The heart of Steppenwolf is that while the work may soar, our foundation is decidedly human scale – an ongoing celebration of discovering the extraordinary in the every day.

– Anna D. Shapiro, Ensemble member

Our Expanded Campus

Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center


Steppenwolf has inspired generations of theatre audiences and has long been a benchmark for theatre excellence. This next act offers new opportunities for productions of varying scope and voice, welcoming new generations of audiences, an embracing and humane approach to life both onstage and off, and public spaces that throw open our doors and invite folks to spend more of their lives with us. The Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center featuring the Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell will be an expression of not just what we do but of who we are: a home for the greatest theatre ensemble in the United States and a thriving center for culture in Chicago.

This campaign is about being relevant and accessible to all of Chicago. We will create an urban theater campus that will bring people from all manner of backgrounds together to have artistic experiences that are in dialogue with their lives, as vastly different as they can be. The theaters we create will be the home for the most talented, brave, compassionate, and diverse ensemble in the country, working alongside engaged and adventurous young adults. And the architecture will create moments where the artists are so accessible, you’re going to feel that you are making this work alongside them.


Steppenwolf’s $73 million campus expansion and renewal is an invitation to Chicago, offering bold and ambitious opportunities for creative expression, social exchange, unparalleled accessibility, and arts-driven learning for Chicago teens. This change in our footprint is happening over three phases.

Phase 1
1700 N Halsted
Opened June 2016
Phase 2 
1646 N Halsted
March 2019 - 2021 
Phase 3
1650 N Halsted

Architect: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Theater Design: CharcoalBlue

Construction: Norcon 

Project Manager: CBRE

Environmental Engineering: ESD

Structural Engineers: Thornton Tomasetti 

Rennovation of Public Spaces: fcSTUDIO

Signage: Studio Blue 


We invite you

Conscientious, courageous, and dedicated people have rallied around Steppenwolf since 1976, helping drive the cultural conversation in Chicago and, at times, around the globe. Our next act is an expression of all Steppenwolf has been and promises to be to our community. It will only be possible at the hands of our supporters. We look forward to partnering with you to help us shape the next 40 years of social and cultural life in Chicago.

Thank You

To date, Steppenwolf has raised over 78% of its $73 million fundraising goal. We are grateful to acknowledge the following lead donors to the Building on Excellence Campaign and all of our donors on the linked list below. 

Leaders of the New Steppenwolf
$1 million +

Anonymous, in memory of Martha Lavey

Douglas R. Brown and Rachel E. Kraft

The Bluhm Family Foundation

The Crown Family

The Harris Family Foundation

State of Illinois

Liz and Eric Lefkofsky

Pritzker Foundation

Pritzker Traubert Foundation

The Rowe Family Foundation

Cari and Michael J. Sacks

Bruce Sagan and Bette Cerf Hill

Robert and Louise Sanborn

Mr. Matthew Shapiro

Zell Family Foundation

View the full donor list

Want to know how this will affect your Steppenwolf experience? Check out our plan your visit page.

The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust, Lead Underwriter of Fundraising for The Campaign for Steppenwolf