Steppenwolf ensemble member Gary Cole (photo by Getty Images).


​Steppenwolf Theatre Company celebrates 44 years of trailblazing theater and with an unforgettable evening inspired by the art and artists of the theater company’s past, present and future. The event will be emceed by esteemed ensemble member Gary Cole (Veep, The West Wing, Office Space), who will also tread the Steppenwolf boards for the first time in 20 years in this summer’s production of Catch as Catch Can. A dynamic collaboration between artists and board members, Gala 2020 co-chairs include ensemble member Joan Allen; trustee Susan Berghoef; ensemble members Gary Cole and Sandra Marquez; and trustee Anne Phillips and Don Phillips. The gala will take place at a new location, the newly renovated old Post Office (415 S. Canal St., Chicago). 

Guests attending this spectacular event, curated by Steppenwolf Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro and the company’s ensemble, have a unique opportunity to mingle with ensemble members and artists during a festive cocktail reception before moving on to a gourmet seated dinner. Christie’s auctioneer Steven Zick will lead the live auction, which will feature once-in-a-lifetime experiences with Steppenwolf artists. Concluding the evening’s festivities, DJ Tracy Young, who won a 2020 Grammy for her remix of Madonna’s I Rise, will keep the party going as guests dance the night away. 

“The gala is a special event that allows us to honor the tremendous work of our ensemble’s past, present and future. This season in particular provided us wonderful opportunities to welcome artistic friends, old and new, to our stages. We hope this evening encapsulates the vast gratitude and absolute joy we feel for our artists, sponsors and patrons,” shares Shapiro.

Steppenwolf’s annual gala benefit raises over $1 million in crucial support for the theater’s thrilling, courageous and provocative work and vital arts outreach in Chicago schools and neighborhoods. 

​Executive Director David Schmitz notes, “Without a doubt, Steppenwolf’s annual gala is a night not to be missed. It’s such a pleasure to uplift this season’s wonderful achievements amongst delightful artists, ensemble, trustees and guests with a lively event that never fails to dazzle all in attendance. We couldn’t make an event like this happen without the superb co-chairs, board members, staff and ensemble all working together to create a spectacular, elegant and fun celebration.”

​Sponsors for the event include The Bluhm Family Charitable Foundation and Anne and Don Phillips with additional sponsorship from Allstate, Exelon, GCM Grosvenor, Eric and Liz Lefkofsky and Pritzker Traubert Foundation, among others.

Steppenwolf Theatre Gala to be Hosted by Ensemble Member Gary Cole