Ask A Midwesterner: Anna D. Shapiro, Artistic Director of Steppenwolf Theatre


Credit: Saverio Truglia


In Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, the world renowned Steppenwolf Theatre is entering its 41st season. Helping lead the charge into the company’s fifth decade is artistic director Anna D. Shapiro. The Tony Award winner began her long connection to Steppenwolf in 1995 and has since directed many notable productions including August: Osage County and The Motherf**ker with the Hat. Shapiro received critical acclaim for the Broadway revival Of Mice and Men, which National Theatre Live selected as the first American production to be broadcast to over 700 cinemas across the US and Canada.

If you’d like to catch Shapiro’s next project, she is directing Steppenwolf’s first show of the season, Visiting Edna, a world premiere play by David Rabe opening September 15.

We put the powerhouse director through our 18-question ringer to see where her Midwest roots (and tastes) lie.

Favorite place in the Midwest?
Wrigley Field

What temperature is considered warm enough for no coat?
40 degrees

Favorite meal to cook?
Giant Holiday meal for tons of people

What’s a hidden gem in your city?
Front Bar at Steppenwolf

Local coffee shop of choice?
Front Bar at Steppenwolf!

Go-to pizza toppings?
Green olives. Totally impossible to find.

Soda or Pop?

Duck Duck Goose or Duck Duck Grey Duck?
Duck Duck Goat, actually.

Favorite condiment?
It’s a tie between mayo and horseradish.

Favorite local brewery?
No clue. Never had a beer in my life.

Can you name all the ingredients in puppy chow?
I can’t!! I’m a bad Midwesterner! I had my first puppy chow last year!!

How many shovels do you own?
Well, that depends on if you mean snow or ice. They have two different sections in the garage.

Favorite food on a stick?
Corn dog.

Skiing or wakeboarding?
Neither. Seasick.

Signature drink order?
Absolut martini very very dry with olives.

Mississippi River or Great Lakes?
No real Midwesterner can choose one of those over the other

Favorite Midwestern artist?
John Malkovich

Favorite building in the Midwest?
Steppenwolf Theater


Featured Image compliments Joel Moorman

Connect with Anna and Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Twitter: @SteppenwolfThtr
Facebook: Steppenwolf Theatre Company