this transition publicly," said Shapiro in a press release.
"Now the work is to take this beautiful, mad and revolutionary experiment to the next level and welcome in the next generation to make their mark. I look back on my tenure with great pride. I have been honored to work alongside so many great artists and staff, and will continue to do so as an ensemble member in the Steppenwolf family."
During Shapiro's tenure, she led a multimillion-dollar fundraising effort that made possible the realization of Steppenwolf's new 50,000-square-foot campus on Halsted Street. The company broke ground on the building in 2019 and the walls continued to rise during the pandemic, with a grand opening slated for this fall.
Also on Shapiro's watch, Steppenwolf expanded its mainstage season and added new programming series to tell more stories for more of Chicago. For example, the company presented the world premiere Antoinette Nwandu's Pass Over, which was then filmed at Steppenwolf for a Spike Lee film, reaching a global audience via Amazon Prime.
In keeping with Steppenwolf tradition, and in accordance with its founding documents, it is the responsibility of the 49 ensemble members to select the next artistic director.