Anna D. Shapiro

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Anna D. Shapiro
Born Anna Davida Shapiro
March 10, 1966
Evanston, Illinois, USA
Occupation Theatre director
Years active 1988-present
Home town Evanston, Illinois
Spouse(s) Ian Barford
Family Giovanni Barford (son)
Olivia Barford (daughter)
Joann Shapiro (mother)
Morton Shapiro (father)
Max Shapiro (brother)
Eve Pellegrino (sister)
Davide Shapiro (brother)

Anna D. Shapiro (born March 10, 1966) is an American theatre director.

Early years[edit]

Shapiro was born in Evanston, Illinois at Evanston Hospital, the youngest of four children. She attended Evanston Township High School and graduated in 1983.[1] She later went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre director from Columbia College Chicago in 1990.[2][3] She then attended graduate school at the Yale School of Drama and was the recipient of a 1996 Princess Grace Award. Her Yale classmates from the early '90s jokingly called her "The truck-stop waitress who will one day run American theatre" because she "was the butchest person in the MFA program, which was also very associated with the idea of what theatre in Chicago was--psychological realism" she explains.[4]


Shapiro has been on the faculty of Northwestern University as head of the Graduate Directing Program in Theatre since 2002.[5] She has been affiliated with Steppenwolf Theatre since 1995, serving as the original director of the New Plays Lab and later joining the artistic staff as Resident Director. Shapiro is an Artistic Associate and became a member of the ensemble in 2005.[6] She became Artistic Director as of September 2015.[7][8]

Her credits include the world premieres of Until We Find Each Other by Brooke Berman and The Pain and the Itch by Bruce Norris, the Chicago and Galway productions of Purple Heart, Three Days of Rain, Drawer Boy, I Never Sang for my Father, and Man from Nebraska. She also directed the world premieres of The Ordinary Yearning of Miriam Buddwing by Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros at Steppenwolf in 2001[9] and Bruce Norris's The Infidel at both Steppenwolf and the Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Other credits include A Fair Country by Jon Robin Baitz at the Huntington Theatre Company, Boston, in 2000,[10] Iron by Rona Munro at the Off-Broadway Manhattan Theatre Club Stage II in 2003,[11] and Edwin Sanchez's Trafficking in Broken Hearts for the Atlantic Theatre Company.

After directing Tracy Letts' August: Osage County at Steppenwolf and winning the Jefferson Award for Best Director, she directed the play on Broadway, with all but two of the original cast, and won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play,[12] as well as the Drama Desk Award[13] and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Director of a Play.[14] August: Osage County was named by Time Magazine as its Number 1 Theater Production for 2007.[15]

On Broadway, Shapiro directed Of Mice and Men (2014) and This Is Our Youth (2014).[16] She directed the Larry David play, Fish in the Dark on Broadway at the Cort Theatre, which opened in February 2015.[17]


She is married to actor Ian Barford, and they have two children.[8]


  1. ^ Futransky, David (March 21, 2014). "ETHS Class Notes". The KIT: 7. 
  2. ^ Williams, Albert. "Anna D. Shapiro and David Cromer Speak to Columbia College Chicago Theatre Graduates at 2015 Commencement". 
  3. ^ "Theatre Department: The Green Room". Columbia College Chicago Blog. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Kerry Reid (October 2004). "Anna Shapiro putting it together: her Steppenwolf Specialties are Actorly Insights and New-Play Savvy". American Theatre. Retrieved 2008-08-23. [dead link][dead link]
  5. ^ "Anna D. Shapiro", accessed September 20, 2014
  6. ^ Jacobs, Leonard. "Steppenwolf Selects Anna Shapiro", March 17, 2005
  7. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Steppenwolf Names Tony Winner Anna D. Shapiro as New Artistic Director", October 2, 2014
  8. ^ a b Borelli, Christopher. "Anna D. Shapiro at Steppenwolf Theatre: Work in progress" Chicago Tribune, August 21, 2015
  9. ^ Simonson, Robert. "Miriam Buddwing Takes the Stage at Steppenwolf Studio, Jan. 11", January 11, 2001
  10. ^ McBride, Murdoch. "Baitz's 'A Fair Country' Opens at Boston's Huntington, Oct. 27-Nov. 26", October 27, 2000
  11. ^ Sommer, Elyse."A CurtainUp Review. 'Iron'", October 24, 2003
  12. ^ Jim True-Frost (2008-08-13). "Archive for the 'August: Osage County' Category". Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Archived from the original on 2008-09-27. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  13. ^ Gans, Andrew.August and Passing Strange Win Top Honors at Drama Desk Awards",, May 18, 2008
  14. ^ Gans, Andrew."South Pacific Is Big Winner in Outer Critics Circle Awards",, May 12, 2008
  15. ^ Zoglin, Richard."Top 10 Theater Productions",, February 23, 2009
  16. ^ Hetrick, Adam. " 'This Is Our Youth', With Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin and Tavi Gevinson, Opens on Broadway Tonight", September 11, 2014
  17. ^ Lloyd Webber, Imogen. "Rosie Perez & More Will Join Larry David in His Self-Penned Play 'Fish in the Dark' on Broadway", September 2, 2014

External links[edit]