Anna D. Shapiro to succeed Martha Lavey as Artistic Director of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre in 2015

Not many figures loom as large over the American theatre landscape as Martha Lavey, longtime Artistic Director of Steppenwolf Theatre.

But if you had to think of who might be able to fill her shoes at the helm of Chicago’s fierce and fabulous ensemble, Anna D. Shapiro would be a good choice.

And indeed, today Steppenwolf announced that Shapiro will be taking the reigns from Lavey in the fall of 2015.

Lavey has left an incalculable imprint on theatre in America. She’ll remain an ensemble member at Steppenwolf, but will be focused on directing a major campus expansion.

Steppenwolf is adding a new 400 seat theatre just south of their main space on North Halsted, which houses the existing 500 seat theatre. The new space will replace the temporary Upstairs Theatre, where the current Broadway run of THIS IS OUR YOUTH kicked off in July. In addition, north of the current main building, a whole additional new building is going in at 1700 North Halsted, which will house offices and the Lab at Steppenwolf (including a new black box lab theatre).

In a nutshell, when all is said and done, Steppenwolf will occupy a large chunk of a city block in Chicago’s leafy Lincoln Park. With the expanded capacity, the company is well positioned to solidify its stature as one of America’s most important theatres and generators of new work.

Bravo.

The current location of the Lab at Steppenwolf, south of the main building.
The current location of the Lab at Steppenwolf, south of the main building.
Steppenwolf's main 500 seat theatre.
Steppenwolf’s main 500 seat theatre.
The main Steppenwolf theatre on the left with the new glass building at 1700 North Halsted on the right.  And way, way down the end of the block on the left is the current Lab.
The main Steppenwolf theatre on the left with the new glass building at 1700 North Halsted on the right. And way, way down the end of the block on the left is the current Lab.
The temporary Upstairs Theatre will be replaced by a new 400 seat space south of the main building.
The temporary Upstairs Theatre will be replaced by a new 400 seat space south of the main building.
Construction inside the new building at 1700 North Halsted this summer.
Construction inside the new building at 1700 North Halsted this summer.
The burgeoning Steppenwolf empire on N Halsted.  The open space where the pin is will be where the new 400 seat space goes up.
The burgeoning Steppenwolf empire on N Halsted. The open space where the pin is will be where the new 400 seat space goes up.