Chicago—Steppenwolf Theatre Company proudly announces its 36th ensemble member: Anna D. Shapiro. Shapiro has been affiliated with Steppenwolf Theatre since 1995, serving as the original Director of the New Plays Lab and initiating Steppenwolf’s first programmatic effort to commission and develop new work. Shapiro later joined the artistic staff as Resident Director, and currently serves an Artistic Associate. Shapiro’s production of Michael Healey’s The Drawer Boy, featuring fellow ensemble member John Mahoney, is currently playing at the Papermill Playhouse in New Jersey. Steppenwolf founders Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, Gary Sinise and Artistic Director Martha Lavey are thrilled to announce Shapiro’s induction into the Steppenwolf ensemble. “Anna has contributed enormously to the growth of the artistic office, to our work in new play development, and to the repertoire on our stages. She is passionate about our work, deeply supportive of each member of our ensemble, and a tremendous asset in the voice she contributes to representing Steppenwolf to our fellow artists and audiences. Her fellow ensemble members join us in welcoming Anna.” Shapiro’s recent Steppenwolf directing credits include Robert Anderson’s I Never Sang for My Father, the world premieres of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer prize-nominated Man from Nebraska, Brooke Berman’s Until We Find Each Other and Bruce Norris' Purple Heart. Shapiro will direct the world premiere of Norris’ The Pain and the Itch at Steppenwolf this summer, June 29-August 28, 2005. Shapiro’s additional Steppenwolf credits include the American premiere of Michael Healey’s The Drawer Boy, the world premiere of The Ordinary Yearning of Miriam Buddwing by Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, Warren Leight's Side Man (also in Ireland, Australia, and Vail, Colorado), the world premiere of Bruce Norris' The Infidel and Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain. Other credits include Iron at Manhattan Theatre Club, A Fair Country by Jon Robin Baitz at the Huntington Theatre Company, The Infidel at Philadelphia Theatre Company and Edwin Sanchez's Trafficking in Broken Hearts for the Atlantic Theatre Company. Shapiro is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and the recipient of a 1996 Princess Grace Award. She joined the faculty of Northwestern University as head of the Graduate Directing Program in Theatre in the fall of 2002. Steppenwolf Theatre Company is a Chicago-based international performing arts institution committed to ensemble collaboration and artistic risk through its work with its permanent ensemble, guest artists, partner institutions and the community. Steppenwolf has redefined the landscape of acting and performance by spawning a generation of America's most gifted artists. Founded in 1976 as an ensemble of nine actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an internationally renowned company of thirty-six artists whose talents include acting, directing, playwriting, filmmaking and textual adaptation. No other American theater ensemble has survived as long and thrived as much as the Steppenwolf company of artists.